The Whistler Film Festival (WFF) is set to showcase the next generation of Canadian talent through its signature talent programs, revealing the selected participants for the MPPIA Short Film Awards, Doc Lab, and Power Pitch. With a total of 13 talent initiatives offered this year, WFF continues its commitment to fostering creative and business immersion experiences for over 74 Canadian artists, including directors, producers, screenwriters, and actors.
Shelly Quade, WFF’s Talent Labs Manager, expresses enthusiasm for the unprecedented growth in representation, with record numbers of applicants. This surge in interest reflects a promising future for Canadian talent, drawing participants from provinces such as Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, and Prince Edward Island.
Power Pitch Competition
One of the highlights of the festival is the Power Pitch Competition, set to take place live in Whistler on November 30 during the Content Summit. Participants will compete for a prize package worth $36,000, including a $25,000 post-production credit from Company 3 Method Ltd., a $10,000 lighting and grip production credit, and a $1,000 cash prize from William F. White. The competition boasts a diverse array of projects, including:
- Hrachya Tokmajyan (AB) – THE CHILDREN OF AR
A talented young writer leaves his conservatory to return to his hometown after seeing visions of pestilence and fire infecting his mother and his people. Caught between the power struggles of his people’s divines and his own ambitions, he discovers the true potential of his own gifts.
- Jeremy Lutter (B.C.) – GILTRUDE’S DWELLING
In this feature film set in a magic traveling house, Giltrude must find a murderer to bring safety back to her home while also trying to reconcile a long-standing grudge against her father. This is a story about what home and family means in a fantastic and ever-changing world.
- Mariya Miloshevych (B.C.) – GUARDIAN
In the near future, a grieving family reckons with the return of their comatose mother after downloading her consciousness into a teenage android.
- Oscar Wolfgang (B.C.) – GINGER
In 1910, an immigrant fought for the freedom of abused workers, only to be hunted by his own government, causing the first ever workers strike in Canada.
- Sunny Mohajer (B.C.) – BECOMING ODELLA
Faced with the news of her grandmother’s passing, Odella, a Moroccan-Canadian teenager, has to face the choice between looking back or moving forward. Thanks to a magical portal that allows her to visit her grandmother in the past, she can postpone facing her grief.
MPPIA Short Film Awards
Scheduled for December 2, the MPPIA Short Film Award pitch competition provides a unique opportunity for a British Columbia filmmaker to further develop their directing career. The winner receives a $15,000 cash prize and in-kind support valued up to $100,000. This year’s selected projects include:
- Sasha Duncan – EASYBAKE
- Gloria Mercer – OUT ON THE WATER
- Kay Metchie – SPLIT ENDS
- Tony Mirza – THE SOUND OF SILENCE
- David Vassiliev – WORKS GREAT ON GIRLS
Supported by Creative BC and Knowledge Network, Doc Lab is an intensive program for Canadian documentary filmmakers. The ten selected participants will undergo multi-day online and in-person immersion followed by a three-month mentorship program.
WFF’s Commitment to Talent Development
Nurturing and championing Canadian talent remains at the core of WFF. The festival’s talent development programs serve as a cornerstone for independent Canadian storytellers seeking to expand their knowledge and make essential connections. Program participants receive year-round support and access to WFF and its alumni community.