Broadcaster Magazine

Whistler Festival Unveils Program

From November 30 to December 2, 2012, filmmakers and dealmakers will meet amid the snow-capped peaks at the Whistler Film Festival’s annual industry Summit, which features three concentrated days of business programmes and networking where industry can delve into the ever-evolving convergence of the art, technology and commerce of cinema. Designed to foster innovation, connections and deals, this year’s Whistler Summit covers a range of issues affecting the film, television and the digital media industry.

“This year, the Whistler Summit is all about reaching out,” says WFF’s Director of Programming Paul Gratton. “Reaching out to China, in the form of co-productions; drawing attention to visual effects and TV movie production; and new platform digital distribution opportunities, originating from media savvy entrepreneurs.”

New for 2012, Feature Length Dramas Made for Television will offer an unprecedented opportunity for screenwriters and directors to meet with producers who represent a significant volume of the domestic film industry. Panelists include: Shawn Williamson, Producer/Partner, Brightlight Pictures; Tom Berry, President, Reel One Entertainment; and Valerie Creighton, President & CEO, Canadian Media Fund.

New for 2012, The Evolution of Exhibition session brings together traditional distributors and online entrepreneurs to discuss alternative distribution and exhibition options available to filmmakers. Distribution trailblazers include First Weekend Club and its soon-to-launch Video on Demand service and the CineCoup Film Accelerator, a groundbreaking social web platform designed to bridge the gap between traditional filmmaking models and the next generation of media consumers. Guests include: Andrew Frank, Director, Home Entertainment, Mongrel Media; Anita Adams, Founder & Executive Director, First Weekend Club; Brad Pelman, President, Pelman Corp Consultants; J Joly, CEO/Founder, CineCoup & OverInteractive Media Inc; and Moderator Tim Brown, CEO, Joker Films.

The Global Nature of the VFX Process will bring top studio experts together to discuss new technologies that can help indie filmmakers streamline processes and compete with heavy hitters on the big and little screen. Panelists include: Ara Khanikian, Head of 2D, Rodeo FX; Greg Holmes, CEO, Image Engine Design Inc.; Ivy Zhong, Vice Chairman and Chairwoman of Digital Domain; Oscar Winner Ray Feeney, CEO, RFX; and Moderator Warren Franklin, Producer/Chairman Vancouver section, Visual Effects Society.

The inaugural China Canada Gateway for Film Script Competition taking place on November 29 will offer valuable insight into Canada China co-productions and accessing China’s growing domestic film market. Industry delegates can observe 12 experienced Canadian writer/producer teams pitch their projects to three of China’s top studios (Wuxi Studios, Hairun Pictures and Galloping Horse) and a panel of international experts.

Returning for 2012, In Conversation: A View from the Top, moderated by Variety’s Executive Editor, Steven Gaydos, offers an opportunity for industry delegates to hear from unique voices at the top of their field.

New this year, Advances in Stereoscopic 3D is a workshop that traces the evolution of the Emily Carr S3D Centre from its conception to its most current research project exploring higher frame rates. Joining workshop leader and Director, Dr. Maria Lantin are S3D team members: Alan Goldman and Denise Quesnel (Adjunct Researchers) and Sean Arden (Research Technician). Stereoscopic content will be shown to demonstrate the S3D Centre’s work and future direction.

WFF’s new Shortwork Lab, offers a full day of information sessions, panels and networking events with firsthand insight into the world of narrative short-form storytelling. Experienced filmmakers and industry experts include Pixar Canada’s Creative Director, Dylan Brown and Chief Technical Officer, Darwyn Peachey as well as Director Mark Walsh (Partysaurus Rex).

Filmmakers and producers with industry experience and production credits will have the opportunity to sign up for high-level one-on-one meetings to pitch their projects to commissioning editors, sales agents, distributors and other key execs attending the Festival. Guests confirmed to date include: Andrew Frank, Director, Home Entertainment, Mongrel Media; Andy West, Movies & Television, iTunes Canada; Berry Meyerowitz, President & CEO, Phase 4 Film; Brad Pelman, President, Pelman Corp Consultants; Kristen Figeroid, Senior VP of Sales, Sierra/Affinity; J Joly, CEO/founder, OverInteractive Media Inc & CineCoup; Kerr Moraes-Sugiyama, Manager of Programming, Western Region, APTN; Mimi Steinbauer, President and Founder at Radiant Films International; Tim Brown, CEO, Joker Films; Tracey Friesen, Executive Producer, National Film Board among others.

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, Zoom Audio Visual Networks, Christie Digital, Glacier Media Group, Whistler Blackcomb and the Westin Resort & Spa Whistler.