Whistler Fest unveils film lineup, with six world bows

Jason Bourque's Bird Co. Media and David Hicks' The Movie Out Here have been booked into a Canadian film-heavy lineup from newly-installed director of programming Paul Gratton.
Whistler Film Festival

The Whistler Film Festival on Thursday unveiled world premieres for six films, and all homegrown titles, including Jason Bourque’s Bird Co. Media and David Hicks’ The Movie Out Here.

The announcement came as newly-installed director of programming Paul Gratton unwrapped a Canadian film-heavy lineup for Whistler’s upcoming 12th edition.

There’s also world bows for Joel Goldberg’s director’s cut of Bruce Cockburn Pacing the Cage, David Mortin’s Mad Ship, Karen Cho’s Status Quo and The Sheepdogs Have At it, by John Barnard.

Among in all 75 film titles booked for Whistler is a North American debut for Sean Garrity’s Blood Pressure, and Canadian bows for American films like Dan Mirvish’s Between Us, Bill Guttentag’s Knife Fight and British director Michael Apted’s 56up.

The Whistler mix this year has 41 features and 34 shorts, to unspool on four theatres over 5 days.

And in a departure from past years, only eight films booked into Whistler first bowed at the Toronto International Film Festival as Gratton looks to distinguish itself from rival events.

“We are succeeding in carving out a distinct niche for Whistler amidst the plethora of film festivals that currently dot the media landscape,” he explained.

As previously announced, Michael McGowan’s Still, a TIFF title, will open Whistler this year, while Barnard’s The Sheepdogs Have At It will close the festival, with the Saskatchewan rock band The Sheepdogs in attendance.

And new this year at Whistler is the Late Night Terrorfest sidebar, with two Canadian horror films, American Mary, by  twin sisters Jen and Sylvia Soska, Rodrigo Gudino’s The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh.

The Whistler Film Festival, which includes the Borsos Competition, is set to run from November 28 to December 2.