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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Snow in the alpine welcomes movie-goers as the 10th annual Whistler Film Festival offers a record number of premieres, not-to-be-missed parties and a tribute to iconic filmmakers

 

Whistler, B.C. - Legendary filmmakers Monte Hellman (Two-Lane Blacktop, Cockfighter) and Bruce McDonald (Hard Core Logo, Highway 61) will receive a special tribute for their lifetime achievements on Friday, December 3rd at the 2010 Whistler Film Festival. Both filmmakers have been elevated to cult status with their multiple award-winning films that have set precedents for style and production in the independent film world.

Hosted by Canadian television and radio personality George Stroumboulopoulos, best known as the host of CBC Television's George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight, the Tribute features an intimate ‘fire-side' chat between Hellman and McDonald about their life, work, and love of independent film. They will joined by award winning director and cinephile extraordinaire Atom Egoyan (2007 Tribute recipient) to discuss their love of cinema and the independent spirit that drives them all.

Hellman and McDonald have been influential in the careers of budding independent filmmakers. Hellman, executive producer of Reservoir Dogs, was an early mentor to Quentin Tarantino.

McDonald's feature film Highway 61 (1991) garnered him the Best Director award at the highly-regarded San Sebastian International Film Festival while the movie Roadkill won Most Outstanding Canadian Film at the Toronto International Film Festival and Hard Core Logo (1996) has been ranked among the greatest of Canadian movies ever made. The Tracey Fragments (2006) premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival and his horror film Pontypool was selected as one of the best Canadian films of 2008 by the Toronto International Film Festival. McDonald has also successfully directed episodes from many television series including Lonesome Dove, Twitch City, Degrassi: The Next Generation, Instant Star, Queer as Folk, ReGenesis and This is Wonderland.

The Whistler Film Festival will host the world premiere of Hard Core Logo II, along with McDonald's two other new films: Trigger and the recently-completed Music From The Big House.

A native of New York, Monte Hellman is an award-winning film director, producer and editor. Hellman's most critically acclaimed film to date has been the cult classic, Two-Lane Blacktop (1971). He has won multiple awards including the Special Lion Award for Overall Work at the 2010 Venice Film Festival. He has been recognized as an integral factor in the early career success of noted actor Jack Nicholson, having worked with him in the films Ride in the Whirlwind and The Shooting, both filmed in 1965 and released directly to television in 1968. Some of his other credits include: China 9, Liberty 37 (1978), Cockfighter (1974), Iguana (1988) and Stanley's Girlfriend (2006), a section of the horror film Trapped Ashes. Hellman's section of the film was presented at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival as an official selection and Hellman was named president of the festival's ""Un Certain Regard"" jury that year. Hellman teaches in the Film Directing Program at the California Institute of the Arts.

The Whistler Film Festival will play a special preview of Hellman's new film Road to Nowhere starring Vancouver actor Tygh Runyan on December 3 at the Whistler Conference Centre.

The Whistler Film Festival takes place December 1 to 5 and features an unprecedented 56 premieres (9 World Premieres, 5 North American Premieres, 5 Canadian Premieres, 2 English Canadian Premieres, 21 Western Canadian Premieres and 14 BC Premieres). Selected from more than 900 submissions, the 10th annual Whistler Film Festival presents 68 films including 34 features and 34 shorts, and features six competitive sections vying for over $45,000 in cash awards. For more information, visit the Whistler Film Festival website here. The festival box office is open for phone sales and will open for walk-in sales on November 25. For more information on tickets, visit the film festival website or call 1.877.838.FILM.

In addition to the stellar film lineup, movie buffs will have more than the big screen to explore at this year's Whistler Film Festival. With an alpine base of 83 centimetres (33 inches), Whistler Blackcomb opened a week earlier than anticipated - on November 19.

Winter packages are available with amazing rates starting at $224 CAD per person for two nights' accommodation and a two-day lift ticket, $243 CAD per person for a three-night getaway with two-day lift ticket and $395 CAD per person for five nights' accommodation and a four-day lift ticket. To book your winter vacation package, visit http://www.whistler.com/

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Media can visit www.whistler.com/media for Whistler facts, media releases, story starters, local personality profiles and access to images and B-roll.

Whistler is Canada's premier year-round leisure and meeting destination located in the Coast Mountains 120 kilometres (75 miles) north of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Consistently rated the top ski resort in North America for the past 12 years in a row, Whistler was the Host Mountain Resort of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The resort offers an extensive range of accommodations totaling 10,000 bedrooms among 24 hotels as well as townhomes, condos, B&Bs and chalets. Whistler also boasts more than 100 restaurants and bars, 200 retail shops, 25 spas and countless activity options from world-renowned skiing and snowboarding, mountain biking and golf, to hiking, rock climbing, and watersports. The Resort Municipality of Whistler is home to a diverse community of more than 9,000 permanent residents.

Tourism Whistler is the member-based marketing and sales organization representing Whistler, operating the Whistler Conference Centre, Whistler Golf Club, Whistler Visitor Centre, as well as 1.800.WHISTLER and whistler.com - Whistler's official source for visitor bookings and information. As the convention and visitors bureau for the Resort Municipality of Whistler, Tourism Whistler represents more than 7,000 members who own, manage and operate properties or businesses on resort lands including hotels, restaurants, activity operators and retail shops.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Kerry Duff
Manager, Destination Media Relations
T: 604.938.2709
E: kduff@tourismwhistler.com

Mary Zinck
Coordinator, Media Relations
T: 604.938.2702
E: mzinck@tourismwhistler.com

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