16th Annual

Whistler Film Festival

November 30, 2016 to December 04, 2016

Add to Watchlist Qualify this Project
Film Market
Submit Online
208 - 1200 Alpha Lake Road
Whistler BC V0N 1B1
Phone: 1-877-838-3456

CLOSED FOR THE SEASON • Information may be outdated. Add this event to your Watch List and set a Remind-Me if you want to be notified when the next Call For Entries is posted.

Borsos Competition For Best Canadian Feature
For 12 consecutive years, 88 entries in the Borsos Competition for Best Canadian Feature have exuded the creative fire and artistry embodied by legendary Canadian filmmaker Philip Borsos, best known for his inspiring work on the Genie Award-winning films The Grey Fox (82), and Bethune: The Making of a Hero (90).

For 2016, WFF’s 13th annual Borsos Competition will continue to celebrate these qualities by showcasing Canadian feature films that display independent vision, original directorial style and the diversity of talent found in Canadian independent film. An international jury of three will award the $15,000 CDN prize, the second largest cash prize for a Canadian feature in the country after TIFF.

All Canadian feature films at the Festival with Western Canadian premiere status are eligible for the Borsos Competition and its awards.

The Borsos Jury will also award Best Performance, Best Screenplay, Best Director and Best Cinematography.

An international jury of three will award a $15,000 CDN prize. Past jury presidents include Carl Bessai (15), Jason Priestley (14), Luc Dery (13), Martin Katz (12), Jacob Tierney (11), Bruce Greenwood (10), Ivan Reitman (09), Donald Sutherland (08), Atom Egoyan (07), Norman Jewison (06), Robert Lantos (05) and Peter O'Brian (04).

All feature films must be 50 minutes or more in length.
World Now - International Feature Films
Festival quality films from outside Canada, with or without North American distribution secured. Canadian Premieres preferred.
World Documentary Competition
From the personal to the political, WFF’s World Documentary Competition, presented by tribute.ca, showcases up to eight documentary feature films from around the world. With courageous viewpoints and a deep-rooted desire to explore, these films capture the human spirit in its many guises and often challenge us to look at our world from a new perspective. All films are Western Canadian Premieres. A jury of three industry professionals will award the World Documentary Award.
Canadian ShortWork Competition
WFF's ShortWork Competition showcases a selection of up to 50 short films within five short film programs. Presented with verve and limited only by their duration, these short films display the extraordinary talent, dynamism and creative exploration found in the work of some of the world's most promising filmmakers. A jury of three will award the International ShortWork Award as well as $1,000 CDN prize to the top Canadian ShortWork entry and $1,000 CDN prize to the Best Screenplay for a Canadian ShortWork.
BC Student ShortWork Competition
WFF’s Student ShortWork Competition includes seven short films produced by post-secondary students in British Columbia. The ShortWork Competition jury will award a $500 CDN prize to the top Student ShortWork entry.
International ShortWork Competition
WFF's ShortWork Competition showcases a selection of up to 50 short films within five short film programs. Presented with verve and limited only by their duration, these short films display the extraordinary talent, dynamism and creative exploration found in the work of some of the world's most promising filmmakers. A jury of three will award the International ShortWork Award.


Based in North America's premier mountain resort just two hours north of Vancouver, British Columbia, the Whistler Film Festival Society (WFFS) 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, the industry and audiences in Whistler.

Committed to celebrating, promoting and developing a strong film industry in Western Canada, and to showcasing the best films from Canada and around the world, WFFS produces one of Canada's leading film festivals and plays a leadership role in offering project development programs for Canadian filmmakers both within and beyond our bordrers. Renowned by filmmakers and film lovers alike, the Whistler Film Festival is a place where artists are celebrated, audiences are inspired, and new ideas enter the cultural dialogue.

Held over the first weekend of December, the Whistler Film Festival combines an esteemed international film competition with a concentrated industry Summit organized to address the ever-changing landscape of filmmaking in the digital age. Featuring innovative and original films from around the world and opportunities to connect with the people who made them, the five day Festival is filled with premieres, star-studded guests, lively celebrations and unique industry initiatives.

WFFS produces a series of year rounds events and programs in Whistler in addition to a major annual festival and industry summit (Whistler Film Festival + Summit) that includes project development programs for Canadian talent (WFF Praxis Screenwriters Lab, WFF Feature Project Lab, WFF Aboriginal Filmmaker Fellowship, Power Pitch Competition and MPPIA Short Film Award), and screening series (WFF Adventure Film Series and Celestial Cinema). WFFS also hosts several annual fundraising events (WFF Oscar Party, Spring Fling - A Taste of Whistler, Celebrate WFF - Vancouver Benefit and Celebrity Challenge Ski Race).


Since our inception, Whistler has become one of Canada's most important and celebrated destinations for independent film. The Whistler Film Festival is recognized as 'one of the top 30 film festivals in the world' by Variety and was recognized as Whistler's 'Best Arts & Cultural Event' of 2013 and 2014.

Our 2015 Whistler Film Festival achieved record numbers in terms of attendance, marketing reach and publicity. We introduced new project development programs for Canadian artists, installed our digital cinema system in Whistler's Rainbow Theatre and launched our Adventure Film Series. We continue to celebrate the best in Canadian and world cinema, honour leading artists of our time, and connect filmmakers to audiences and dealmakers.

