MOMENTUM GENERATION, the latest documentary from Award-winning filmmakers Jeff and Michael Zimbalist, will have its Canadian premiere as the Closing Night film of Whistler Film Festival. The documentary follows the biggest names in surfing, including Kelly Slater, Rob Machado, Shane Dorian, Kalani Robb and the late Todd Chesser. Executive produced by Sundance founder Robert Redford with stunning archival footage from the godfather of surf films Taylor Steele, MOMENTUM GENERATION gives audiences an inside look at the lives of these teenagers as they rose to super stardom as the first competitive surfers.
WFF’s Director of Programming Paul Gratton had this to say about the current 2018 lineup: “The increasing importance of the Whistler Film Festival as a launchpad for world-calibre Canadian features is evidenced by the significant number of World Premieres that have already been secured for this year’s festival.”
In addition to the previously announced World Premiere of FUCK YOU ALL, THE UWE BOLL STORY, WFF added nine Canadian films premiering at Whistler this year. Seven of the films are eligible for the five awards in WFF’s coveted Borsos Competition for Best Canadian Feature *, which includes the second largest festival prize in the country featuring a $15,000 cash prize presented by the Directors Guild of Canada, British Columbia and $15,000 post production prize presented by Encore Vancouver.
BELLA CIAO! * (2018, Canada (BC), World Premiere)
Carmen Aguirre and Tony Nardi star in a remarkable story directed by Carolyn Combs of friends, lovers, seekers and thieves. Set at the intersection of the Latin American, First Nations and Italian communities in Vancouver, Bella Ciao! captures the struggle towards solidarity within Canada’s immigrant urban mix. A tribute to the mosaic of diversity and the different generations of distinct cultures that help define Vancouver and by extension, all of Canada today.
IN GOD I TRUST * (2018, Canada (BC), World Premiere)
John Cassini, Marc Senior and Melissa Roxburgh star in this multi-character drama from Vancouver based filmmaker Maja Zdanowski. A distressed young black man, a reckless white nationalist, and a pair of traveling vacationers intertwine in three tales of redemption, violence and faith during a random encounter in Northern Idaho.
INTO INVISIBLE LIGHT * (2018, Canada (MB), World Premiere)
Director Shalegh Carter delivers a powerful story of grief, longing, and one woman’s path to healing through the realisation of her long-buried desire to write. A widow rekindles a past relationship with a writer/professor. Conceived under the sway of both love and art INTO INVISIBLE LIGHT is a story of forgiveness, second chances and the revitalizing power of self-expression.
HONEY BEE * (2018, Canada (ON), World Premiere)
2017 WFF Star to Watch Julia Sarah Stone astounds as an underage truck stop hooker under the sway of a manipulative pimp, sent by authorities to a tough love placement location, a working farm run by a no-nonsense character played by Martha Plimpton. Director Rama Rau continues to explore female sexuality, as she did with her previous documentary look at burlesque queens, THE LEAGUE OF EXOTIQUE DANCERS.
NEVER BE DONE: THE RICHARD GLEN LETT STORY (2018, Canada (BC), World Premiere)
This raw and immersive documentary tells the story of how controversial Vancouver stand-up comedian Richard Lett sabotaged his own promising career, lost everything and lived to tell the tale. Director Roy Tighe’s commitment to presenting Lett’s highest and lowest moments over the past nine years ultimately presents a message of personal redemption, and shines a poignant light on the intensely private struggle of addiction.
NOSE TO TAIL * (2018, Canada (ON), World Premiere)
Aaron Abrams plays a talented but abrasive chef who is struggling to keep his high end restaurant afloat. Over the course of one event-filled day, he must deal with an angry lover, a would-be investor (Ennis Esmer) and unhappy staff, not to mention the realization that his establishment is no longer as trendy as when it first opened. Directed by Jesse Zigelstein, this a character study that will have foodies salivating.
NORTH PRESTON’S FINEST (2018, Canada (ON), World Premiere)
Director Jaren Hayman provides us with an intimate glimpse into the country’s largest black community, painted in recent years as one of Canada’s most established human trafficking hubs. With poignant interviews and stories from residents of all kinds, from pimps and their victims to politicians and the citizens they serve, NORTH PRESTON’S FINEST explores one community’s struggle against crime, economic adversity and systemic racism, and their ardent desire to change the narrative.
RED ROVER * (2018, Canada (ON), World Premiere)
Métis director Shane Belcourt directs a wistful story about a socially awkward geologist who is encouraged to apply for a one-way manned mission to Mars by an extroverted musician he meets in the park. Rising star Cara Gee shines as a muse with her own issues who inspires our unhappy would-be space traveler, who longs for a new beginning.
WOODLAND * (2018, Canada (BC), World Premiere)
Directed by Vancouver based Jon Silverberg, this is about a man’s personal journey that touches on the land, the mythical and the spiritual. Set in 1989, out-of-work photojournalist Jake (Richard Harmon) who struggles with addiction and a troubled past, takes a job as watchman of a wilderness lodge on the remote Haida Gwaii island in the Pacific Northwest. Under the watchful eye of veteran handyman Sparky, Jake sets up a darkroom to develop the photos he shoots, which reveal strange apparitions that he soon discovers are prophecies of his and Sparky’s disturbing future.