Whistler Film Festival unveils Summit lineup and first wave of industry guests

Whistler Film Festival unveils Summit lineup and first wave of industry guests. Crossing borders and platforms, WFF's Summit to connect filmmakers and dealmakers.


Whistler, B.C. – With seven weeks to go until ‘Canada’s coolest film fest’ kicks off at the Whistler Film Festival (November 29 – December 3), industry can start planning their festival experience as WFF unveils its Summit lineup and first wave of guests. Featuring 25 interactive sessions designed to foster business collaborations, WFF’s Summit aims to provide practical intel for filmmakers and dealmakers, as well as spark debate through a variety of high-level keynotes and panel discussions on topics that include finance, marketing, distribution, technology and export. With up to 1,000 expected delegates including industry executives, filmmakers and digital trailblazers from across North America and beyond, Whistler is the place to be, connect and deal this December.

Structured around bringing films to market and designed to provide filmmakers with tools to succeed both within and beyond our borders, delegates can expect to gain insights from key power brokers and some of the great creative minds of our time including:

  • Bill Bromiley – President, Saban Films
  • Bruce Cowley – Senior Director, CBC Documentary Channel
  • Christina Davila – Creative Executive, Stage 13/Warner Bros Digital Network
  • Howard Barish – Founder and President / Executive Producer, Kandoo Films
  • Jeff Sackman – Executive Producer, Someone Else’s Wedding
  • Kim Fox – Partner, MadRiver
  • Kirk D’Amico – President and CEO, Myriad Pictures
  • Kristen Konvitz – Agent, International and Independent Film, ICM
  • Nate Bolotin – Co-Founder, XYZ films
  • Olivia Thomas Steier – Original Programming Executive, Fullscreen

“The Whistler Film Festival’s Summit has become a must-attend event for Canadian talent looking to expand their intel and network within the industry,” said Angie Nolan, WFF’s Director of Industry Programming. “This is in direct correlation to the high-level executives and creatives who now make Whistler a chosen stop in their fall festival circuit.”

WFF’s Summit will address the business and future of film, locally and internationally, as well as the ever-changing landscape of filmmaking in the digital age. Over the course of the four-day event, industry insiders will have the opportunity to hear from and connect with over 100 cinematic masters, creative innovators, business visionaries, and industry leaders. Highlights include:

  • On November 30, WFF’s Summit launches with a day dedicated to Crossing Borders and the producers point of view, which will focus on new ways to foster relationships and discover audiences beyond our borders, with intel from creative minds whose expertise range from best marketing practises to Do It Yourself filmmaking.
  • On December 1, WFF’s Summit continues with International Sessions, which will provide an industry point of view that addresses the evolving business models for independent feature films, from packaging and financing to great debates over distribution and releasing, featuring some of the most influential players in the industry today.
  • On December 2, WFF’s Summit Content Connections programming turns to the creative point of view featuring innovative content creators across all platforms and includes the 11th annual MPPIA Short Film Pitch. A new addition to the program this year is Shorts Stop, a collection of sessions focused on festival, digital and impact strategies for creators of short content.
  • December 3 – WFF’s Content Connections Day 2 themed day focuses on the digital and short content point of view in the outdoor media space. These sessions highlight the storytellers of adventure content who are utilizing cutting edge technologies to enhance audiences experience and engagement.

Each day culminates with Master Classes featuring a prolific actor, director, writer or producer who will share insights into their craft and their most recent project premiering at this year’s fest, and or Signature Series events that will honour distinguished artists of our time in hosted conversations, including the Variety Contender Conversation featuring an industry luminary who is garnering award season buzz and the Variety 10 Screenwriters to Watch Conversation, which WFF has hosted for six consecutive years. New for 2017, WFF’s Tech Den will feature an interactive hub of hands-on VR experiences and new technologies for screen based media and cinema, complimented by afternoon express sessions that will address the use of VR in documentary and action sport filmmaking.

WFF’s Summit directly connects to its’ slate of 11 talent programs designed to provide creative and business immersion experiences for up to 70 Canadian artists including the Feature Project Lab, Praxis Screenwriters Lab, Aboriginal Filmmaker Fellowship, Power Pitch, Doc Lab, Digital-First Lab, Stars to Watch and Music Showcase. WFF also collaborates with several industry organizations by hosting specific third party initiatives at the Whistler Summit including the Women in the Director’s Chair Industry Immersion, Women in Film & Television Film Market Preparation Mentorship, and the MPPIA Short Film Award Pitch with the Motion Picture Production Industry Association and Creative BC.

All Whistler Summit events take place at Maury Young Arts Centre (4335 Blackcomb Way) and the Whistler Conference Centre (4010 Whistler Way) unless specified otherwise. WFF’s Industry Summit schedule and guest lineup are now available at whistlerfilmfestival.com/industry-summit/schedule/, with additional guests to be added in the coming weeks. WFF’s full film lineup schedule will be available online on November 1, in addition to the 16 films already announced, with special guest and event announcements to follow.

The Festival’s online box office at whistlerfilmfestival.com/attend/ is now open for VIP Patron Passes, Industry Passes and Ticket Packages.

Air travel and ground transportation deals as well as best accommodation rates are now available at whistlerfilmfestival.com/attend/. WFF has 20 accommodation partners to choose from including host hotel, the  Westin Whistler Resort and Spa and VIP hotel, the Fairmont Chateau Whistler Resort.

The Whistler Film Festival + Summit are funded by the Government of Canada through Telefilm Canada and Western Economic Diversification, and by the Province of British Columbia and the Resort Municipality of Whistler, is supported by the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation and the American Friends of Whistler, and is sponsored by Variety, Creative BC, The Harold Greenberg Fund, the Canadian Media Producers Association, Cineplex, Whistler Blackcomb, Tourism Whistler and the Westin Resort & Spa Whistler.

ABOUT THE WHISTLER FILM FESTIVAL:  The Whistler Film Festival Society is a charitable cultural organization dedicated to furthering the art of film by providing programs that focus on the discovery, development and promotion of new talent culminating with a must attend festival for artists, industry and audiences in Whistler. Find out more at whistlerfilmfestival.com.