From December 1 to 5, 2010, the entertainment industry will meet in the mountains at the Whistler Film Festival’s industry forum. Designed to facilitate international alliances and financial partnerships, the Whistler Summit presents 21 informative and thought provoking sessions that address filmmaking in the digital age and the range of issues affecting the film, television and digital media industry. Sessions are complimented by networking opportunities including one-on-one meetings, roundtable information sessions, luncheons and receptions.
“As new tools and formats emerge, boundaries are breaking down like never before, and today’s filmmakers are telling their stories across multiple media platforms,” says Kryssta Mills, Whistler Summit Industry Program Producer. “The Whistler Summit is a unique gathering for the international industry to connect with Canadian producers to address the impact of filmmaking in the digital age, build relationships and take projects to new heights, all in an intimate and an inspiring setting.”
The Whistler Summit opens on Wednesday, December 1st with a networking reception that precedes the Festival’s Opening Gala. The program officially launches on Thursday, December 2nd with a focus on the international business of feature film production and cross platform collaboration. Producer roundtables begin the day with a series of ‘no pitch’, small group meetings with high-level industry executives. Panels include International Financing & Distribution: The View from L.A., an in depth dissection of the recent upturn in the international market after a very challenging few years, with some of the best in business, and Navigating the Digital Domain, an inside look at how film, television and digital media professionals can work together for cross-platform success. The Keynote Luncheon features Mass Animation founder and former Sony Pictures Digital President, Yair Landau, who will address collaboration in the digital age from his unique perspective, followed by One-on-one Meetings with attending International industry executives (pre registration is required) and the much-anticipated Merging Media Pitch, which features five advanced convergent media projects pitched before an international jury of digital content buyers and a live audience. An après networking reception rounds off day one of the Summit.
International guests in attendance include: Peter Wetherell, President, Magus Entertainment; Lia Buman, VP Acquisitions, Sony Pictures Worldwide; Benedict Carver, Partner, Dark Hero Studio; Meyer Shwarzstein, founder, Brainstorm Media; Elisabeth Costa de Beauregard Rose, SVP International Sales, Lakeshore Entertainment; Tim O’Hair, Head of Production, Parallell Media; Dan Berger, Distribution Executive, Oscilloscope Laboratories; Jesse Albert, Digital Consultant & Producer; Bobby Rock, Head of Acquisitions, Echo Bridge, Tracey Friesen, Acting Executive Producer, NFB, Pacific & Yukon Centre
Friday, December 3rd opens with another round of producer roundtables, followed by two engaging panels: The Creative Toolbox, which tackles creative storey telling using animation and visual effects, and The Future of Filmmaking, which features Canadian and International filmmakers with films in the festival sharing their filmmaking experiences and insights. An invitation only ‘Meet the Filmmakers’ Luncheon follows, providing a chance for industry guests, filmmakers and select delegates to meet and mingle over a meal. Friday afternoon is reserved for the acclaimed, annual town hall, The View From The Top: The Future Of Content, which features international leaders offering their insights and predictions on the ever-changing landscape of filmmaking in the digital age. Our final round of One-on-one Meetings with attending International industry executives follows the lunch (pre registration is required). Throughout the day, a select group of three writers with films in development will take part in the Canadian Film Centre’s Writer Workshop and be mentored by an acclaimed veteran writer. A networking reception caps off day two of the Summit.
Experts and industry professionals in attendance include: Margery Simkin, Casting Director; Mimi Steinbauer, President, Hyde Park Int’l Theatrical Financing & Distribution; James Stern, CEO, Endgame Entertainment; Bruce Cowley, Creative Head, CBC Digital Channels; Tim Brown, CEO, Joker Films Inc.; Michael Olsen, Principal, TriStar Film Finance; Matt Toner, CEO Zeros to Heroes; Yair Landau, Founder, Mass Animation; Liz Mackiewicz, Int’l Sales & Distribution; Norm Bolen, President, Canadian Media Production Association, and Jason Dowdeswell, Head of Studio, Image Engine.
The Whistler Summit wraps on Saturday, December 5 with an action-packed day of creative engagement including the MPPIA Short Film Award Pitch, where five pre-selected filmmakers participate in a live pitch session for a $10,000 cash award from MPPIA, a $5,000 cash award from BC Film (Details will be released in separate media release.). A two-part panel follows the pitch and workshop dedicated to Casting Top Talent, which highlights the process of finding and attaching cast, with insight from top-level U.S. and Canadian Casting Directors. Also on this day, UBC Alumni presents an engaging two-hour panel and reception UBC Dialogues: Whistler – Story telling from the Margins. A final après networking reception closes the Summit.
The festival lineup was announced November 4th. Individual film and special event tickets are now on sale online exclusively for American Express card members and will be available for the general public on November 11th (until December 4th). The Festival Box Office opens November 11th for phone sales and on November 25th for walk in sales. Early bird accommodation starting from $69 per night is available until November 15th. For information, go to www.whistlerfilmfestival.com or call 1.877.838.FILM.
The 10th anniversary Whistler Film Festival is presented by American Express, and is sponsored by the Directors Guild of Canada – British Columbia, Whistler Brewing Company, Vancouver Sun, Dose.ca and Whistler Blackcomb, and is supported by Telefilm Canada, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, British Columbia Film and the Resort Municipality of Whistler.