The annual Whistler Film Festival (WFF) and Content Summit is a celebration of national and international cinema in North America’s premier mountain resort destination. 

Established in 2001 by the Whistler Film Festival Society—a charitable organization dedicated to furthering the art and business of film, with emphasis on diversity and inclusivity—WFF features a combination of film screenings and industry initiatives, as well as a number of prestigious talent programs designed to nurture and support emerging local creatives. 

WFF22 was held in a challenging context, with some COVID-19 concerns still remaining for guests and industry folks. A return to a hybrid in-person/online format cemented the festival’s presence in the digital space, while navigating lingering pandemic anxiety and accommodating a national audience.Starting in May 2022, Coldwater Communications executed a high-level public relations strategy to push box office sales for the in-person festival in December, drive traffic to the virtual festival, and build the WFF’s industry reputation for promoting and developing cinematic excellence via talent development and industry connection.

The Work

  • Monitoring daily coverage.
  • Editing and distributing press releases.
  • Securing and coordinating in-person and remote press opportunities for the WFF team, filmmakers, and VIP guests, before, during and after the in-person event.
  • Generating a variety of story angles across local, regional, provincial, national, and U.S. media, reaching out to hundreds of press members over the course of the event.
  • Wrangling and conducting on-site red carpet interviews, both with Coldwater staff and specially hired hosts Fiona Forbes, Jim Gordon, and Leeta Liepens.

The Results

  • Earned media outreach efforts generated coverage in a total 1,520 outlets in digital, print, radio, and television.
  • Worked around COVID unease with remote opportunities, and was successful in securing broadcast, radio, and online coverage for WFF talent including Jason Priestley, Martin Villeneuve, Joelle Desjardins Paquette, and others.
  • WFF22’s biggest notable star in attendance was Jason Priestley, who was attending the world premiere of his documentary OFFSIDE: THE HAROLD BALLARD STORY. Coldwater Communication secured coverage with Global News BC, CBC’s the National, CTV, Sportsnet, Sirius XM, and The Hockey News. 
  • Some outlets that covered WFF22 included the Globe and Mail, CBC Radio, the Vancouver Sun, Toronto Star, and New York Weekly. 

Examples of Media Coverage: