Looking for a reason (or five) to take an extended weekend trip to Whistler this December? Well, look no further.
The Whistler Film Festival (WFF), running from December 4 to 8, provides attendees with the opportunity to get cultured, while still taking part in quintessential Whistler activities.
The five-day event provides budding and seasoned movie lovers with the chance to meet filmmakers and actors, while attending fresh screenings, red carpet events, music events, and parties.
1. Catch a packed lineup of entertaining films and talent.
Many of the 90 films are world premieres and several yet-to-be announced stars will be attending. The diverse lineup is sure to appeal to every guest’s interests.
The WFF is set to open this year with the Canadian premiere of Lost Transmissions, directed by Katharine O’Brien and starring Simon Pegg and Juno Temple. Pegg and Temple shine as L.A. music-scene devotees, with mental health issues. They decide to abandon their medications in their quest for unfettered musical greatness.
The realistic film may ring true to anyone who has had to manage mental illness and could prove unforgettable to those who have not.
Closing the 2019 festival is the western Canadian premieres of Grosso’s Loveletters to Canada and The Tony Alva Story, co-directed by Coan Buddy Nichols and Rick Charnoski.
In this new Canada-centric episode, Grosso visits some of Canada’s most iconic skate spots and catches up with local luminaries—from Joe Buffalo in Ottawa to Rob Boyce in Vancouver. The series is popular among skate communities around the world.
Lastly, The Tony Alva Story will wrap up the festival. This film chronicles skateboarder Tony Alva’s humble beginnings on the streets of Santa Monica.
Additional events and guests will be released during the upcoming month.
2. Eat through Whistler’s foodie scene and lively après options.
Guests can indulge in raw oysters at the sleek Araxi Restaurant or order house-made charcuterie boards and carefully crafted cocktails at Bar Oso, pre- or post- film screenings.
For those looking for a restaurant with a more laid-back vibe and casual eats, check out Sushi Village and Hunter Gather. Whistler’s quintessential après ski scene can be experienced at Merlin’s Bar and Grill or the Dubh Linn Gate Irish Pub.
For coffee and quality baked goods between film viewings, head to Purebread, Lift Coffee Company or Mount Currie Coffee Co.
3. Experience the snow—without the crowds.
This time of year is one of Whistler’s best kept secrets as the snow is falling but the slopes and Village aren’t overly crowded.
Exploring the picturesque winter wonderland between film festivities is a sure-fire way to capture beautiful photos and possibly bump into a film star. During the month of December, the Village is decorated with magical twinkling lights and other Christmas décor.
Spending the night (or four) in the Village is the best way to experience the WFF.
4. Get educated on films before awards season.
Festivalgoers can watch indie films like Antigone—Canada’s entry in this year’s foreign-language Oscar category, directed by Sophie Deraspe. Other highlights include the only Canadian film festival screening of The Irishman, directed by Martin Scorsese.
The highest-grossing Canadian film of the year, Emile Goudreault’s Compulsive Liar (Menteur), will also be presented. In addition, other films such as Hope Gap, The Aeronauts, Ordinary Love, and The Kindness of Strangers will be shown at the festival.
5. Ski or snowboard the world-class mountains.
Kick winter off right with a day of skiing or snowboarding on Whistler’s legendary slopes. Explore the beginner-to-expert trails on both Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, dine in the alpine, and take in the breathtaking 360-degree views from the PEAK 2 PEAK gondola.
For more information on the Whistler Film Festival, tickets and accommodation, and things to do in Whistler, visit whistler.com/filmfestival.