The Whistler Film Festival wrapped its 19th edition last Sunday (December 8) with Antigone emerging as the big winner. Described by the jury as a “stunning, provocative film that captures the heartbreaking and complex realities of immigration”, writer-director Sophie Deraspe’s reimagining of Sophocles in modern Montreal received four of the five Borsos Competition awards, taking best Canadian film along with best-director and best-screenplay honours and a best-performance nod for Nahéma Ricci. Deraspe also shared the EDA award for best female-directed feature with Sarah Megan Thomas (Liberté: A Call to Spy). The remaining Borsos award was given to cinematographer Celiana Cárdenas for her work in The Cuban.
Daniel Roher’s Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band was named best world documentary, with an honourable mention going to Pandora’s Box: Lifting the Lid on Menstruation. In the category of best B.C. director, Tony Dean Smith took a well-deserved trophy for his work on the Vancouver-shot sci-fi thriller Volition. Presenting on behalf of the Directors Guild of Canada, filmmaker Zach Lipovsky stated: “Tony shows complete control and mastery of this twisting, mind-bending thriller, and is an incredible representation of the surge in directing talent coming from B.C.” The doc Coming Homewas named best mountain-culture film. Further prizes were handed to the shorts “My Favourite Food Is Indian Tacos, My Favourite Drink Is Iced Tea and My Favourite Thing Is Drumming” (Canadian), “New Washing Machine” (B.C.), and “Daughter” (international).