Whistler sings 'Immigrant' song


TORONTO -- World premieres for Bojan Bodruzic's "Immigrant" and S. Wyeth Clarkson's "SK8" are among six Canadian movies set to compete for the flagship Borsos Award at the upcoming Whistler Film Festival, organizers said Tuesday.

Bodruzic's "Immigrant," a portrait of two Bosnians making new lives in Canada after the Bosnian war, and Clarkson's skateboarding drama will compete against Joshua Dorsey's "The Point," Quebec director Stephane Lapointe's "The Secret Life of Happy People," David Gow and Mark Adam's "Steel Toes" and Matt Bissonette's "Who Loves The Sun."

The Whistler festival, held annually at a ski resort area of British Columbia, will open Nov. 30 with a gala screening of Quebec filmmaker Jacques Russo's "Let It Ride," to be preceded by "Whistler Stories," a collection of short films commissioned by the festival.

In all, 40 features and 53 shorts will unspool in Whistler, including a host of homegrown documentaries. Among the documentary entries are Joe Moulins' "Citizen Sam," a film about a successful run for Vancouver mayor by a parapalegic councillor, and Carolyn Allain's "A Safer Sex Trade," which portrays three women in the sex trade.

Other world premieres include Canadian director Barbara K. Lee's "Between the Laughter," a documentary about a hearing-impaired comic; U.S. filmmaker D. B. Sweeney's "Dirt Nap," a road movie with misbehaving life-long buddies; and American directors Danielle Agnello and Joe Hall's "Lime Salted Love," a drama about abandonment, guilt, abuse and psychic pain in hipster Los Angeles.

Other U.S. indie films bound for Whistler include Alexandra Lipsitz's documentary "Air Guitar Nation," Mark Harvey's documentary "A Land Out of Time," Michael Brown's "Light of the Himalaya," Kathleen Man's "Sita, A Girl From Jambu" and John Cameron Mitchell's "Shortbus."

Other highlights at Whistler this year include the inaugural Doc Talk, a documentary conference and pitch forum, and a tribute for veteran Canadian director Norman Jewison ("Moonstruck"), who will head up a Borsos jury that includes actor Tantoo Cardinal and film producer Andrew Currie.

U.S. executives booked to take part as panelists and moderators in the Whistler Filmmaker Forum include Magnus Entertainment's Peter Wetherell, Matt Littin of Cinetic Media, Sundance Channel's Cynthia Kane, Strand Releasing's Jon Gerrans and Matt Henderson of Seventh Art Releasing.

The Whistler Film Festival will run Nov. 30-Dec. 3.