Twenty is the magic number for a B.C. film festival this year.
With 20 weeks to go, the Whistler Film Festival (WFF) announced that it will celebrate its 20th anniversary during its 2020 edition that will be held online from December 1 to 20.
While the virtual version will broaden its audience reach, the festival is also endeavouring to simultaneously hold an adapted physical edition from December 2 to 5 to present film premieres at screenings with physical distancing measures in place. (This component will depend on venues and workplace practices meeting provincial public health guidelines.)
This year’s festival will adapt all of the elements of previous annual events—including talks by 20 actors and filmmakers, and industry programming—to virtual presentations and will include video-on-demand presentations of films.
While 2019 offered 86 films (43 feature films and 43 short films), this year will present 30 new feature films and five short film programs.
A new element this year is the Sea to Sky Short Showcase to spotlight works by local filmmakers.
The WFF Content Summit will be presented virtually over three weeks to help filmmakers connect with industry professionals and markets, and will include workshops, information sessions, master classes, discussions, and both networking and one-on-one meetings.
In addition, 11 domestic WFF Talent Programs for all Canadian talent from screenwriters and producers to actors and musicians will also be held virtually, starting in October.
The annual awards celebration will be held online on December 6 and will include seven juried sections presenting 15 awards, including the Borsos Competition for Best Canadian Feature and Documentary.
The festival will begin announcing specific programming details in September, including whether or not the physical edition is confirmed.
The WFF is also continuing its 20/20 fundraising campaign, in which it is seeking to raise $150,000 that a donor will match with a donation of the same amount (so far, $100,000 has been raised), until August 15.
For full details, visit the WFF website.
Here's a brief look at some highlights from the 2019 festival.