Evan Rachel Wood Wins Best Performance at Whistler Film Festival

Courtesy of TIFF
'A Worthy Companion'

Joe Wright's Winston Churchill biopic 'Darkest Hour' has picked up the festival's top audience award.

A Worthy Companion, starring Westworld's Evan Rachel Wood, dominated juried prize-giving at the Whistler Film Festival on Sunday, while Joe Wright's Darkest Hour has earned the festival's audience award.

The lesbian-obsession thriller A Worthy Companion, which marks the feature-length debut of Montreal-based photographers Carlos and Jason Sanchez, sees Wood playing a troubled woman who forges a dangerously close bond with a teenage girl. The indie earned the actress the best performance prize at the fest, and the movie came away with the best cinematography award and shared the top Borsos competition prize with Ian Lagarde's All You Can Eat Buddha. The pic bowed at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.

And the Winston Churchill biopic Darkest Hour, starring Gary Oldman and Lily James, picked up Whistler's audience award, voted on by ordinary fest-goers. The first runner-up for the audience award is the Margot Robbie-starrer I, Tonya, directed by Craig Gillespie, and the second runner-up is Tulipani: Love, Honor, and a Bicycle, by Mike Van Diem.

In other prize-giving in Whistler, Kyra Sedgwick's Story of a Girl earned the Special Jury EDA Award.

Sedgwick, in Whistler to promote her directorial debut about a 16-year-old whose life is changed when a compromising video of her in a hook-up with an older student hits social media, said the Lifetime TV drama is timely amid the recent Hollywood sexual harassment scandals.

"What I hope will come of all these stories coming to light is that women will hear other women using their voices and telling these horrific stories, and it will help them to find their own voice," Sedgwick told The Hollywood Reporter.

The Borsos award for best screenplay went to Grayson Moore, writer and co-director of Cardinals. And Sonia Bonspille Boileau earned the Women in the Director’s Chair’s 2017 national feature film award, which includes $200,000 in cash and in-kind services for the upcoming production on the movie Rustic Oracle, a drama about an 8-year-old Mohawk girl as she searches with her mom for her missing teenage sister. The project is a follow-up to Bonspille Boileau's Le Dep.

Whistler opened with Joe Wright's Darkest Hour, starring Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill in his dramatic first few weeks as British prime minister, and will close Sunday night with the world premiere of the mountain biking documentary The Moment from Darcy Hennessey Turenne.

In all, 87 films from 15 different countries screened during the Nov. 29 to Dec. 3 event, with 11 world premieres in the lineup.

Dec. 6, 11:30 a.m. Updated with audience award winners announced by the Whistler Film Festival.

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