Stop what you’re doing right now because this adorable small town is going to melt your heart with its sweet innocence! Whitwell, Manitoba is home to the darling 4 year old Whitwell Weekend Film Festival, which should already be enough to make you want to pinch its cheeks, but to top it off, local residents actually feel as if their three day event carries weight on the global festival circuit! Squeeeee!
Festival founder Steven Petrenko has even said – with a straight face – “our festival is in the late fall so we can hopefully snag a prestige picture” and it is the sweetest thing in the entire world! Don’t you just want to eat him up?
If the staff of the festival itself aren’t precocious enough for you, you’ll absolutely squish yourself into a gooey puddle when you find out that residents of Whitwell regularly point out during the festival that their town has a higher population than Park City, Utah. That’s the home of the Sundance Film Fest, they’ll quickly add, just exactly as if you didn’t already know! They want to be just like their heroes, and it’s insanely precious!
This cute little festival is premiering not one or two but EIGHT student films, six of which were shot on phones. PLUS, if you visit their website they even have an adorable little jpeg of some “official selection” laurel leaves that they encourage participating filmmakers to download and put on their promotional materials so that everyone gets to feel like this nice movie weekend actually means something.
The local Canadian Tire is reporting that Petrenko bought up their entire stock of burgundy doormats, so we can’t WAIT to see what kind of quaint approximation of a red carpet that turns into! Maybe people will even get lanyards!
Let’s hope the organizers of this special festival never lose their innocence, because if they’re anything like me, all it will take is attending one TIFF party and then they’ll become insufferable assholes.