Eric McCormack and George Stroumboulopoulos © Kim Eijdenberg
When actor Eric McCormack showed up in Whistler last season, it wasn’t to ski.
While Whistler is known for its world-class skiing during the winter months, it’s also home to one of the best film festivals in North America.
For 22 years, the Whistler Film Festival (WFF) has attracted some of the biggest names in film from across the globe to attend this British Columbia-based festival.
The festival prides itself on shining the light on Canadian independent filmmakers and the joy of discovering new cinematic voices and new terrain. You never know when you will discover the next big thing, whether on a chairlift or in the theatres!
WFF is also proud of its record of promoting equity and was one of the first to establish gender parity goals. Celebrating the success of women in the industry started in 2016 with WFF’s Women in Focus series, then known as Women on Top, when WFF took 100 women to the top of Whistler Mountain during the festival for a keynote breakfast and expanded into a two-part series in 2018. In 2021, WFF reached directorial gender parity, with 20 of 40 features and 25 of 41 shorts directed or co-directed by women or non-binary individuals.
This year the festival takes place from November 30 to December 4 in Whistler, B.C., and online from December 5 to January 2, 2023. This hybrid format allows the festival to provide the best of the in-person cinematic experience in Whistler and also reach new, engaged audiences across Canada while it streams a selection of Canadian and international films. A word of caution for the true film fan, some films will only be available live, in theatres.
WFF22 is welcoming up to 90 films, including Oscar-contenders, breakthrough Canadian titles, heart-stopping adventure films, and award-winning stories from around the globe. Unique industry initiatives and lively celebrations round out this cinematic celebration in North America’s premier mountain resort destination.
There are more than just red carpets and film premieres at “Canada’s Coolest Film Festival.” It is here where aspiring filmmakers gain advice and showcase their skills to industry professionals to further their careers.
The industry-focused Content Summit in Whistler will feature over 30 sessions, including keynotes, masterclasses, fireside chats, roundtables, and one-on-ones, featuring forward thinkers, innovators, and decision-makers. Discussions on wide-ranging topics include blockchain, I.P. development, financing, co-production, book-to-screen adaptations, health and wellness, and creative collaboration, ensuring something for everyone.
Whistler Film Festival’s Content Summit will also give up-and-comers a chance to show off their skills and take home some prize money through the festival’s Talent Awards.
At WFF, you can indeed have a winning pitch. There is an opportunity for one British Columbia filmmaker to further develop their directing career and take home $15,000 cash plus up to $100,000 in services from across the industry through the MPPIA Short Film Award Competition. The Power Pitch Competition is designed to set participants up for success while competing for a $36,000 producer prize package.
Feature-length films also have the opportunity to also walk away with cash prizes. The Borsos Competition for Best Canadian Feature is worth $35,000, the Shortwork Awards winner will receive $1,000 for their short film, and a B.C. student will walk away with a $500 prize.
The atmosphere that the Whistler Film Festival creates is one of the most unique experiences Whistler has to offer. It’s about finding new terrain, whether on the slopes or in the theatre.
Where else can you ski incredible snowy mountains through the day and sit down to share the experience of a live film premiere with top talent at night?
Ticket packages and accommodation bookings are available through the festival’s website whistlerfilmfestival.com and for the latest updates, follow their social media.
The 22nd edition of the Whistler Film Festival will be an in-person and online event connecting audiences, filmmakers, and industry with the films we love, industry insights we need, and the human connection we crave. Events include film premieres, industry summits, talent programs, events, and special guest appearances by actors and directors.