Over 350 filmmakers including actors, producers, writers, directors, industry executives and musicians, are part of the 14th annual Whistler Film Festival + Summit (December 3-7), including an impressive lineup of star-studded guests and honourees, a 100% plus increase in guests from the previous year. WFF continues to strengthen its programming partnerships and bring audiences unique films and events through its Signature Series, which recognizes distinguished artists of our time and honours them with an award and/or an intimate on-stage interview, some complemented by a feature presentation of their most recent film.

English-Canadian actress Kim Cattrall, who has had an extensive career spanning film, stage and television, is this year’s Tribute honouree presented by Pandora and will be celebrated with WFF’s inaugural Maverick Award in an intimate tête-à-tête with Jason Priestley on December 6th. Known globally for her award-winning portrayal of the infamous ‘Samantha Jones’ on the acclaimed HBO TV hit Sex and the City, most recently she has returned to television in the Movie Channel/HBO Canada series Sensitive Skin.  Cattrall was recognized for her work in the TV series with a Golden Globe; two Screen Actors Guild Awards; five Emmy Award nominations and three Screen Actors Guild nominations. In 2010 she received a Gemini Award for her role in the animated series Producing Parker. Cattrall also starred in Channel 4’s acclaimed production of William Boyd’s Any Human Heart. The Whistler Film Festival is proud to honour Kim Cattrall and to have her participate as a juror in this year’s Borsos Competition for Best Canadian Feature. Clips from her work will be presented and her career highlights will be discussed.

Canadian-born Dean DeBlois, one of the most versatile talents working in the animation industry today, is this year’s Trailblazer in Animation honouree and will be celebrated in a Variety Contender Conversation on December 6, hosted by Variety Vice President and Executive Editor Steven Gaydos. The self-proclaimed ‘STAR WARS kid’, Dean is equally at home in the worlds of live-action and animation filmmaking. Dean is best known for writing and directing Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Academy Award nominated film LILO & STITCH with Chris Sanders. He later stepped behind the live-action camera to direct the indie critical darling HEIMA, which documents alternative/post-rock band Sigur Rós’ series of free, unannounced concerts performed in their home country of Iceland. He also previously served as head of story on the Disney hit MULAN. Most recently, Dean wrote, directed and executive produced DreamWorks Animation’s HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2, sequel to the 2011 Academy Award® (Best Animated Feature and Best Original Score) nominated HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, and has earned well over half a billion dollars and is the highest grossing animation film of the year. The franchise, built around the story of Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his dragon, Toothless, has been successful both critically and financially, even leading to an expansion into television. Dean is currently working on the screenplay for the third film, the final act in Hiccup’s coming of age story that has acted as the main through-line of the franchise.

If there is one producer in Canada whose career path serves as a blueprint for the evolution of the Canadian film industry, it is Don Carmody, who has been producing films for close to 40 years and is a champion of the Canadian industry. WFF is proud to honour Don Carmody at an In Conversation and with a much-merited Career Achievement Award on December 4. Don’s credits include over 100 films thus far, including the Academy Award® nominated GOOD WILL HUNTING, THE PLEDGE, WRONG TURN, GOTHIKA, the cult hit THE BOONDOCK SAINTS, ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13, LUCKY NUMBER SLEVIN, ORPHAN and the RESIDENT EVIL films, the fourth installment of which grossed over 300 million dollars worldwide and has become Canada’s reigning Box Office champion. In 2002, he was Co-Producer of CHICAGO, which won 7 Academy Awards® including Best Picture and 3 Golden Globe Awards including Best Musical/Comedy. Recent productions include GOON, SILENT HILL: REVELATION, RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION and THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS: CITY OF BONES. His latest film, POMPEII was released in February. WFF is presenting the World Premiere of Don’s latest film, AFTER THE BALL, in this year's Borsos Competition for Best Canadian Feature

The Whistler Film Festival will also host the Variety 10 Screenwriters to Watch for the third consecutive year. This year’s slate of screenwriters will be announced by Variety in its November 25 issue. Attending screenwriters will share their personal stories and challenges related to succeeding in today’s film industry at an afternoon discussion on December 6 hosted by Variety Vice President and Executive Editor Steven Gaydos. Variety will also present the screenwriters with an award at WFF’s Awards Brunch on December 7.

 Other notable talent attending the festival includes: Chace Crawford (MOUNTAIN MEN, Gossip Girl, WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU'RE EXPECTING), Murray Foster (Great Big Sea, Director of THE COCKSURE LADS MOVIES), Amanda Crew (BAD CITY, CHARLIE ST.CLOUD), and Evelyne Brochu (WOLVES, Orphan Black). WFF’s Rising Stars who will be featured at the fest and are all attending with films include: Camille Sullivan (ALLY WAS SCREAMING, ICE SOLIDERS), Dustin Milligan (BAD CITY), Niall Matter (ALLY WAS SCREAMING, 90210, Arctic Air), and Sara Canning (I PUT A HIT ON YOU, THE RIGHT KIND OF WRONG).

This year’s Borsos Competition for Best Canadian Feature jury is made up of Canadian director and actor Jason Priestley, one of the most versatile talents in the entertainment business both in front of and behind the camera who is also WFF’s Honourary Ambassador and attended the festival last year with his feature debut CAS & DYLAN industry pioneer and principal at The Entertainment and Media Finance Group, Michael Hirsch, and English-Canadian actress Kim Cattrall, who has had an extensive acting career that spans film, stage and television. This accomplished trio will present the $15,000 Borsos Award for Best Canadian Feature; the second largest cash film festival prize for a Canadian film in the country, as well as the awards for Best Performance, Best Direction and Best Screenplay of a Borsos Competition Film, and a $15,000 Post Production Prize from Encore Vancouver to the winning film.

On the World Documentary jury are Award-winning documentarian Brent Hodge (A BRONY TALE), John Zaritsky who has won more than 40 awards including an Academy Award in 1982 for his documentary JUST ANOTHER MISSING KID, and award-winning director Nimisha Mukerji (65_REDROSES, BLOOD RELATIVE). The Mountain Culture jury includes local journalist and screenwriter, Cathryn Atkinson (BUMPERSHINES), sports film industry cinematographer and art director Guillaume Tessier, and executive producer Tracey Friesen, formerly of the NFB with credits on over 30 projects, including the award-winning films Being Caribou, ScaredSacred, Carts of Darkness and Force of Nature: The David Suzuki Movie. The ShortWork jury includes award-winning filmmaker Mark Ratzlaff, award-winning writer Ken Hegan, and actress, digital/social-media producer, writer and composer, Alexandra Staseson.

  The Whistler Film Festival is supported by Telefilm Canada, the Province of British Columbia, the Resort Municipality of Whistler and Tourism Whistler, and is sponsored by Variety, ELLE Canada, the Directors Guild of Canada - British Columbia, Creative BC, The Harold Greenburg Fund, Cineplex, CTV, Pandora, Sorel, Columbia, Whistler Blackcomb, Promosa and the Westin Resort & Spa Whistler.