Posted by Jess on Thursday, April 21 - 1.57pm

72hr Filmmakers Showdown 2011: Are you challenging me to a jib off?

It’s a couple of days after the 72hr Filmmaker Showdown, and funny clips and images are still playing like flashbacks in my head. It was a sell out crow and people lined the walls, not bothered that they would be standing for the next two-hours. The ever-controversial Feet Banks hosted the show, and this year stuck it to pay parking, a touchy subject up here in Whistler. As the laughter and applause abated Feet went on to explain that the winners would be taking home a cheque for $10,000, but he’d be “taking the sure money and hosting”. Without anymore fuss he moved on to the first movie of the night, a first timer to the festival, ‘Zoolander: A Whistler Snowboard Interpretation’ by Harley Francis. Using a cult classic was a smart move, and soon the audience was warming up and hooting and hollering at the right spots. Favourite part: “Are you challenging me to a job off?”

The second contender was Liz Thompson, who’s entered the competition six times, and reached the final in four of those attempts. ‘The Sock Movie’ answered the question of where those pesky missing socks end up. An artistic and creative movie with amazing sets. Incredibly unique.

To the sound of violins we were treated to the next film from Squamish filmmaker, Max Shwadchuck ‘Board Sitter’ had a funny story line with some great slow-mo action shots. Short and sweet.

A slightly darker entry by Conrad Schapanksky ‘Master of Puppets’ made fun of living inside of the Whistler bubble. Favourite part: man in a second hand wrestling suit taking out a snowman on the GLC patio, not to mention the dog with the Mohawk.

We were all expecting big things as previous Filmmaker Showdown winner, Johnny Fleet, introduced ‘Poached Earth’. In a David Attenborough style documentary his team told the story of ‘hot tub poachers’ – to the roars and cheers of the crowd.

As the beer break began ‘Poached Earth’ was an early favourite but there were still four more films to go – could they be knocked off the top spot?

Another first timer, Andrew de Viliers, stepped up to the plate with his movie, ‘Love at First Slide’. The protagonist hadthe same wistful glances that actor, Jesse Eisenberg, manages to pull of in most of his films. Another cute love story breaking up the snowboard antics at the fest.

Then with his obligatory flatcap on, Robjn Taylor introduced his film, ‘The Salad of Justice’. Always original and totally out there, this film involved a cheating girlfriend, papaya, and cactus – make of that what you will.

Then last-years winners came up with their piece ‘Chairlift Time Machine’, which had its moments but was not going to knock Johnny Fleet off the top spot this year.

Lastly Mike Douglas and his team of social media gurus came up with a timely piece on what it’s like to date in this day and age. I personally loved this entry for its quirkiness.

All in all it was yet another successful evening, 65,000 square feet of conference centre space was filled with laughter, and cheering. As the judges departed to make their decision it was already made up in the minds of many. This year the judges and audience were in sync and ‘Poached Earth’ by Johnny Fleet stole the show and the $10K – well deserved.


-Dee Raffo