Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Ali Liebert on THE QUIETING

Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Ali Liebert on THE QUIETING

The Quieting tells the story of Maggie, an anxious and newly queer woman on the eve of her first date with a woman. She is thrown into the throes of self-doubt and fear is confronted by an unexpected guest. Sara Canning and Julia Sarah Stone star in this psychological thriller by Ali Liebert that snaps the struggle of identity sharply into focus.

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Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Ariane Louis-Seize on SHOOTING STAR

Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Ariane Louis-Seize on SHOOTING STAR

On a family trip to observe the shooting stars, Chloé, a withdrawn teenager, discovers a dazzling attraction for her mother’s new boyfriend. Ariane Louis-Seize likes to write and film unconventional characters who break down barriers by acting as we would never dare to do ourselves.

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Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Alex Anna on SCARS

Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Alex Anna on SCARS

Alex Anna’s body is a canvas: her scars come to life to tell a new story of self-harming. Live action and animation intertwine in this short and poetic documentary, both intimate and universal.

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Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Wendy Morgan on SUGAR DADDY

Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Wendy Morgan on SUGAR DADDY

Some films jump off the screen to announce the arrival of vital new talent. Such is the case with Wendy Morgan’s Sugar Daddy, starring Kelly McCormack in a tour de force performance as Darren, a new age music composer and performer who is trying to break into the record industry. Sugar Daddy is the opening film for Whistler Film Festival 2020.

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Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Elinor Nechemya on OUR HEARTS BEAT LIKE WAR

Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Elinor Nechemya on OUR HEARTS BEAT LIKE WAR

With his eyes in a fantasy book and his ears to the horrific testimony of an Eritrean refugee, nine-year-old Sinai falls asleep at his mother’s workplace, and his mind drifts away. In his sleep his mother tells him a surrealistic fairytale about a Syrian refugee family living in Sweden. This “fairytale” is about a young Syrian boy who falls into a coma-like situation after the family receives a deportation letter from the government.

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Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Aimee Long on A SHOT THROUGH THE WALL

Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Aimee Long on A SHOT THROUGH THE WALL

Inspired by a true event, A Shot Through The Wall is about an Asian American police officer who accidentally discharges his weapon during an investigation, killing a black teenager through an apartment wall. The case spirals out of control as the incident is deemed police racial bias. His fellow cops and unions initially tell him there’s nothing to worry about, but politics erupt and he’s left standing alone. His fiancée is African American, but his reluctance to involve her as part of a PR defense unleashes a series of mishandled opportunities for him to defend himself.

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Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Niav Conty on SMALL TIME

Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Niav Conty on SMALL TIME

Naiv Conty’s Small Time is about childhood, family, and the role models around us. Stubborn patriotism, dogmatic faith, and the sexualization of young women are all themes that swirl around in this tragic story about a ten year old girl surrounded by addicted adults,

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Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Emily Dickinson on MARCH

Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Emily Dickinson on MARCH

First time director Emily Dickinson’s narrative short March takes place in 2024, and follows an American woman in her mid-twenties, as she travels to Canada to get a now-illegal abortion. A day in her life showcases abortion tourism, the current state of relations between the two neighbouring nations, the implications of a misogynist government, and the resilience of women. March is nominated for the EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Short at Whistler Film Festival 2020.

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QuARTSantine: OXFF and other FFs and the PandemONIUMic – Melanie Lynn Addington

QuARTSantine: OXFF and other FFs and the PandemONIUMic – Melanie Lynn Addington

It feels like March 12 was years ago now. That was the day the Governor of Mississippi limited any events that assembled 250 people or more. It was 6 days before our 2020 Oxford Film Festival was supposed to happen. And then it wasn’t happening anymore. That felt like the end of the world at the time.

Since then, instead, the film festival community has worked non stop to rally as over 150 film festivals scheduled for the spring and summer have had to cancel, postpone or go online.

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On THE PUSHBACK, Purpose and Pushing Back – Emily Barclay Ford

On THE PUSHBACK, Purpose and Pushing Back – Emily Barclay Ford

We raced to finish The Pushback in time for our SXSW delivery deadline and then the festival was canceled the same day. Although we are sad that we did not get to premiere at the festival and in Texas, where the documentary was shot, we feel like we have to make lemonade out of lemons and find the opportunity in this moment. Due to the shutdown of other productions, there will likely be more appetite for finished content in the coming months. And with social distancing, cancellation of group events, and potentially the inability to canvas, we’re thinking that a film like ours can be a useful tool to reach people through their living rooms at a safe distance.

