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Whistler Film Festival job in
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Director of Industry Programming – Whistler Film Festival – Vancouver, BC

Company: Whistler Film Festival

Location: Vancouver, BC

  • Full Time

Whistler Film Festival

The Whistler Film Festival Society, a vibrant not-for-profit arts organization, is accepting applications for the position of Director of Industry Programming. The role is a contract position ideal for an experienced and highly motivated film industry professional who is passionate about connecting independent filmmakers to the international marketplace and advancing Canadian talent.

Organization Description

The Whistler Film Festival Society (WFFS) is a charitable, non-profit organization incorporated under the British Columbia Society Act. WFFS is dedicated to advancing the art and business of film by providing programs that focus on the discovery, development and promotion of talent culminating with a must attend festival for artists, the industry and audiences in Whistler each December, that together attract over 20,000 attendees annually, including over 1,000 industry insiders. WFFS fulfills its mission through producing:

  • A highly respected and recognized 5-day international film festival (WFF) and 4-day industry summit that draw industry, audiences and global exposure for Canadian talent;
  • A slate of 11 talent programs for over 80 Canadian artists – screenwriters, producers, directors, actors and musicians – with plans to expand and enhance programming;
  • Supplemental year-round film and event programming that enriches community life beyond the festival; and
  • Film and talent programming that nurtures gender parity, inclusivity and diversity.

Renowned as ‘Canada’s coolest film festival’, the Whistler Film Festival (WFF) has become the Canadian film industry’s liveliest gathering outside of TIFF, was recently recognized as one of the top seven film festivals in the world to attend’ and ‘one of ten of the most amazing film festivals worth attending’ in North America, and is one of Whistler’s signature cultural events. WFF is the only Canadian film festival with a prestigious Variety Partner Program, hosting the Variety 10 Screenwriters to Watch from 2011 to 2018, and is among the most competitive festivals on the continent for securing and screening award season contending films including Roma, If Beale Street Could Talk and Mary Queen of Scots in 2018. 2019 marks the 19th year of operation for the organization, with WFF taking place from December 4 to 8.

Job Description

Reporting to the Executive Director and Director of Operations, the Director of Industry Programming will design and deliver industry programming that connects WFF to local and global film and content industries, facilitates business opportunities and offers professional development, while delivering on revenue and attendance targets. Programs include a three-day industry Summit featuring up to 30 interactive sessions including panels, workshops, meetings and networking events, WFF’s Signature Series honouring up to three filmmakers of our time, and WFF’s 11 talent programs, with plans to expand programming under an institute model.

WFF’s Content Summit directly connects to its slate of talent programs designed to provide creative and business immersion experiences for Canadian artists including the Screenwriters Lab,Producers Lab, Power Pitch, Doc Lab, Indigenous Filmmaker Fellowship, Music Showcase, and Stars to Watch. WFF also collaborates with four industry organizations by hosting specific third party initiatives at WFF’s Summit including the Women in the Director’s Chair Industry Immersion,Women in Film & Television Film Market Preparation Mentorship, and theMPPIA Short Film Award Pitchwith the Motion Picture Production Industry Association and Creative BC.

This position is an annual contract, equivalent to approx. 26 full time weeks, and 26 part time weeks per annum for 2019 and 2020. Perks include two flex days per month, team hangouts (food and drinks), monthly team events, and opportunities to attend industry events, festivals, and networking events on behalf of WFF as well as professional development.

*Industry Programming:

  • Responsible for the creative vision, design and delivery of industry programming for WFF’s Content Summit, Signature Series and Talent Programs, with a strong focus on community building for Canadian talent and preparing independent filmmakers for the international marketplace
  • Work in collaboration with WFF’s Programming team for the purpose of consultation and alignment on programming themes, guests and offerings
  • Sustain and expand the global sources of WFF’s Industry speakers and prospects
  • Develop strategies to expand the national and global reach of WFF Industry Programming
  • Oversee venues and production for industry programs
  • Foster relationships with public funders and corporate sponsors alongside WFF’s Sponsorship, Government and Foundations team to develop financially sustainable and relevant programming
  • Track film industry market news and disseminate key trends for WFF
  • Contribute to securing speakers, trend setters and industry moguls and icons
  • Maintaining an acute focus on the needs of the regional, national and global film industry
  • Contribute to programming partnerships across all sectors – film/tv/digital

Industry Office and Services:

  • Work in collaboration with WFF leads to develop short and long-term strategies for meeting program targets and budgets, and growing industry revenues, including securing new national and global relationships and developing revenue streams
  • Collaborate with programming, operations, sales, box office and guest service teams to meet program targets and budgets
  • Collaborate with Guest Relations team for guest offerings including hotel and travel bookings
  • Monitor the Industry Office’s Customer and Alumni Relations Management System
  • Monitor partner relationships with industry related publications and B2B partners
  • In conjunction with Marketing/Content Management team, provide input on outreach and marketing messaging for all Industry Office initiatives, and provide content for the WFF Industry website, industry schedules and social media campaigns
  • Oversee the planning and production of WFF’s Industry Centre
  • Oversee the industry team including performance management and professional development of direct reports
  • Provide input on industry pass and ticketing structures, access levels and pricing for all WFF Industry events and programs
  • Oversee and monitor online industry registration process
  • Create timely and accurate reports for Executive and Finance Committees

Personal Attributes:

The Director of Industry Programming will:

  • Lead by example
  • Motivate a cohesive team of staff and volunteers while maximizing and recognizing individual contributions
  • Conduct activities with integrity, trust, respect, enthusiasm and in an open and ethical manner
  • Conduct responsibilities in adherence to the spirit of the WFF mission
  • Provide leadership on all ethical standards, policy and procedures
  • Be organized with proven management skills


  • Post secondary degree in film or a related field, plus continuing education
  • 5+ years working in a corporate leadership, education and or programming position in the film industry
  • Sales experience considered an asset
  • Well developed relationships in the film and content industries, with a strong understanding of the roles played by producers, distributors, sales agents, public and private film financiers, and film promotion agencies
  • Strong grasp of the economic principles of the entertainment industry
  • Strong understanding of industry protocols as it pertains to talent management
  • Demonstrated experience leading teams
  • Demonstrated experience negotiating contracts
  • Demonstrated experience in business diplomacy across cultures
  • Demonstrated track record of client servicing
  • Post-secondary training in cinema and business considered an asset
  • Fluency in at least one language beyond English considered an asset
  • Knowledge of film, television, digital and related content industries considered an asset
  • Ability to develop and communicate strategic plans
  • Strong collaboration skills
  • Ability to influence and build relationships within an organization
  • Adaptable to a flexible work schedule, including evenings and weekends
  • Some travel required

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