The Whistler Film Festival (WFF) is not the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), nor is it the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF). And it doesn't pretend to be either. But the five-day event, held every December at B.C.’s premier ski resort, has found its niche in Western Canada’s cold hills as an ironically warm and uniquely Canadian affair.
“It’s like we’re becoming Canada’s Sundance,” says Paul Gratton, WFF’s director of programming, over lunch at West restaurant in Vancouver's South Granville district. In a few hours, he’ll be on a plane to Toronto to connect with film distributors in TIFF territory. Gratton explains that there’s just enough time between the two festivals to provide ample breathing room for TIFF filmmakers who want to now premiere their works in Western Canada.