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Five Films to Stream Online During the 22nd Whistler Film Festival

Didn’t make it to the 22nd Whistler Film Festival this past week/weekend? No worries – beginning today (Monday, December 5th) until January 2nd, the majority of this year’s program is available to watch online!

Although the logistics of watching Whistler Film Festival films from your own home are simpler than factoring in travel time to Whistler, the online film selection is vast – more than 70 short films and feature lengths! – so developing a game plan is a good idea. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of a handful of films that we want to cozy up with on some of the cold and dark days/nights ahead…

Five to Screen Online

The premise of Midnight at the Paradise is case of happenstance: three couples, including two exes, find themselves at the very same movie theatre screening, and are forced to confront their relationship issues. This isn’t the set-up of a horror film (at least not in the traditional sense), although it very well could be. It is veteran actor Kenneth Welsh’s last film performance before his death (May 5th, 2022), and actor Vanessa Matsui’s directorial debut…and it star’s Liane Balaban, who has held a small place in my heart since her very first role, circa 1999 (New Waterford Girl – if you’ve seen it, then you get it). All excellent reasons to screen this flick from the safety of your own home! | Details and tickets.

The best way to get “a little bit of everything” is with a virtual ticket to the Shortwork series, which is divided into four separate screenings, plus a ‘Student Shortwork’ program. You really can’t go wrong with any of them; however, ‘Shortwork 3’ in particular includes seven films, each running from eight to 19 minutes long, originating from near (Canada, USA) and far (Sweden, Indonesia, Malaysia). Genres too are wide-ranging: from body horror (Shallots & Garlic), dark comedy (Weeds are Flowers, Too) and dystopian romance (Reckless), to drama (Conviction, Please Hold the Line), dramedy (The Vacation) and the latest history-inspired animated masterpiece (The Flying Sailor). | Details and tickets.

Part call to action, part history lesson, and part filmic ode to waterways, Jennifer Peedom’s new WFF World Documentary Award-winning film, River, would definitely be best viewed on the big screen. However, immersing yourself in the epic natural visuals and soundtrack (scored with tunes from Radiohead and the Australian Chamber Orchestra, for starters), and the sound of Willem Dafoe’s voice via your home screen and some good speakers (or earphones), in your comfiest clothes while under a swath of blankets, sounds like a pretty good second best. | Details and tickets.

One of our original five, most highly anticipated film picks included in this year’s program, Rodeo, is also the winner of WFF’s Best Director in a Borsos Competition Film award, as well as the recipient of an Honourable Mention in the Best Performance in a Borsos Competition Film. Shot over a short (40-day) period, this this first-time feature film by director/co-writer Joelle Desjardins Paquette’s tells the tale of a Quebecois truck driver on a mission to compete in the World’s Best Truck Rodeo (a famous truck race) in Alberta, with his abducted nine-year-old daughter in tow. Besides being an edgy, pseudo-road-trip flick, Rodeo is also an homage to director/co-writer Joelle Desjardins Paquette’s father, who introduced her to the world of big rigs as a child. | Details and tickets.

The biggest award-winner of this year’s fest though (Best Performance in a Borsos Competition Film, Borsos Award for Best Canadian Feature), is a sly French-Canadian film called Coyote, about a former restaurant owner and cook who is thrust into a difficult family situation while simultaneously receiving an exciting new career prospect as a chef. Family issues, addiction, and the uncertain landscape of the professional culinary industry are all on the table in this drama by writer/director Katherine Jerkovic. Get comfy and dig in. | Details and tickets.

Individual WFF online film tickets are $20 each, or you can hook yourself up with a ticket pack for 3-10 screenings ($55-160) and plan on spending some quality, cozy screen time during the snow days ahead. See the entire selection of WFF online screenings here.

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