A film project about a Sikh American's life since 9/11 has bagged a $36,000 prize package.
That's because Toronto producer Jaskaran Singh's Jersey Boy came out on top in the Whistler Film Festival's Power Pitch Competition, which included three B.C. and three other Ontario filmmakers.
According to the festival, the film project addresses the lead character's loss of innocence in youth, difficult adolescence, and how he moves beyond that in adulthood.
The jury praised Jersey Boy's "fresh take on a story that was both personal and universal in its multilayered approach to confronting identity in its myriad forms".
Singh was raised in New Jersy, which has the highest percentage of people of Indian ancestry of any state in America.
“This year’s online Power Pitch Competition opened up new doors for participants to get their creative projects directly to decision-makers,” Whistler Film Festival managing director Angela Heck said in a news release.
“Through the program, all participants received a tremendous opportunity to get noticed, gain invaluable business skills, and captivate a global online audience.”
The prize includes a $25,000 post-production credit from Company 3 and a $10,000 lighting and grip production credit from William F. White International Inc., as well as $1,000 in cash.
In addition, Singh will be able to meet privately with each of the jury members: Impossible Objects cofounder Naveen Prasad, Metro International Entertainment (U.K.) partner and CEO Will Machin, and Bell Media production executive for drama and feature film original programming Gosia Kamela.
Los Angeles-based pitch master Carole Kirschner offered a workshop to all seven finalists to help them sell their feature films online to the jury.
The Whistler Film Festival continues until December 20. All films are available online through the festival's website until December 31.
The other finalists were Jason Karman, Krista Rand, Bryan Demore, Sibel Guvenc, Simon Paluck, and Todd McCauley.