Canadian director Bruce McDonald on why he loves the Whistler Film Festival

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      What does Canadian filmmaker Bruce McDonald think is so great about the Whistler Film Festival?

      “The Whistler Film Festival is my favourite film festival in the world,” he told the Georgia Straight. “ ’Cuz everybody’s so high, I guess.”

      (Did he mean, er”¦altitude?)

      While partying certainly was a factor, he did go on to give other reasons. “People walk, they don’t take cabs cross town and get lost, and everybody is connected. It’s the perfect size. You get both sides of the coin: top of the mountain and deep bar drinking. And it’s a great generous spirit here. And I think it’s the beginning of a really great sort of world-class festival. The team that they’ve put together, it’s taken 10 years, but I think everybody felt it this year and was like, ”˜Wow, this is something.’ ”

      Mind you, the feeling appears to be mutual. The WFF also clearly loves McDonald. The veteran director was not only honoured in a tribute alongside American filmmaker Monte Hellman (Reservoir Dogs executive producer, Road to Nowhere director), but he also had three films in the lineup.

      The 10th anniversary gala presented the world premiere of Hard Core Logo II, the sequel to his 1996 punkumentary (based on Michael Turner’s novel), to a warmly receptive audience on December 4. His documentary Music From the Big House, which follows Canadian blues singer Rita Chiarelli to the birthplace of the blues, the Louisiana State Maximum Security Penitentiary, where she performs alongside inmates, screened on the same day.

      There was also a screening of Trigger, his feature about two childhood friends and former bandmates (played by Molly Parker and the late Tracy Wright) who reunite. The film hits the Vancity Theatre (1181 Seymour Street) this Friday.

      “I felt like the belle of the ball,” McDonald said of his time at WFF. “It was something for them to be that generous and invite three very, very different movies, and every screening was really well attended and people [were] grooving on them. I don’t think that’s ever going to happen again. It’s just been a crazy year. It was a great way to sort of finish. It was a great finish line, this place. And everybody’s primed to get back home, get busy, and bring something back next year.”