The 17th annual Whistler Film Festival (WFF), taking place from November 29 to December 3, announced today its opening and closing night films and full program lineup. With more than 1,000 submissions, festival goers can look forward to 87 fresh films (46 features and 41 shorts) from over 15 countries, including leading award season fare, meritable Canadian content and more female directed films than ever before. ‘Canada’s Coolest Film Fest’ remains true to its mandate of discovering new talent, with the inclusion of 16 first time feature films, 14 feature films directed by women (representing 30% of this year’s feature film programming), and with 67% of its program premiering Canadian features – which is more than any other international Canadian film festival. Plus, WFF’s juries feature some of the industry’s top talent, who will award $146,500 in cash prizes and commissions.
Touted as one of this year’s Best Actor and Picture Oscar front-runners, Whistler Film Festival is set to open with Joe Wright’s DARKEST HOUR, starring Gary Oldman and Lily James, sponsored by Jackson Triggs. Endorsed by Winston Churchill’s estate, the film tells the story of Churchill’s refusal to engage in peace treaty negotiations with Nazi Germany during WWII, and his determination to fight on against incredible odds. Closing the festival is the World Premiere of THE MOMENT. Darcy Hennessey Turenne’s latest documentary feature uncovers the origin of Freeride Mountain Biking and its provenance in British Columbia by following a dedicated group of adventure seekers who changed the course of the sport forever.
Oscar-contending films screening at WFF include the Western Canadian premieres of I, TONYA, one of the most pleasant surprises of this year’s festival season about disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding, directed by Craig Gillespie and starring Margot Robbie; THE DISASTER ARTIST, directed and starring James Franco along with Dave Franco, tells the true-life story of Tommy Wiseau, Hollywood outsider and director of the cult-hit THE ROOM, which will also debut as the “From the Vault” selection; and Canada’s entry in this year’s Best Foreign-Language film Oscar competition HOCHELAGA, LAND OF SOULS directed by François Girard.
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