Whistler Film Festival movies, including The Pink Cloud and Drinkwater, are available online across Canada

You don't have to travel to the B.C. resort be able to see a long list of indie films

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      The Whistler Film Festival wrapped up its in-person screenings at the all-season resort on December 5. But movie lovers can still enjoy most WFF offerings via the Internet until December 31.

      “We’re online across Canada,” WFF executive director Angela Heck told the Straight by phone. “So people can tell their friends if they’ve seen something awesome.”

      Today (December 13), the WFF began offering the video-on-demand premiere of Drinkwater. It’s a coming-of-age comedy directed by Stephen Campanelli, a longtime camera operator for Clint Eastwood.

      Set in Penticton, this quintessentially Canadian film stars Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) as Hank Drinkwater, a self-centred father to his awkward and occasionally bullied teenage son, Mike (Daniel Doheny).

      Mike strikes up a friendship with a girl named Wallace who moves in next door (Louriza Tronco), and together they run, cycle, and drive through some spectacular Okanagan scenery.

      Eric McCormack plays an oddball father to Daniel Doheny's character in  the charming and often amusing Drinkwater.

      Anyone who orders this and other films has 48 hours to finish watching it after hitting "play". The WFF splits the revenue of its online films 50-50 with the moviemakers—a practice that it began last year to help them through challenging times.

      “We’ve always been a filmmakers’ festival and actively promote Canadian independent voices in cinema,” Heck said.

      The WFF was an early advocate for gender parity in its ranks of directors. This year, according to Heck, the WFF achieved exact parity between male-directed feature films and features directed by women and nonbinary people. There is a majority of women and nonbinary directors once the shorts are included in the count.

      “That really signals a shift in the industry,” Heck said.

      Watch the trailer for $avvy.

      One of the woman-directed films is $avvy, Robin Hauser’s well-regarded documentary on the need for women to pay attention to their finances. The WFF presented the Canadian premiere in Whistler and it’s now available online.

      Another woman-directed film that had its Canadian premiere at the festival is Katie Boland’s We’re All In This Together. Based on a novel by Amy Jones, the film focuses on a Thunder Bay family, with Boland playing twins who don’t get along.

      Watch the trailer for We're All in This Together.

      Another women-directed film that will be available online is Valerie Buhagiar’s Carmen, which is set in Malta. It revolves around a middle-age woman breaking free of the church and discovering romance.

      “It’s absolutely beautiful and lyrical and very calming in a chaotic time,” Heck said.

      Watch the trailer for Carmen.

      Other female-directed films include Rebecca Campbell’s exposé on federal fertility-industry restrictions called The Secret Society and Iuli Gerbase’s pre–COVID-19 lockdown film The Pink Cloud.

      “We’ve taken a very, very deliberate approach in making our entire programming representative,” Heck said.

      Watch the trailer for The Secret Society.

      The WFF also takes pride in its selection of films by francophone directors. Heck pointed to Luc Picard’s Confessions of a Hit Man as one of these movies worth watching. (This film is not available to online viewers in Quebec.)

      In addition to being the director, Picard plays Gérald Gallant, a paid real-life assassin who worked for Quebec biker gangs, in what the festival is calling “Canada’s own version of The Irishman”.

      Information about more than 60 online features and shorts being screened is available at WhistlerFilmFestival.com.

      Watch the trailer for Confessions of a Hit Man.