Whistler Film Festival showcases local talent

Festival features several films with a Whistler connection from Wednesday (Nov. 29) until Sunday (Dec. 3)

It can be hard to decide which of the Whistler Film Festival’s 87 films to see over the five-day event.

With 46 feature films and 41 short films, even the most dedicated cinephile will find it impossible to pack them all in. While the festival website — whistlerfilmfestival.com — is a great resource for descriptions and trailers for all of the Canadian films, documentaries, American independent films and family features screening, The Question decided to focus on some of the films with a local connection. Not surprisingly, you can find most of them under the Mountain Culture strand. (Note: last week we featured a story on Darcy Hennessey Turenne’s The Moment, which is closing the festival this year, so we’ve opted to exclude it from this list.)

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What: Tsirku
When:  Dec. 1 at 7 p.m., Maury Young Arts Centre
Dec. 3 at 4:30 p.m., Maury Young Arts Centre

Produced by The North Face and the Whistler-based production company Sherpas Cinemas, Tsirku follows two skiers and a snowboarder on their quest to tackle the “corrugated” spine on the Tsirku Glacier in Alaska. (You might remember these lines from Jeremy Jones’ Deeper.)

The trailer alone offers heart-stopping shots of a cornice snapping off, riders careening down steep mountain faces and picturesque, snow-covered peaks.

What: Fountain of Youth
When:  Dec. 1 at 7 p.m., Maury Young Arts Centre
Dec. 3 at 4:30 p.m., Maury Young Arts Centre

Freeski legend and local filmmaker Mike Douglas turns the camera on himself in an effort to find the key to youth that will allow him to keep his career alive. In this short film, Douglas travels to Japan and meets with Yuichiro Miura who skied down Everest in the 1975 documentary Crawley Films.

What: Becoming History
When:  Dec. 1 at 7 p.m., Maury Young Arts Centre
Dec. 3 at 4:30 p.m., Maury Young Arts Centre

Mike Douglas will make a second festival appearance in this film, which looks back on the two decades since the New Canadian Air Force — a ski crew that included JP Auclair, who died in an avalanche in 2014, JF Cusson, Vincent Dorion, Philou Poirier and Douglas. In this film they come together to look back and how far the sport of freeskiing has come.

What: Finding the Line
When: Dec. 1 at 7 p.m., Maury Young Arts Centre
Dec. 3 at 4:30 p.m., Maury Young Arts Centre

This film follows pro skiing sisters Anna and Nat Segal as they attempt to understand the fear involved with their inherently risky careers. Delving into how the brain processes fear, it aims to show that the emotion shouldn’t be entirely negative.

What: Shades of Winter: Crossroad
When: Dec. 1 at 7 p.m., Maury Young Arts Centre
Dec. 3 at 4:30 p.m., Maury Young Arts Centre

Last year, Austrian skier and filmmaker Sandra Lahnsteiner closed out the Whistler Film Festival with her film Shades of Winter: Between, a documentary that looked at female athleticism. This year, she’s back with Shades of Winter: Crossroads, a short film that she shot of her adventures through Canada with other female skiers.

What: The Cannon
When:  Dec. 1 at 9:30 p.m. Maury Young Arts Centre
Dec. 3 at 4 p.m., Village 8 – Theatre 6

The local connection in this film — the only on the list that doesn’t involve the mountains — is executive producer Peter Harvey, a former Whistlerite whose film Picture Day won the Borsos Award for Best Picture in 2012. The Cannon is a story about a middle aged porn star who’s facing a serious illness and looking at retiring from the industry.

To buy tickets or learn more visit whistlerfilmfestival.com.

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