Whistler Film Festival Announces 2021 Award Honourees

Whistler Film Festival venue scene

Lynsey Gray

Release Date

Friday, November 19, 2021


The Whistler Film Festival (WFF) will shine a spotlight on three of the industry’s top talent at its popular Signature Series events and focus on five of Western Canada’s emerging Stars to Watch with features at the festival. 

The Signature Series recognizes distinguished artists of our time and honours them with an intimate on-stage, or online, interview and award. Honourees at Whistler’s 21st edition include Canadian actor Eric McCormack who will attend in-person on December 3 to accept the Trailblazer Award and who stars in the National Festival VOD Premiere of DRINKWATERGeorge Stroumboulopoulos returns to the WFF stage to host the conversation that's bound to delight, excite and enlight. December 3, 5:15pm, Maury Young Arts Centre. Tickets available.

Online at WFF, RUN WOMAN RUN actor, Lorne Cardinal, will be presented with WFF’s Vanguard Award which recognizes an actor, writer, director or producer who has made a profound impact in the film and television industry through their body of work. In the Alumni Spotlight is Devery Jacobs, who won Best Performance in a Borsos Film at the 2016 Whistler Film Festival with THE SUN AT MIDNIGHT, and who will be presented with the WFF One To Watch Award. The award recognizes Jacobs for demonstrating the immense talent that has catapulted her to critical acclaim and who is destined for even greater success. Devery currently stars in Academy Award winner Taika Waititi’s new series Reservation Dogs airing on FX on hulu. 

Both Lorne Cardinal and Devery Jacobs will be featured in conversation on December 8 at 5 pm PT and streamed on WFF’s interactive virtual platform. 

The Signature Series is presented by Canada Media Fund and Northam Beverages Ltd.

Part of WFF’s ongoing commitment to promote Canadian cinema and talent on the world stage is WFF’s Stars to Watch program, a multi-day festival and industry immersion experience during WFF for selected actors poised for international recognition who have features premiering at the festival. It draws on homegrown talent from the four Western Provinces, with a specific focus on British Columbia, and puts them into the bright spotlight provided by the annual December festival. 

The five actors selected for WFF’s 8th annual Stars to Watch program, presented by UBCP/ACTRA, are Daniel Doheny as Mike Drinkwater and Louriza Tronco in the role of Wallace Owens, both in the National Festival VOD Premiere of DRINKWATER directed by Stephen Campanelli; Asivak Koostachin in the role of Tom in the BC Premiere of RUN WOMAN RUN directed by Zoe Leigh Hopkins; Rumbie Muzofa in the role of Evelyne in the World Premiere of EVELYNE directed by Carl Bessai and Katie Boland as Finn/Nicki in the Canadian Premiere of WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER, which she also directed and wrote.

“We are excited to be honouring this who’s who of gifted and talented performers this year and celebrate their career achievements with special online events and deserving awards,” says Angela Heck, WFF’s Executive Director. “Joining these acclaimed actors at the fest are this year’s Stars to Watch, a diverse and impressive group of talented actors from Western Canada, each on a trajectory for international success.” 
 Additional notable high-level talent appearing in WFF films includes: Luc Picard (CONFESSIONS OF A HITMAN); Natasha McElhone (CARMEN); Oscar Issac, Willem Defoe, Tye Sheridan and Tiffany Haddish (THE CARD COUNTER); Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons (THE POWER OF THE DOG); Olivia Colman, Dakota Johnson, Peter Sarsgaard, Ed Harris (THE LOST DAUGHTER); Molly Parker and Clifton Collins Jr. (JOCKEY); Eric McCormack (DRINKWATER); Lorne Cardinal (RUN WOMAN RUN); Rosanna Arquette, Justin Ashforth, Kathy Baker, Chris Messina (LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE); Sarah McLachlan, Patti Smith, Avery*Sunshine (THE SOUND OF US); Chris Wood (SNOWSHOE) Grant Gustin (SNOWSHOE) Nahéma Ricci (UNICORN CODE) Julia Sarah Stone (UNICORN CODE) Pauline Chalamet (I’M FINE!) Aaron Ashmore (THINGS WE FEEL BUT DO NOT SAY), Roy Dupuis (INÈS)

Each film will be available to see in Whistler, December 1 to 5, and will be available to stream online for a national audience within Canada from its premiere date until December 31. See the schedule.

About WFF:
The 21st edition of the Whistler Film Festival will be presented as a hybrid event in Whistler, December 1 to 5 and online December 1 to 31. In-person screenings, Content Summit and events take place in Whistler, British Columbia, from December 1 to 5. From December 1 to 31, audiences across Canada will be able to stream 81 films, access filmmaker Q&As, and attend a virtual Awards Celebration in true Whistler style. 

WFF will deliver its Content Summit from December 1 to 10, as a unique hybrid industry event, presenting a snapshot of the most transformative ideas shaping the future of screen entertainment. With over 34 sessions, including keynote conversations, masterclasses, workshops, fireside chats, roundtables, and 1+1 Virtual Market meetings featuring forward thinkers, innovators, and decision-makers, there's something for every interest. 1+1 Virtual Market Meetings registration is now open to Industry and Premium Industry Passholders. Register now. 

The WFF online box office at whistlerfilmfestival.com/tickets/ is open for Tickets, Passes and Ticket Packages for both online streaming and in-theatre films. 50% of net proceeds from online ticket revenues will be shared with the filmmakers or Canadian rights holders. The Festival Box Office is open for phone sales (1-877-838-FILM). Planning to attend the Whistler Film Festival in person? Air travel, ground transportation deals and early bird accommodation rates from WFF’s accommodation partners are available at https://whistlerfilmfestival.com/attendwff/. Provincial health protocols are in effect and proof of vaccination will be required to enter WFF venues. 

The Whistler Film Festival is funded by the Government of Canada through Telefilm Canada, by the Province of British Columbia and the Resort Municipality of Whistler. We gratefully acknowledge our major festival sponsors: Creative BC, Variety, Directors Guild of Canada-British Columbia, Tourism Whistler, Netflix, Canada Media Fund and William F. White International.

Discover more at whistlerfilmfestival.com.

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