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Whistler Film Festival 2012: Top Picks

TAG: Cultural Fix, Festivals & Events Posted by: Feet Banks

In this day and age, more than ever, it’s important to stay fresh. The Whistler Film Festival, poised to roll out their 12th annual celebration of film and film making this Nov 28-Dec 2, 2012, is keeping things fresh by lighting up the silver screens of Whistler with over 70 films and 5 days of industry seminars, galas and Hollywood hobnobbing. They're also welcoming a new programming director, Paul Gratton, for a fresh approach to an already-winning formula.

“I’ve never been to the WFF but I started hearing about it around three years ago,” says Paul, a seasoned veteran in the Canadian film and broadcast industry. “What attracted me is its great reputation, its hospitality and a very positive vibe from people who have attended.”

In the official WFF blog Paul said this year’s festival “is definitely gonna have a rock ‘n roll vibe.” That sounds about perfect for Whistler so The Insider hit Paul up for some of his top picks and don’t-miss films. Get more info on the festival (and accommodation deals) at Whistler.com and we’ll see you at the movies.

The Sheepdogs Have At It
Director: Joel Barnard. Country: Canada
Sunday Dec 2, 2012. 8PM Whistler Conference Centre Screen B at the Closing Gala

Saskatoon-based band The Sheepdogs won Rolling Stone Magazine’s first ever “Choose the Cover” competition in August 2011 and embarked on a rock ‘n roll trajectory of success, hype, and audience expectations.

“This is a world premier and it will have people rocking out,” Paul says. “Bruce Cockburn Pacing the Cage is another music film that will be great for aging hipsters like myself and the Western Premiere of Kirk Caouette’s Hit’n Strum should get a lot of local traction. It’s shot on the streets of East Vancouver with original songs performed by Caouette himself, he also plays the lead role.”
Rock on. Get ticket and more info on The Sheepdogs Have It.

Here is the Bruce Cockburn Trailer, apparently Bruce will be in the house when his film screens.

American Mary
Director: The Soska Sisters. Country: Canada
Wednesday Nov 28, 2012. 11 PM Whistler Conference Centre

The Late Night TerrorFest series kicks off a spine-chilling revenge flick directed by the genius-twisted Vancouver-based Soska Sisters. Not for the weak-willed or easily frightened this illegal-surgery story is already making big waves in the horror/cult circles.

“The Soska Sisters will be in attendance,” Paul says. “And so will star Katherine Isabelle. The Late Night Series is tailored to Whistler’s underground horror scene, with two new films and two classic late night shockers.”
Tickets and info here.

It’s a Disaster
Director: Todd Berger. Country: USA
Friday Nov 30, 2012. 6 PM Millenium Place
Sunday Dec 2, 2012. 2:45 PM Rainbow Theatre

Four couples get together for coffee when suddenly a terrorist attack forces them into quarantine. Things go downhill and the result is a biting satirical disaster comedy that goes to places some filmmakers would not.

“I’m excited about this because it pulls off an incredible tightrope act,” Paul says. “It takes chances and could have fallen off the rails but it keeps it funny and is very original. It reminds me of Dr. Strangelove.”
Tickets and info here.

Mad Ship
Director: David Mortin. Country: Canada
Friday Nov 30, 2012. 9 PM Whistler Conference Center Screen A
Saturday Dec 1, 2012. 3:15 PM Whistler Conference Center Screen A

A true story about a Scandinavian immigrant who built a huge boat in the middle of the dust-bowl era Canadian Prairies. Presented as a World Premier, stars Gil Bellows, Line Verndal and Lane Styes will be in attendance, along with the Director and producer.

“I thought it was a quintessential Canadian movie about hardship and beign overwhelmed by nature,” Paul says. “It’s shot in the most amazing cinematography I have ever seen of the Prairies and the whole movie is symbolic of these crazy impossible tasks we take on. Great poetic beauty.
Tickets and more info here

My Awkward Sexual Adventure
Director: Sean Garrity. Country:Canada
Thursday Nov 29, 2012. 8 PM Whistler Conference Centre Screen B
Sunday Dec 2, 2012. 5:30 PM Rainbow Theatre.

After watching the girl of his dreams fall asleep during lovemaking (and botching a marriage proposal) a hapless nerd-type heads to the big city (Toronto) to tighten up his romantic game. Hilarity ensues. Star and Writer Jonas Chernick will be in attendance, along with co-star Emily Hampshire and director Sean Garrity.

“There are not too many comedies, especially ones about sex, that have me doubled over in laughter,” Paul says. “This one has incredible laughs-per-minute from start to end and there is real human warmth in there too.”
Tickets and more info here.

And this list really is the tip of the cinematic iceberg. Toss in a bunch more movies, parties, a ski race, a multi-day industry summit and The Whistler Film Festival is the perfect way to kick winter into gear before the holidays. There's snow in the hills, stars on the screens (and starlets in the Village!) Whistler Film Festival is always one of the best weeks of the year. Get a hotel, you'll need it.


 

 

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