Travel Blog

19 Nov

Whistler Film Festival 2012 Film Lineup

First-rate films and new program strands unveiled for 12th edition

The Whistler Film Festival (November 28 to December 2, 2012) is proud to announce its 2012 film lineup featuring original films from around the world and more feature premieres than ever before. Under WFF’s new Director of Programming, Paul Gratton, the festival’s Programming Team has curated a stimulating lineup that honours established program areas, while adding some brand new strands sure to broaden the Festival’s reach, and geared to a wide variety of tastes.

This year, festival goers can look forward to over 75 films, selected from over 800 submissions, including 42 features and 34 shorts, exhibited on 5 screens in 4 theatre venues over 5 days. The feature program includes an unprecedented 6 World Premieres, 1 North American Premiere, 6 Canadian Premieres, 5 English Canadian Premieres, 15 Western Canadian Premieres, 4 British Columbian Premieres, and 1 Whistler Premiere.

“Choosing a movie for a film festival is like buying a Christmas gift after a lot of thought and consideration, and having to wait impatiently until it’s unveiled on the night of its official premiere,” says Paul Gratton, WFF’s Director of Programming. “The programming team at Whistler is excited and eager to see how audiences will respond to our selections this year, which we think can best be described as being ‘cool’ movies. We are particularly proud that only eight of our 40 plus titles were also unspooled at TIFF, which indicates that we are succeeding in carving out a distinct niche for Whistler amidst the plethora of film festivals that currently dot the media landscape.”

Canadian writer and director Michael McGowan’s STILL (Western Canadian Premiere) is this year’s WFF Opening Night Gala presentation, an inspirational film based on the true story of 88 year old Craig Morrison, who took on the bureaucrats and the challenges of building a home from scratch with equal aplomb. This is the second time that one of McGowan’s films has opened the fest (One Week in 2008) and the third time one of his films has screened at Whistler (Saint Ralph in 2004). WFF’s Closing Night Gala film is the World Premiere of THE SHEEPDOGS HAVE AT IT by Canadian director, John Barnard and featuring Saskatchewan rock band The Sheepdogs.

Additional World Premieres include: BIRD CO. MEDIA by Vancouver director Jason Bourque, THE MOVIE OUT HERE directed by David Hicks, MAD SHIP directed by David Mortin, STATUS QUO? directed by Karen Cho; and TEMPTING FEAR directed by Mike Douglas.

Whistler Film Festival screenings are organized in ten categories. Returning programming strands include the Borsos Competition for Best Canadian Featurepresented by the Directors Guild of Canada – British Columbia where eight diverse titles – up from last year’s six – will compete for a $15,000 cash prize, the second highest award of its kind in Canada. The Documentary competition returns with an expanded eight titles, three directed by women, two being world premieres. This year, Mountain Culture is back with four titles, two of which are world premieres. WFF’s World Now will showcase four films from diverse corners of the world including the Canadian Premiere of I AM NASRINE (UK/Iran) directed by Tina Gharavi and the English Canadian Premiere of KARAKARA (Canada/Japan) from director Claude Gagnon. This year’sShortWork is comprised of 34 diverse shorts curated into five programs. Three films make up this year’s Special Presentations: Luc Dionne’s OMERTA (English Canadian Premiere) starring Rachelle Lefevre; ANNA KARENINA (Western Canadian Premiere) directed by Joe Wright; and MARS AVRIL (BC Premiere) directed by Martin Villeneuve.

WFF’s four new programming strands include a Late Night Terrorfest presented by Anchor Bay that will showcase two great Canadian horror films: AMERICAN MARYdirected by Vancouver’s Soska sisters, and THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF ROSALIND LEIGH directed by Toronto’s Rodrigo Gudino, in addition to BATTLE ROYALE by Japanese director Kinji Fakusaku and the Mexican film EL TOPO, directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky. A selection of all age friendly flicks make up WFF’s newGKids Showcase, which includes four animated films from around the world, includingZARAFA and THE RABBI’S CAT from the Oscar winning distributor Gkids. Canadian cinema takes centre stage in WFF’s new Discoveries series showcasing two Canuck films: the Western Canadian Premiere of HIT ‘N STRUM by Vancouver director Kirk Caoutte and DEAR MR. GACY, by director Svetozar Ristovski. Finally, the American Indies stream includes four titles including two films starring the talented Julia Stiles: the Canadian Premiere of BETWEEN US directed by Dan Mirvish and Todd Berger’s IT’S A DISASTER.

