Whistler, BC—Film-making becomes an athletic endeavour at Whistler’s annual 72 Hour Filmmaker Showdown. The competition, an integral part of the TELUS World Ski & Snowboard Festival’s line-up, challenges artists to perform feats of speed, endurance and precision, with the call to shoot, edit and produce a 3-5 minute digital film set within a 100km radius of Whistler in the space of 72 hours.

The 72 Hour Filmmaker Showdown traditionally spawns a concentrated burst of creative energy in Whistler. The Muses descend en masse, as 100 filmmaking teams are loosed on the resort and are given free range to blow the budget, burn the midnight oil and storm the house to meet a deadline.

As if that’s not alluring enough to the creatively-minded, finalists have a chance to showcase their film to a live audience of 2000 people for the final Showdown.

The Gala screening of finalists is the hottest ticket in town, packing the 2000 seat Conference Centre. Even the unsanctioned Second Cuts screenings sell out. Previous winners have also received significant exposure, including screenings for the Directors Guild of Canada, at the 2003 Squaw Valley Film Festival, and the 2003 World of Comedy International Film Festival in Toronto. Winners from the 5 previous years of the competition can be viewed at www.whistler2007.com.

The winner of the 2007 Best in Show award will pick up $15,000 in prizes including a $2000 cash purse.

A $50 entry fee per team, introduced this year, means the 72 Hour Filmmaker Showdown is still the most accessible film competition in North America, and the winner walks away with a cash purse, in addition to a swag of prizes, and a rocket-fuelled boost to their film careers.

The call for participants is now underway, open to anyone who loves to make films – amateurs and professionals, teams or individuals. Teams from California, Montreal, Vancouver and Whistler have already lodged early submissions. Festival Production Coordinator Lilli Clark says, “The profile of 72 Hour Filmmaker Showdown is growing, and it’s earning a reputation globally as a quality film-making event, with professionals and industry-insiders from across the country lining up to take part.

The exposure for the film-makers is more than just to a packed house at the Gala screening, but will put their work before an A-list panel of reviewers and judges from within the Canadian film industry.

Industry luminaries including Leo nominated writer and director Tara Hungerford; the film, TV and theatre producer who is also behind the monthly Celluloid Social Club, Paul Armstrong; Anthony Vitale from WhiteOut Films and Zaib Shaikh of Little Mosque on the Prairie fame will sit on the review panel to choose the finalists.

The panel who will judge the Best in Show will include writer/director Bruce Sweeney (Last Wedding, American Venus), actor Terry David Mulligan, producer Kevin Eastwood (The Delicate Art of Parking, Fido), and film critics Katherine Monk and Glen Schaefer.

Due to the popularity of the Filmmaker Showdown, advance registration is highly recommended. Entries may still be accepted, but not guaranteed, at a meeting required for all participants at the TELUS Conference Centre on Friday April 14 at 9am in Whistler. The deadline for guaranteed entry is April 3rd. The competition begins following the meeting at 10am. You can register your intent to participate and read up about all the filming details at www.whistler2007.com/film/entry.

The TELUS World Ski & Snowboard Festival is produced by Watermark Communications, a Whistler sports & entertainment marketing company, and presented in partnership with Tourism Whistler and Whistler Blackcomb. Celebrating its twelfth year as the largest annual winter sports and music festival in North America, the TELUS World Ski & Snowboard Festival is a high-octane 10 day and night showcase of the best of snowsports, music, arts and mountain life. Featuring major professional ski and snowbboarding competitions, the largest free outdoor concert series in Canada, the legendary Pro Photographer and Filmmaker Showdowns, and many more unique art and cultural showcases, the Festival is the ultimate wrap party. For information on the 2007 TELUS World Ski and Snowboard Festival, this year from April 13-22, visit whistler2007.com