Whistler, B.C. (November 19, 2018) – With 10 days to go until show time, the Whistler Film Festival (WFF) has just announced the four Canadian actors selected for its Stars to Watch program presented by UBCP/ACTRA. The performers selected as WFF’s Stars to Watch finalists and connected to films at this year’s festival include: Cara Gee with lead roles in the World Premiere of RED ROVER and Western Canadian Premiere of TROUBLE IN THE GARDEN; Richard Harmon with the lead role in the World Premiere of WOODLAND; Marc Senior with a lead role in the World Premiere of IN GOD I TRUST; and Taran Kootenhayoo with a lead role in the World Premiere of BELLA CIAO!.
“We are excited to celebrate these masters-in-the-making with our 2018 Stars to Watch, a diverse and impressive group of four talented actors arising from Western Canada, each on a trajectory for international success,” said Julie Di Cresce, WFF’s Director of Industry Programming.
WFF’s 5th annual Stars to Watch program is a four-day immersion experience for UBCP/ACTRA member actors, all of whom are poised for international recognition and are connected to features premiering at the festival. The initiative draws on homegrown talent from the four Western Provinces, with a specific focus on British Columbia. WFF will formally acknowledge the four Stars to Watch with an official awards presentation at its Awards Celebration on December 2.
The selection committee included Roger Cross – Actor; Murray Gibson – Agent/Manager & Partner, RED Management; Judy JK Lee – Casting Director, Red Card Productions; and Ben Silverman – Managing Director, Integral Artists & Partner, LevelFILM. Stars to Watch is sponsored by the Union of BC Performers (UBCP/ACTRA).
WFF’s Stars to Watch is one of the festival’s 11 talent programs that provides creative and business immersion experiences for 80 Canadian artists – including screenwriters, directors, producers, actors and musicians – with 78% of the talent pool coming from British Columbia and 50% being female. Geared towards the advancement of business and creative opportunities for emerging and mid-career Canadian screen content creators and their projects, programs include the Producers Lab, Praxis Screenwriters Lab, Indigenous Filmmaker Fellowship, Power Pitch, Stars to Watch, Doc Lab, Women on Top Mentorship and Music Showcase. WFF also collaborates with several industry organizations by hosting specific third party initiatives including the Women in the Director’s Chair Industry Immersion, Women in Film & Television Film Market Preparation Mentorship, and the MPPIA Short Film Award Pitch with the Motion Picture Production Industry Association and Creative BC.
From November 28th to December 2nd, the Whistler Film Festival will welcome film fans and filmmakers to experience its 18th edition featuring fresh films from Canada and around the world, special guests, epic events, unique industry and talent programs, and time to play in North America’s premier mountain resort destination. The Whistler Film Festival combines an international film competition with a focused Content Summit dedicated to the art and business of filmmaking in the digital age. The Summit features four themed days with 30 interactive sessions designed to foster business connections and collaborations for filmmakers and dealmakers through high-level keynotes and panel discussions on topics that range from finance, marketing, distribution and technology to export. With up to 14,000 attendees expected including 1,000 industry insiders from across North America and beyond, Whistler is the place for industry to get intel, connect, deal and see great films.
WFF’s film lineup and schedule, and Content Summit schedule and guest lineup are now available at whistlerfilmfestival.com, and will be updated regularly.
The Festival’s online box office at whistlerfilmfestival.com/tickets is now open for Film, Industry and Patron Passes as well as Ticket Packages. Individual film tickets go on sale on November 15 and the WFF Box Office Kiosk opens for walk-up sales on November 23. Exclusive air travel and ground transportation deals, as well as best accommodation rates from WFF’s 20 accommodation partners, are now available at whistlerfilmfestival.com/attend.
The Whistler Film Festival is funded by the Government of Canada through Telefilm Canada, and by the Province of British Columbia and the Resort Municipality of Whistler through the Resort Municipality Initiative, is supported by the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation and the American Friends of Whistler, and is sponsored by Variety, Creative BC, Cineplex, Encore Vancouver, NETFLIX, RE/MAX Sea to Sky Real Estate, Gibbons Whistler, Tourism Whistler, Whistler Blackcomb and the Westin Resort & Spa Whistler.
The Whistler Film Festival Society 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, industry and audiences in Whistler. Find out more at whistlerfilmfestival.com.
WFF18 STARS TO WATCH BIOS
Cara Gee is an accomplished actor who recently moved to Los Angeles and is now living and working in Hollywood. Gee is currently shooting a lead role in the film, CALL OF THE WILD (20th Century Fox). Other notable film credits include: PULLING INWARD and EMPIRE OF DIRT where she was nominated for a 2014 Canadian Screen Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role. Gee is a series regular on The Expanse. Prior to that, she starred as the series lead in the CBC series Strange Empire. Other selected TV credits include Republic of Doyle (CBC), King (Showcase), Darknet, Carmilla, Inhuman Condition and Seraphim. Gee was named one of the Top 13 People to Watch (Toronto Star, 2013), a TIFF Rising Star (TIFF, 2013) and one of the 15 Canadian Rising Stars (Deadline Hollywood, 2017). She is attending WFF with lead roles in the World Premiere of RED ROVER and Western Canadian Premiere of TROUBLE IN THE GARDEN.
Coming from a family thoroughly involved in the entertainment industry, Richard’s start in film and television was natural. The Vancouver actor has worked in a large spectrum of small screen roles including A&E’s Bates Motel and the critically acclaimed AMC/Netflix series The Killing. Richard has also had pivotal roles on the big screen, including a lead role in the indie JUDAS KISS, RUFUS, IF I HAD WINGS, AGE OF ADALINE and I STILL SEE YOU. Richard can currently be seen in the hit CW series The 100 and the upcoming films THE RETURN and ANDERSON FALLS. He is attending WFF with the lead role in the World Premiere of WOODLAND.
Marc Senior is an actor, whose passion is bringing people closer through story-telling. With an extensive background in theatre, stand-up, sketch & tv/film he brings a unique skill set to every story he tells. Toronto born, and now Vancouver based, Senior’s notable television credits include ‘Sammy Davis Jr’ on NBC’s show Timeless, ‘Victor’ on CW’s hit show Supernatural and a recurring role on ABC’s The Whispers. Other memorable television appearances include The Magicians (SYFY), Supergirl (CW), Arrow (CW), Alcatraz (FOX). Marc Senior can next be seen in a lead role as ‘Detective Fiore’ in the TV movie RADIO SILENCE on THE MOVIE NETWORK. He is attending WFF with a lead role in the World Premiere of IN GOD I TRUST.
Born in Cold Lake, AB (1993) Taran Kootenhayoo is a Denesųłįné & Stoney Nakoda actor, playwright and spoken-word poet based in Vancouver. Taran is a member of the Full Circle First Nations Performance Ensemble, signed on with Premiere Talent and is currently producing work with Savage Society. Recent credits include: Remy in “Literally” a Web Series, Him in Him/Her, Corbin in Corbin, Ohanzee in Ohanzee, Himself in Lelum’, Riot/Construction in No Reservations. He also received the REVEAL Indigenous Arts Award from The Hnatyshyn Foundation (2017). He is attending WFF with a lead role in the World Premiere of BELLA CIAO!.