Whistler Film Festival 2020 will be presented as an online experience from December 1-20, 2020, featuring film premieres, filmmaker and talent talks, and industry initiatives all scheduled for streaming convenience. The lineup will include up to 30 new feature films and five short film programs. Available across Canada for the first time, here are eight #WatchBC titles you can stream from the comfort of your home this December.
SUGAR DADDY (Dir. Wendy Morgan)
SUGAR DADDY follows the story of Darren – a wickedly talented and unconventional young musician who dreams of making music like nobody has ever heard before. But she’s broke, juggling multiple part-time jobs, and has no time to create. Desperate for cash, she signs up to a sugar daddy paid-dating website and throws herself down a dark rabbit hole that forces her to grow up fast, shaping her music, and how she sees the world.
ALL IN MADONNA (Dir. Arnold Lim)
Maddie is a seventeen year-old teenager who has been homeschooled since childhood. Maddie has been raised with her younger sister by a rather hard-edged father Paul in a remote rural area in a rainforest. When she insists that the time has come to attend public school and make friends, she finds that her father’s warnings that it will not be so easy start to make sense. The community seems to have a rather negative view of Maddie’s family, and seems to believe that Paul has been involved in a murder. Maddie is forced to look at her father in a whole new way, and must reconcile the man she thought she knew with the man that he might well be.
AN INTROVERTS GUIDE TO HIGHSCHOOL (Dir. Sophie Harvey)
A very funny fast-paced first feature from Sophie Harvey, WFF almuna producer Rachel Talalay’s daughter. The film takes a very funny look at a six week course offered in American high schools to help students prepare for their SAT tests.
THE DECLINE (Dir. Kayvon Saremi & Sean Patrick Shaul)
An insider’s guide to life in the streets of drug-ravaged East Vancouver, THE DECLINE actually points to something that is surprising for people who don’t live in Vancouver but have visited or heard of the opioid crisis ravaging the city. The fact is that there are activists and residents who are actively working to get the government to pay better attention to the area’s problems. Users are interviewed, some of them quite lucid when it comes to the possible outcomes of the choices they are making. As the film points out, surprisingly, there is a sense of community in the neighbourhood.
IN HER CITY (Dir. Carl Bessai)
Regular WFF contributor BC filmmaker Carl Bessai has been experimenting with storytelling form and structure ever since his first film JOHNNY (1999), about squeegee kids in Toronto. In film after film like MOTHERS & DAUGHTERS, FATHERS & SONS, and SISTERS & BROTHERS, Bessai has been approaching a short story perspective where improvisation and pointed character unveiling have made working on his films an actor’s dream. But here, he has outdone himself.
INDIAN ROAD TRIP (Dir. A.W. Hopkins)
This is a comic tall-tale about two Indigenous con artists, forced to drive a cranky elder across the reserve so she can make peace with her dying sister. Along the way, they encounter what might be supernatural forces and a stash of stolen loot in a car seat from a wreck they come across.
MERCY (Dir. Sam Flamont)
Shot in Regina, and financed by the Telefilm Talent Fund, this is an astute first feature from Sam Flamont about a young man named Finn who is sent to a medium-security prison for six months for killing a wounded deer. Finn is a quiet boy who likes to keep to himself, but there are some very scary fellows in the prison., including big hairy men who threaten the lives and the sexuality of their fellow inmates.
THE WHISPER OF SILENCE (Dir. Alfonso Quijada)
Josefina Moreno has been working in the coffee fields of Central America since the age of ten. Over the years, she has developed an old factory expertise that allows her to evaluate and appreciate coffee beans with precision. This has come in handy as she has grown up within the industry. Now that she is 18, she is coveted, acting as a coffee taster in coffee bean competitions and sought out by coffee companies to work on their behalf identifying the best beans for cultivation and export.