Joe Wright’s DARKEST HOUR, starring Gary Oldman and Lily James is the winner of the 2017 Whistler Film Festival’s Audience Award. Endorsed by Winston Churchill’s estate, the film tells the story of Churchill’s refusal to engage in peace treaty negotiations with Nazi Germany during WWII, and his determination to fight on against incredible odds.
The WFF Audience Award runner-ups were the Western Canadian premieres of I, TONYA, directed by Craig Gillespie and starring Margot Robbie, about disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding, followed by TULIPANI: LOVE, HONOUR, AND A BICYCLE, from Oscar Winner Mike Van Diem with the Netherlands, Italy, and Canada co-production. The WFF Audience Award is a non-cash prize presented to the highest-rated film as voted by the audience.
“We were very fortunate to open this year’s fest with the Western Canadian premiere of DARKEST HOUR, a film we are convinced will be a major contender in this year’s awards season race,” said Paul Gratton, WFF Director of Programming. “The festival took off from there, with many sold out screenings, packed and newsworthy industry sessions, and almost 400 guests who made a point of trekking out to Whistler to support their films and talk business with the high-level movers and shakers also in attendance. 2017 represented another step forward towards establishing the Whistler Film Festival as the coolest film fest in the world.”