Variety’s 10 Screenwriters to Watch Returns to Whistler Film Festival

Variety Staff

For the fifth consecutive year, the Whistler Film Festival, which runs Nov. 30-Dec. 4, will host Variety’s 10 Screenwriters to Watch event. This year’s honored screenwriters will share their personal stories and challenges related to succeeding in today’s film industry at an afternoon conversation on Dec. 3 as part of WFF’s Signature Series. Hosted by Variety VP & executive editor Steven Gaydos, festival goers will get the chance to hear from some of the brightest and most promising writers of the year and get the latest news and insights behind their upcoming projects. Both casual fans and aspiring filmmakers have found this event to be illuminating and instructive, making it one of WFF’s most anticipated events of the festival.

Six of the ten screenwriters confirmed to attend the festival will receive their coveted award at WFF’s Awards Celebration on Dec. 4.

Variety’s class of 2016 screenwriters and notable credits include: Noah Oppenheim (“Jackie”); Allison Schroeder (“Hidden Figures”); Luke Davies (“Lion”); Celine Sciamma (“My Life as a Courgette”); Pamela Ribon (“Moana”); Olivia Milch (“Ocean’s Eight”); Kristina Lauren Anderson (“Catherine the Great”); Jojo Moyes (“You Before Me”); Todd Komarnicki (“Sully”); and Jonas Cuaron (“Desierto”).

“The Whistler Film Festival is delighted to collaborate once again with respected entertainment industry authority, Variety, to showcase the Variety 10 Screenwriters to Watch class of 2016,” says Whistler Film Festival’s executive director, Shauna Hardy Mishaw. “With Variety showcasing the brightest and most promising writers of the year, the chance to meet and hear their stories firsthand makes this a must-attend discussion for both casual fans and aspiring filmmakers. We are especially excited to be opening our fest with Phyllis Nagy’s screenplay ‘Carol,’ who was in our Variety 10 Screenwriters to Watch class of 2014.”

“Over the past five years of Variety‘s 10 Screenwriters to Watch events at the Whistler Film Festival, it’s been great to introduce writers such as Taylor Sheridan and Ted Melfi, who are both major Oscar contenders this year, as well as writers such Phyllis Nagy, Meg LeFauve, and Emma Donoghue and many others who went directly from Whistler to Oscar races and international acclaim,” said Steven Gaydos. “This year’s screenwriters are poised to continue that wonderful tradition!”

Variety’s 10 To Watch program began 19 years ago, annually celebrating breakthrough actors, directors, screenwriters, producers, comics, and cinematographers.

Writers who have appeared on the 10 Screenwriters to Watch list in years past include Oscar winners Jennifer Lee (“Frozen”); Geoffrey Fletcher (“Precious”); Charlie Kaufman (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”) and Julian Fellowes (“Gosford Park”); Emmy winner Lena Dunham (“Girls”); Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen (“This Is the End”); Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul (“Despicable Me” 1 and 2); Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (“Star Trek”); and Danny Strong (“Lee Daniels’ The Butler”).

From Nov. 30 to Dec. 4, the Whistler Film Festival will welcome film fans and filmmakers to experience its 16th edition featuring fresh films, special guests, epic events, unique industry and talent programs, and time to play in North America’s premier mountain resort destination. The Whistler Film Festival combines an international film competition with a focused industry summit dedicated to the art and business of filmmaking in the digital age. Featuring innovative and original films from around the world and opportunities to connect with the people who made them, this year’s fest will be filled with a solid lineup of premieres, honored guests, lively celebrations, and unique industry initiatives.

WFF’s industry summit schedule and guest lineup are now available at, and will be updated regularly. WFF’s film lineup is also now available online. The Festival’s online box office at is now open for VIP patron passes, industry passes, ticket packages, and festival credentials. Individual film and special event tickets go on sale online on Nov. 15 (until Dec. 4). The festival box office opens Nov. 1 for phone sales (1-877-838-FILM) and on Nov. 25 for walk-up sales.

The Whistler Film Festival and Summit are supported by Telefilm Canada, the Province of British Columbia, the Resort Municipality of Whistler, the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation and the American Friends of Whistler, funded by the Government of Canada through Western Economic Diversification, and is sponsored by Creative BC, Variety, The Harold Greenberg Fund, Cineplex, Tourism Whistler, Whistler Blackcomb, Gibbons Whistler and the Westin Resort & Spa Whistler.

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