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My Gen Z Perspective on Film Criticism – Riley Roberts comments

My Gen Z Perspective on Film Criticism – Riley Roberts comments

I’m 18. I’ve been a YouTube pioneer, the youngest movie critic in history, sold a company, and interviewed hundreds of A-list stars from Dwayne Johnson to Selena Gomez – all before my first period. With high school graduation behind me, I’m looking at a bright future of…what? Closed doors? Despite acquiring a decade’s worth of experience in the field, I’m learning that everyone wants me to knock on the door clutching a very expensive piece of paper – one that comes from the “right” place accompanied by some stunning numbers with decimal points.

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Filmmaker Katia Shannon on “How I Watch Films as a Film Director”

Filmmaker Katia Shannon on “How I Watch Films as a Film Director”

A few years ago, during an undergraduate film studies class viewing of Michael Snow’s Wavelength, I was struggling to find anything positive about the 40-minute imperceptibly slow zoom we were watching unfold. After reconsidering the value of my student loan, and whether or not people would notice if I took a quick nap, something great happened. I dove into a contemplation of the nuances between entertainment, appreciation, and enjoyment.

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KARUPPU DURAI ​- Review by Mythily Ramachandran

KARUPPU DURAI ​- Review by Mythily Ramachandran

Karuppu Durai celebrates life and it’s little joys. An old man who awakes from a coma escapes his family’s intention to go ahead with ‘thalaikoothal’ (a traditional practice of involuntary euthanasia of an elderly person that was prevalent in south India). He meets a young orphan and begins a great adventure. KD won director Madhumita ‘Best Director’ award at UK Asian Film Festival, London where it premiered and received the ‘Jury award’ at Singapore South Asian Film Festival.

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Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Cate Smierciak on MUDPOTS

Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Cate Smierciak on MUDPOTS

Cate Smierxiak’s Mudpots is about two inseparable friends who are, due to forces beyond their control, about to be separated. The film is a coming of age tale about being a teenager who is old enough to be aware of changes in life but not able to control or even influence the most impactful events that form the future. Mudpots is among the short films nominated for an AWFJ EDA Award at Whistler Film Festival 2019. Here’s what Cate Smierciak has to say about the making and meaning of the film.

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Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Katharine O’Brien on LOST TRANSMISSIONS

Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Katharine O’Brien on LOST TRANSMISSIONS

Lost Transmissions is about mental illness. It’s also about the mental wavelengths we’re on, trying to connect to with one another, and missing. On one hand the film is grounded in realism. It shows someone trying to help their friend with psychiatric care. On the other hand, the film looks at how bizarre the real world is if we take a moment to consider it in depth. Lost ransmissions is the opening film at Whistler Film Festival 2019, where it is among the films nominated for an AWFJ EDA Award. Here’s what directior Katharine O’Briien has to say about making the film.

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Nia Long Accepts Award at Critics Choice Association Celebration of Black Cinema

Nia Long Accepts Award at Critics Choice Association Celebration of Black Cinema

Marking the the 100th anniversary of the release of legendary black filmmaker Oscar Micheaux’s The Homesteader, the Critics Choice Association’s Celebration of Black Cinema Awards, held in LA on December 2, 2019, honored actress and activist Nia Long, along with Kasi Lemmons, Chewitel Eijofor and Eddie Murphy for their extraordinary career achievements. Introduced by Chaz Ebert, Long’s affecting acceptance speech acknowledged her sources of inspiration and some of the hardships she’s faced. was particularly affecting. Here it is:

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Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Sonia K Hadad on EXAM

Whistler Film Festival Filmmaker Interview: Sonia K Hadad on EXAM

Iranian filmmaker Sonia K. Hadad’s short film, Exam, is a compact, well-crated truth-based crime drama that delves into how familial pressures impact the life of an Iranian teenage girl. On the days of an important exam that will determine her future at school, the girl reluctantly agrees to her father’s behest that she deliver a packet of cocaine. Exam is among the films nominated for an AWFJ EDA Award at Whistler Film Festival 2019.

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Whistler Film Festival interview: Rebecca Snow on PANDORA’S BOX: LIFTING THE LID ON MEMSTRUATION

Whistler Film Festival interview: Rebecca Snow on PANDORA’S BOX: LIFTING THE LID ON MEMSTRUATION

In Pandora’s Box, filmmaker Rebecca Snow deals with a central issue in women’s struggle for gender equality by revealing how for generations women have been shamed, ostracized, and silenced, because they menstruate. Pandora’s Box unmasks the global pandemic of menstrual inequity and period poverty. The powerful stories that emerge raise public consciousness of #Menstrual Equity, a global movement that is going mainstream. Pandora’s Box is among the female-directed films nominated for an AWFJ EDA Award at Whistler Film Festival 2019. Her insightful comments on the making and meaning of Pandora’s Box are fascinating.

