With less that two weeks to go until opening night, the Whistler Film Festival (WFF) on Friday announced the award recipients that will be honoured as part of the event’s 21st edition next month.
Running in person from Dec. 1 to 5 and online from Dec. 1 to 31, the WFF will shine a light on three of the Canadian film industry’s top talents as part of it’s Signature Series events. Honoured this year will be Toronto-born actor Eric McCormack, best known for his role as Will Truman on the NBC sitcom Will & Grace, who will be in conversation with TV personality and host George Stroumboulopoulos at 5:15 p.m. on Dec. 3 at the Maury Young Arts Centre. McCormack also stars in the WFF entry and Borsos Competition for Best Canadian Feature nominee Drinkwater.
Squamish actor, director and producer Lorne Cardinal, best known for playing Sgt. Davis Quinton on the CBC sitcom and animated spinoff Corner Gas, along with more than 100 other TV, stage and film credits to his name, will be presented with WFF’s Vanguard Award, which recognizes someone who has made a profound impact in the TV and film industry through their body of work. Cardinal is no stranger to industry accolades, having taken home the sixth annual August Schellenberg Award of Excellence last year and the Best Actor Award at the 2019 American Indian Film Festival, among many others. Cardinal has also been involved with the Point Artist Run-Centre in Whistler, serving as mentor to local actors that performed at the Flag Stop Theatre and Arts Festival during two summers. Cardinal also stars in this year’s WFF entry and Borsos nominee Run Woman Run.
WFF alumni Devery Jacobs, who won Best Performance in a Borsos film at the 2016 WFF, will be presented with the One to Watch Award, recognizing her for “demonstrating the immense talent that has catapulted her to critical acclaim and who is destined for even greater success,” the festival said in a release. Devery currently stars in the much-buzzed-about FX and Hulu series Reservation Dogs from Oscar-winning director Taika Waititi.
Both Cardinal and Jacobs will be featured in conversation at 5 p.m. on Dec. 8 that will be streamed on WFF’s interactive virtual platform.
The festival will also be honouring five up-and-coming actors as part of its eighth annual Stars to Watch program, which draws on homegrown talent from the Western provinces, with a particular focus on B.C. This year’s honourees are Daniel Doheny, who plays Mike Drinkwater in Stephen Camanelli’s Drinkwater; fellow Drinkwater cast member Louriza Tronco, who plays Wallace Owens; Asivak Koostachin, who plays Tom in the B.C. premiere of Zoe Leigh Hopkins’ Run Woman Run; Rumbie Muzofa, who plays Evelyne in the world premiere of Carl Bessai’s Evelyne; and Katie Boland, who plays the dual roles of Finn and Nicki in the Canadian premiere of We’re All In This Together, which she also wrote and directed.
“We are excited to be honouring this who’s who of gifted and talented performers this year and celebrate their career achievements with special online events and deserving awards,” says the festival’s executive director Angela Heck in a release. “Joining these acclaimed actors at the fest are this year’s Stars to Watch, a diverse and impressive group of talented actors from Western Canada, each on a trajectory for international success.”