Taking place November 30 to December 4, the 15th annual Whistler Film Festival combines an esteemed international film competition with a concentrated industry summit organized to address the ever-changing landscape of filmmaking in the digital age. The Festival hosts filmmaking luminaries for an intimate five-day program of screenings, tributes, industry initiatives and special events. Guests honoured have included Kiefer Sutherland, Robert Carlyle, Norman Jewison, Ivan Reitman, Kim Cattrall, Jason Priestley, Sarah Gadon, Daniel Radcliffe, Richard Dreyfuss and Melissa Leo.

To recognize the vitality of this art form, the 2016 Festival will feature six juried competitive sections and one audience award selected from over 1,000 submissions.

Up to 90 films, including about 45 features and 45 shorts from Canada and around the world, will be presented. Canadian and International filmmakers are invited to submit films of all lengths and genres.


Ellie Irwin (Film Programming Manager); Ellie Irwin (Programming Coordinator)


Thank you for submitting to the 2016 Whistler Film Festival!

The 16th annual Whistler Film Festival happens November 30 - December 4 2016.

ShortWork Competition submissions are accepted via Submittable Online Screener, YouTube or Vimeo link only. You will be able to enter this info during the submission page. Select OTHER FILE as your screener type during check out and send your VIMEO link to program@whistlerfilmfestival.com with your screener link, tracking number and file title.


Whistler Film Festival Society
208-1200 Alpha Lake Road
Whistler, BC V0N 1B1

You can contact our Programming Department at anytime via Ellie Irwin, Film Programming Manager at 604.938.3203 or program@whistlerfilmfestival.com


Entry fees are payable by all major credit cards via Withoutabox.

The Whistler Film Festival accepts submissions of films of all lengths, subject matters and countries of origin.

All submissions must have been completed after August 1, 2015.

Non-English language films must be presented in English-subtitled versions.

Works in Progress are eligible for submission. Please be aware programmers only view the first version of a submitted film and will not accept a revised cut version of the film later in the submission process.

Documentary films are not eligible for the Borsos Competition for Best Canadian Feature Film.

Entries previously submitted to the Whistler Film Festival will not be considered unless altered significantly.

There are no submission fee refunds.

Films cannot have been publicly telecast or available on the Internet prior to December 5, 2016

Trailers are not eligible for selection purposes.


Applicants will be notified by October 31, 2016 of their final entry status via email to the Withoutabox contact.

Due to time constraints the Selection Committee will not be able to respond individually to filmmakers if your film is not accepted.

The Whistler Film Festival’s Director of Programming and Selection Committees review all film submissions.

Decisions made by the Whistler Film Festival are final.

The date(s), time(s) and location(s) of exhibitions of the films shall be at the discretion of the Festival.

No film, once programmed, can be withdrawn.

All exhibition copies of accepted films must arrive at the Festival by November 15, 2016.

Each official selection will be required to provide a press kit upon acceptance containing the following:

A medium synopsis and one line synopsis
3-5 high resolution stills of 1MB in size each minimum
Photo captions with credits, listing all actors appearing in photos
Director Photo (also 1MB) and Bio
A full cast and crew list
Publicity contact if applicable
Premiere Status
Key Awards if applicable
A list of talent attending WFF with contact details
Canadian distributor and theatrical release date if applicable
Coverage restrictions
Secure online screener link and DVD
Five copies of your poster for venue display
Print traffic information


Whistler Film Festival will accept ONLY the following screening exhibition formats:
Features: DCP (at our discretion), BluRay, HDCam
Shorts: Digital file (under 10 GB)


All shipments for preview or exhibition to the Festival must be prepaid. If you are selected to screen at WFF16, we will cover the cost of return shipping.

Preview DVDs must be labeled with title, production company, address and telephone number, director’s name and length in minutes.

Please indicate if the submission is a rough cut or a work-in-progress.

Please do not consign shipment to a freight forwarder.

If your film is not in consideration within two weeks of shipment via courier or three weeks via regular postal service, we may have not received your film. Please contact the Programming Dept if this is the case.

The Festival will insure the integrity of the prints from the time of delivery to the Festival from the time that the print is delivered to a shipping agent for return. In the event of loss or damage to a print, the Festival must be notified of such loss or damage in writing by January 15, 2017. The Festival’s obligation is limited to compensating the producer or distributor only to the cost of replacing the damaged print. The Whistler Film Festival does not assume liability for damage to prints due to improper shipping containers or otherwise.


The Whistler Film Festival Society (WFFS) endeavours to take all reasonable anti-piracy precautions for copyrighted materials in our possession. By submitting to the WFFS, you release the Society from all risk and liability in the event of theft or breach of copyright of your materials while on Festival premises.


Upon selection, the entrant grants the Whistler Film Festival the right to utilize publicity materials related to the production (i.e. press kits, posters, stills, preview tapes, etc.) for promotional purposes in all mediums, including broadcast, print and internet.

All publicity materials for invited films (press kits, stills, posters, video clips) must arrive at the Festival at the sender's expense by October 21, 2016.

The individual or corporation submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations.

The undersigned shall indemnify and hold harmless Whistler Film Festival from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.

The film has been submitted for consideration with the knowledge and consent of the Producer(s) listed in this form.

Participation in the Whistler Film Festival implies an understanding and acceptance of these regulations. The Festival reserves the right to rule on cases not foreseen by these regulations.