The Festival continues to support cinematic excellence and will award over $30,000 in cash prizes and commissions for the $15,000 Borsos Award for Best New Canadian Feature presented by the Directors Guild of Canada – British Columbia; the $1,000 Best Canadian Short Film Award; the $500 Best British Columbia Student Short Film Award presented by Capilano University Film Centre; and the MPPIA Short Film Award presented by MPPIA and BC Film ($15,000 cash prize plus up to $100,000 in services). Awards will also be provided for the Best Documentary, Best Mountain Culture Film and the Audience Award for best feature of the Festival. All awards will be handed out at WFF’s Awards Brunch on December 2, 2012.

From November 28 to December 2, the Whistler Film Festival will celebrate its 12th edition set in North America’s premiere mountain resort. The Festival will host filmmaking luminaries for an intimate five-day program of screenings, tributes, industry initiatives and special events. Recognized by filmmakers and film lovers alike as one of Canada’s most important showcases for film, the Whistler Film Festival is a place where artists are celebrated, audiences are inspired, new ideas are discussed, and business opportunities are solidified.

Individual film and ticket packages are now on sale and industry and festival passes are also available (until December 2nd). The Festival Box Office is open for phone sales and on November 22nd for walk-in sales. Best accommodation rates are available starting from $79* per night until November 8th. For information, go to

The Whistler Film Festival is supported by Telefilm Canada, the Province of British Columbia, the Resort Municipality of Whistler and Tourism Whistler, and is sponsored by Bell Media, Variety, the Directors Guild of Canada – British Columbia, American Airlines, Sorel, Kokanee, Glacier Media Group and the Westin Resort Spa Whistler.

World Premieres:

  • BIRD CO. MEDIA (Canada) Dir. Jason Bourque
  • THE MOVIE OUT HERE (Canada) Dir. David Hicks
  • BRUCE COCKBURN PACING THE CAGE (Canada) Dir. Joel Goldberg (World Premiere of Director’s Cut)
  • MAD SHIP (Canada) Dir. David Mortin
  • STATUS QUO? (Canada), Dir. Karen Cho
  • THE SHEEPDOGS HAVE AT IT (Canada) Dir. John Barnard

North American Premiere:

  • BLOOD PRESSURE (Canada) Dir. Sean Garrity

Canadian Premieres:

  • BETWEEN US (USA) Dir. Dan Mirvish
  • FEW WORDS (France) Dir. Candide Thovex
  • I AM NASRINE (UK/Iran) Dir. Tina Gharavi
  • KNIFE FIGHT (USA), Dir. Bill Guttentag
  • WHITE DEER PLAIN (China) Dir. Wang Quan’an
  • 56UP (UK) Dir. Michael Apted

English Canadian Premieres:

  • BEAUTY AND THE BREAST (Canada), Dir. Liliana Komorowska
  • DRIVING TO THE EDGE (Dérapages) (Canada) Dir. Paul Arcand
  • FAIR SEX (Canada) Dir. Martin Laroche
  • KARAKARA (Canada/Japan) Dir. Claude Gagnon
  • OMERTÄ (Canada) Dir. Luc Dionne

Western Canadian Premieres:

  • AMERICAN MARY (Canada) Dir. Jen and Sylvia Soska
  • ANNA KARENINA (UK) Dir. Joe Wright
  • ALL THAT YOU POSSESS (Tout ce que tu possèdes) (Canada) Dir. Bernard Émond
  • FROM UP ON POPPY HILL (Japan) Dir. Goro Miyazaki
  • HIT ‘N STRUM (Canada) Dir. Kirk Caouette
  • HOME AGAIN (Canada) Dir. Sudz Sutherland
  • IN THE HOUSE (Dans La Maison) Dir. François Ozon
  • LOVE MARILYN (USA) Dir. Liz Garbus
  • MEET THE FOKKENS (Netherland) Dir. Rob Schröder and Gabrielle Provaas
  • MY AWKWARD SEXUAL ADVENTURE (Canada) Dir. Sean Garrity
  • PICTURE DAY (Canada) Dir. Kate Melville
  • STILL (Canada) Dir. Michael McGowan
  • THE PAINTING (France) Dir. Jean-François Laguionie
  • THE RABBI’S CAT (France) Dir. Antoine Delesvaux and Joann Sfar
  • ZARAFA (France) Dir. Rémi Bazançon

BC Premieres:

  • ALTER EGOS (Canada) Dir. Jordan Galland
  • IT’S A DISASTER (USA) Dir. Todd Berger
  • MARS AND AVRIL (Canada) Dir. Martin Villeneuve
  • READY TO FLY (USA) Dir. William Kerig

Whistler Premiere:

  • THE MOUNTAIN RUNNERS (USA) Dir. Brian Young and Todd Warger


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