The 20th Annual Whistler Film Festival Is Waving Submission Fees For Canadian Filmmakers.
Updated: Apr 8
In what is a great move to support Canadian filmmakers Whistler Announced yesterday that they will be lifting the submission fees for this year's festival, which is scheduled for Dec 2-6, 2020
The press release is below:
Celebrating 20 years as ‘Canada’s Coolest Film Festival,’ the Whistler Film Festival (WFF) has opened film submissions for this year’s festival scheduled for December 2 to 6, 2020. Celebrating cinematic excellence, the 2020 Whistler Film Festival will feature eight juried competitive sections with 15 awards and over $146,500 in cash prizes and commissions ($31,500 in cash prizes and $115,000 in prizes). Canadian and International filmmakers are invited to submit films of all lengths and genres by August 15, 2020. To support Canadian creators in light of the current worldwide situation due to COVID-19, WFF is extending fee waivers for Canadian filmmakers for the month of April when submitting for the following categories: Canadian Narrative Feature Film, Canadian ShortWork, and BC Student ShortWork Competition.
(above-Paul Gratton Director of Film Programming) “In these uncertain and challenging times, it is worth noting that the Whistler Film Festival remains the last significant North American festival within the calendar year and, in nine months, we truly hope to be able to continue to carry on our reputation as ‘one of the top destination film festivals in North America,’” says Paul Gratton, WFF’s Director of Film Programming. “With a focus on indie production that continues to grow in prestige and influence each year, WFF serves as an entry point to the North American market, offering unique publicity and distribution opportunities for our curated films. Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, Whistler is one festival that filmmakers can’t afford to miss.” Award categories include the Borsos Competition for Best Canadian Feature Competition which comprises of six awards, Best BC Director, World Documentary, Mountain Culture, International and Canadian ShortWork, the BC Student ShortWork Award, and the MPPIA Short Film Award, as well as the Alliance of Women Female Journalists’ EDA Awards for Best Feature and Best Short. Each honor will be awarded by a jury of three industry experts. All feature-length films are also eligible for the Audience Award to be selected by the festival attendees.
Celebrating its 16th edition, the Borsos Competition for Best Canadian Feature, presented by the Directors Guild of Canada, British Columbia, honors independent vision, original directorial style, and the diversity of talent found in Canadian independent film. All-new, narrative feature films by Canadian filmmakers with Western Canadian premieres at the festival will be eligible. For 15 consecutive years, Borsos Competition entries have exuded and celebrated the creative fire and artistry embodied by filmmaker Phillip Borsos, known for his inspiring work on the award-winning films THE GREY FOX (1982), and BETHUNE: THE MAKING OF A HERO (1990). An international jury of three seasoned industry veterans adjudicates the six awards: Best Canadian Feature Film (the largest cash and commission festival prize for a Canadian film after TIFF), which includes a $15,000 cash prize presented by the Directors Guild of Canada, British Columbia and $15,000 post-production prize sponsored by Encore Vancouver; Best Director of a Borsos Film presented by the Directors Guild of Canada, British Columbia; Best Screenplay for a Borsos Film; Best Performance in a Borsos Film; and Best Cinematography in a Borsos Film sponsored by the International Cinematographers Guild | Local 669. This year, the festival is adding Best Editing Award to its list of prestigious Borsos Competition selections. In 2019, 20 entries were presented. Esteemed jury members have included Peter O Brian, Jamie M. Dagg, Bruce McDonald, Jennifer Dale, Charles Officer, Sylvain Corbeil, Deepa Mehta, Jason Priestley, Luc Déry, Bruce Greenwood, Kim Cattrall, Ivan Reitman, Atom Egoyan, Donald Sutherland, Robert Lantos, and Norman Jewison among others to date. A new addition in 2019, the Best BC Director Award presented by the Directors Guild of Canada, British Columbia will recognize the achievements of a Director from British Columbia with a feature film at the festival. From the personal to the political, WFF’s World Documentary Competition will showcase innovative and unique documentaries from around the world. With courageous viewpoints and a deep-rooted desire to explore, these films capture the human spirit in its many guises and often challenge us to look at our world from a new perspective.
As a reflection of the festival’s unique setting, WFF’s Mountain Culture Film Competition honors films from around the world that capture mountain places and experiences with a cinematic flourish. Films may be feature-length or shorts and a Western Canadian Premiere status is encouraged, but films presenting BC premieres will also be accepted. WFF’s ShortWork Competition will showcase up to 45 short films (under 30 minutes in length) within five short film programs. Presented with verve and limited only by their duration, these short films display the extraordinary talent, dynamism and creative exploration found in the work of some of the world’s most interesting filmmakers. The jury will select both the International winner and a Canadian winner, who is eligible for a $1,000 cash prize.
WFF’s BC Student ShortWork Award will be presented to a short film produced by post-secondary students in British Columbia selected from a film program of up to ten films. The jury will select the winner which is eligible for a $500 cash prize. The 14th annual MPPIA Short Film Award, presented by MPPIA and Creative BC, will select five filmmakers from British Columbia to pitch their short film projects at WFF to a jury of industry professionals from the province. The winner will realize their project with a $15,000 cash award plus up to $100,000 in services and will have its world premiere screening at the 2021 Whistler Film Festival. Applications will open in July. The Alliance of Women Female Journalists (AWFJ) will present the EDA Awards for Best Female-Directed Narrative Feature and Best Female-Directed Short Film, selected by a jury of female journalists from North America. Film submission guidelines are now available at www.whistlerfilmfestival.com. Recognized as one of Canada's leading festivals and industry events, the Whistler Film Festival and Content Summit will welcome film fans and filmmakers to experience its 20th edition from December 2 to 6, 2020. Featuring innovative and original films from around the world and opportunities to connect with the people who made them, this year’s five-day fest will be filled with a solid lineup of premieres, artists of our time, lively celebrations, unique industry initiatives, time to play in North America’s premier mountain resort destination. The Whistler Film Festival is funded by the Government of Canada through Telefilm Canada, and by the Province of British Columbia and the Resort Municipality of Whistler through the Resort Municipality Initiative, and is sponsored by Creative BC, Cineplex, Directors Guild of Canada, British Columbia, Encore, RE/MAX Sea to Sky Real Estate, Tourism Whistler, Variety and Whistler Blackcomb.
Below I have included a video of interviews with stars, writers & directors from last year's festival: