Stacey Donen Exits Whistler Film Festival as Artistic Director

The west coast fest will unveil a successor on Thursday as the veteran Canadian cinema programmer focuses on his duties at The Royal cinema in Toronto.

TORONTO – Veteran Toronto film programmer Stacey Donen will not be returning to the white carpet at the Whistler Film Festival as artistic director, after three years in the post.

The former Canadian cinema programmer at the Toronto International Film Festival will instead focus on his director of programming duties at The Royal indie cinema and post-production facility in Toronto.

Whistler will unveil Donen’s successor, to be given a new director of programming title, on Thursday.

“I have greatly enjoyed my time with the festival and am immensely grateful for the support of a fantastic staff and to have had the opportunity to develop and grow this great venue for Canadian and international filmmakers,” Donen said Tuesday, on news of his departure.

His reign at Whistler included a focus on auteur directors rather than a cattle call of A-list stars marketing their latest studio or indie pictures, as in Toronto and Cannes.