Whistler Film Festival – Top 10 Programmer Picks
Whistler Film Festival is right around the corner and the ‘coolest’ festival on the film fest circuit has such an impressive list of films that it’s going to make decision-making even tougher this year.
What to see? Well, we have the top picks from WFF’s uber-talented Programming Director Paul Gratton, which will help you curate a roster of movies to make the most of your festival experience.
Don’t want to choose? Go for the WFF ‘Numb-Bum’ award and try to see them all!
1. LIBERTE: A CALL TO SPY
North American premiere of a top-notch true-life spy thriller set during WWII, about a group of courageous women who were recruited by Churchill to keep tabs on the Nazis occupying France at the time. Studio level indie feature shot in Budapest, featuring Rossif Sutherland.
World Premiere of a visually gobsmacking feature about a young beach bum who enters a kite-surfing competition on the golden beaches of the Dominican Republican. The lead actor has gone on to become a world champion kite-surfer.
3. COMPULSIVE LIAR (MENTEUR)
The highest Canadian grossing film of the year (6.3M) is also the funniest. A compulsive liar wakes up in an alternate universe where all his lies have become reality. This one cries out for an American remake.
Canadian premiere of a gritty Aussie film noir shot in the same outback area that was the setting for the second Mad Max movie. Reminiscent of the classic Donald Pleasence thriller Outback (aka Wake in Fright) in its depiction of remote Australian small-town malevolence.
5. THE GREY FOX
World Premiere of a new colour-corrected digital copy of what is arguably the greatest film ever produced in Western Canada, directed by Philip Borsos. This masterpiece will be presented by producer Peter O’Brian (a juror for this year’s Borsos awards) and members of the Borsos family.
Loosely based on the Sophocles play and updated to Montreal’s immigrant community, this is WFF alumna Sophie Desrape’s latest critical darling, winner of the Best Canadian film at this year’s TIFF and Canada’s representative in this year’s renamed International Film category at the Oscars.
7. PANDORA’S BOX: LIFTING THE LID ON MENSTRUATION
World Premiere of Director Rebecca Snow’s still taboo documentary on how female menstruation is used as a means of inciting shame and oppressing women within patriarchal political and religious systems in many parts of the world, from Africa and India, to England and the United States.
8. THE MARIJUANA CONSPIRACY
Unbelievable but true story about a secret Ontario government study designed to prove that marijuana use impedes productivity in women, as a counter-argument to the federal LeDain Commission’s findings that pot was relatively benign as a drug. Not a documentary, but truly hard to believe that it was okay to isolate thirty women for 90 days from the outside world, and subject them to extreme social engineering manipulations.
9. GUILT (LE COUPABLE)
Turkish-born Montreal based filmmaker Onur Karaman has made a moving and deeply reflective meditation on sin, crime and guilt, as the destruction of a young teenage girl by a manipulative pimp is juxtaposed against a philosophical discussion of the nature of guilt by a university professor. A passion project from the director, self financed for $40,000
10. THE ARTIST’S WIFE
Canadian Premiere of a wonderfully acted story set in the world of high art. One of the most acclaimed abstract expressionists in the world is secretly suffering from Alzheimer’s, but he needs to summon his creativity for one last exhibition, aided and abetted by his beautiful younger wife. Lena Olin and Bruce Dern shine in the central roles.
These Top 10 suggestions are a great way to get started, and with 86 films and 96 screenings to choose from, the ‘Numb Bum’ award of 2019 could be YOURS!
Whistler Film Festival
December 4-8, 2019
Get your tickets for the 19th edition of ‘Canada’s coolest film fest’. Featuring 90+ fresh films from around the world and opportunities to connect with the people who made them.