Drinkwater tapped for numerous awards at WFF

The film was the most popular for both in-person and online attendees at the annual event, which feted Canadian star Eric McCormack's illustrious career.

Coming-of-age comedy Drinkwater was the big audience winner at the 21st Whistler Film Festival, with its stars Eric McCormack, Daniel Doheny and Louriza Tronco all picking up additional accolades.

The Penticton, B.C.-shot film (pictured) directed by Stephen Campanelli (Million Dollar Baby) was tapped for the WFF Audience Award, a non-cash prize for the most popular film as chosen by attendees at the hybrid virtual/in-person held Dec. 1 to 10. The award presented by CBC Gem was announced on Dec. 28.

Runner-up Buried, a feature-length documentary, also received multiple honours; it previously picked up the Best Mountain Culture Film.

Drinkwater star McCormack (Travelers) received the Trailblazer Award, while co-stars Doheny (Day of the Dead) and Tronco (The Order) were chosen for the eighth annual Stars to Watch program, which provides an immersive industry experience courtesy of UBCP/ACTRA. Produced by Suitcase Charlie Films, the film previously won the Calgary Film Festival’s Audience Choice Award and Best Canadian Narrative.

“An unabashedly Canadian comedy is exactly what WFF audiences are in the mood for,” said Paul Gratton, director of film programming, in a statement. “It is fantastic to see this kind of support for a made-in-B.C. feature.”

In total, WFF delivered $74,500 in cash and production prizes, and 14 awards in seven juried film competitions previously announced at the fest’s award celebration on Dec. 19.

- Photo courtesy Suitcase Charlie Films