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Whistler Film Festival 2019: Kristina Mileska on THE BEAR AND THE BEEKEEPER

Whistler Film Festival 2019: Kristina Mileska on THE BEAR AND THE BEEKEEPER

In Kristina Mileska’s The Bear and the Beekeeper, an ageing beekeeper tries to keep a pesky predator away from his beehives in order to keep the memory of his loved one alive. The dialogue-free short The Bear and the Beekeeper explores themes of loss and memory with a sense of whimsy and lightness. The short film has been nominated for an. AWFJ EDA Award at Whistler Film Festival 2019.

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LOUISIANA FILM PRIZE Filmmaker Jaya McSharma on the Making and Meaning of BEST IN SHOW

LOUISIANA FILM PRIZE Filmmaker Jaya McSharma on the Making and Meaning of BEST IN SHOW

Jaya McSharma wrote, produced, co-directed and starred in Best in Show, one of 20 short films selected to compete in the 2019 Louisiana Film Prize, a unique film festival that awards a cash prize of $50,000 for the film deemed best by audience members and by film industry professionals. The dramady, a searing satire of the fashion industry, follows an unconventional fashion show model whose appearance is deemed no longer fit for the runway. Her rebellion is an inspiration to all who reject the torture of trying to stick to superficial standards of size, shape and beauty.

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LOUISIANA FILM PRIZE: Filmmaker Makenzie Smith on the Making and Meaning of CICERO

LOUISIANA FILM PRIZE: Filmmaker Makenzie Smith on the Making and Meaning of CICERO

Makenzie Smith’s film, Cicero, was in competition for the $50,000 cash award bestowed by the annual Louisiana Film Prize upon one winner. This year, more than 120 short films were submitted for the competition, with twenty selected to be screened at the festival, held from October 2 to 5 in Shreveport, to vie for the big money. Written by Smith who co-directed with Finch Nissen, Cicero was shot in Shreveport, per Film Prize submission requirements. The plot involves the tense and unexpected face off between two men — a hit man and his targeted victim — who find themselves confined together in a stuck elevator.

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LOUISIANA FILM PRIZE: Filmmaker Camille Schmoutz the Making and Meaning of on ST ESTHER DAY

LOUISIANA FILM PRIZE: Filmmaker Camille Schmoutz the Making and Meaning of on ST ESTHER DAY

Camille Schmoutz’s St Esther Day is an elaborate period drama about the clash of socioeconomic classes in San Francisco at the turn of the 20th century. St Esther Day is an excellent example of how much story can be told, how much atmosphere can be evoked and how much social relevance can be conveyed in a short film. Produced in Shreveport specifically for submission for the 2019 Louisiana Film Prize’s $50,000 award, the film took advantage of the city’s unique locations and ambiance.

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LOUISIANA FILM PRIZE: Filmmaker Rachel Emerson on the Making and Meaning of MAVEN VOYAGE

LOUISIANA FILM PRIZE: Filmmaker Rachel Emerson on the Making and Meaning of MAVEN VOYAGE

Rachel Emerson’s Maven Voyage, one of twenty short films selected to compete for the $50,000 cash award bestowed by the annual Louisiana Film Prize, was shot in Shreveport, per submission requirements. Emerson won the fest’s $1,000 best actress award and a $3,000 Founders Circle Award to seed her next project. She comments on the making and meaning of her film, an engaging scifi adventure about a gal (Emerson) who wants to join the first manned mission to Mars.

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LOUISIANA FILM PRIZE: Filmmaker Abigail Kruger on the Making and Meaning of SHREVEPOET

LOUISIANA FILM PRIZE: Filmmaker Abigail Kruger on the Making and Meaning of SHREVEPOET

Abigail Kruger’s Shreveport was one of twenty short films selected from this year’s crop of 120 submissions to compete for the coveted $50,000 cash award bestowed by the annual Louisiana Film Prize. One of the submission requirements is that the short have been filmed in Shreveport, or in the surrounding area. Kruger comments on the making and meaning of her film, a lyrical ode to to the city of Shreveport, following a street poet who dances through the city on roller skates.

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Marvelous Women at Palm Springs International Film Festival 2019 – Marietta Steinhart reports

Marvelous Women at Palm Springs International Film Festival 2019 – Marietta Steinhart reports

Programmed by a team consisting of six remarkable women, including Lili Rodriguez, Alissa Simon, Hebe Tebachnik, Therese Hayes, Jessica Eskelin, and Jane Schoettle (from the Toronto International Film Festival), plus former Newsweek critic, David Ansen and artistic director Michael Lerman, the 2019 Palm Springs International Film Festival showed 228 films of which 55 were either directed or co-directed by women (about 24 percent), leaving room for more female directors in the future. Nevertheless the festival has no lack in films with or about women.

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