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Threading Up the 2010 Whistler Film Festival

Daydream Nation - Opening Whistler Film Festival '10!
by Jason Whyte

This is my fourth year in attendance at the Whistler Film Festival, one of Canada’s best kept secrets. Or maybe the secret is not so much anymore; the 2009 edition attracted filmmakers, festival fans and press from all over the world at a much larger rate. And it’s not just about the movies. From the filmmaker panels to the snow-bound activities in the village, Whistler Film Festival is a unique experience every year. And now it turns 10 years old. Huzzah!

The former four day festival has now extended to five days, extending the long weekend of films, parties and networking. And as I mention every year and must do again, the festival is all located within the stroll of Whistler Village, making this a festival of convenience. Simply arrive at your hotel or condo and walk to all of the offerings at the festival; every event is mere moments walk away. And if you’re a local…well, you know what to do.

Kicking off the festival on Wednesday evening is the BC premiere of Canadian film “Daydream Nation”, directed by Michael Goldblach and starring Kat Dennings (“The 40 Year Old Virgin”) and Reece Thompson (“Rocket Science”). This opening night film takes place at the mammoth Telus Conference Centre, where the grand room is converted into a 1000-seat plus room with DLP cinema projection. Opening galas in years previous have included “One Week”, “The Trotsky” and “Days of Darkness”, and is always an event not to be missed.

There is also a gala world premiere of “Hard Core Logo II”, Bruce McDonald’s followup to his 1995 cult classic rock film. McDonald has two other films in the festival named “Trigger” and."Music From The Big House". It also must be noted that I saw his film “This Film is Broken” at South By Southwest in Austin this year. That's four films this year. Go look up the word "prolific" in the dictionary and see whose picture you find beside it.

In addition to these Canadian titles, the annual Borsos Competition, which supports indie Canadian filmmakers on the path to stardom, has a great lineup this year. I’m the most excited for “Good Neighbours”, which is Jacob Tierney’s followup to “The Trotsky” which opened Whistler last year. Among the others in competition include “Everything Louder Than Everything Else” which is a love letter to the Vancouver indie music scene, and “Jo For Jonathan” from Quebec.

Also on tap is Kelly Reichardt’s “Meek’s Cutoff” (her followup to the outstanding “Wendy & Lucy”), Jean Luc Godard’s new “Film Socialism” (which played at Cannes Film Festival to awe struck response), Derek Cifiance’s “Blue Valentine” which recently hit a whiff of controversy over its NC-17 rating in the United States. And a SxSW title I missed, Jeff Malmberg’s “Marwencol”, gets two screenings over the weekend.

The festival closes with Whistler story entitled “2 Frogs In The West”, about a French-Canadian girl who moves to Whistler and tries to make it as a young adult. Screening as the opening gala does at the Conference Centre, this is always a nice way to send out the festival.

If one gets tired of watching movies, there are also many socializing parties, a celebrity ski challenge, panels and networking forums, and also bear in mind that there’s a lot of sightseeing and skiing to take part in in this village. I have never had a problem finding something to do or someone to catch a meal with during all my years at the festival. If you get bored at this year’s Whistler Film Festival, you’re just not doing this festival right.

Over the next few days, watch for some director interviews for movies playing in the festival, as well as photos and wrapup over the course of the weekend.

Be sure to follow instant happenings of Whistler Film Festival on my Twitter account @jasonwhyte, including mini-reviews of films, comments on festival action and even a Tweetphoto or two. #whisfilmfest or @whisfilmfest are the official hashtags.

There is a lot to do at this year’s Whistler Film Festival, and I have only brushed the surface. For show information, tickets and for other general information on films and events, point your browser to the official website HERE

Jason Whyte, efilmcritic.com

link directly to this feature at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/feature.php?feature=3122
originally posted: 12/01/10 11:25:02
last updated: 12/01/10 15:28:18
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