WIFTV x Whistler Film Festival Film Market Preparation Mentee Announced

Women in Film & Television (WIFTV), in association with Whistler Film Festival (WFF) is pleased to announce that Christina Saliba is the recipient of the 2021 WIFTV Whistler Film Festival Market Preparation Mentorship Program for her horror feature “White Noise” which explores one woman’s mental illness. Her mentor is Karen Lam, celebrated Vancouver horror filmmaker.

“I am thrilled to be a part of the 2021 WIFTV WFF Mentorship Program and to be working with mentor, Karen Lam,” expressed Christina. “Working with Karen to strengthen my preparation tactics and pitch skills will in turn strengthen my resolve and confidence as a filmmaker to pitch my films in any medium, and this is invaluable.”

Christina Saliba started a career in wildlife biology before launching into the world of cinema as a film production manager on independent short and feature films. In 2017, she joined Goldrush Entertainment as a development executive, discovering new intellectual property to produce, creating pitch materials, and providing support in pre- to post-production. Christina produced a stage play that was showcased at Just for Laughs and Pride Montreal and is now venturing into producing more queer and feminist-driven works for the silver screen. She is a recent graduate of the Canadian Film Centre’s Producers’ Lab.

Mentor Karen Lam has produced five feature films, eight short films and three television series. She is currently in post-production after directing her first studio feature film for NBC/Universal in Winnipeg. The film is set to premiere in the fall of 2022. Her most recent film “The Curse of Willow Song” (2020) has been programmed at film festivals worldwide and has received a number of awards, including “Best BC Feature Film” at the Vancouver International Film Festival. Karen was awarded “Best Director” from the 2020 Leo Awards, which showcases talent from the British Columbia film and television industry. She is also currently a mentor in the Whistler Film Festival Producers Lab.

“What excites me about Christina’s project “White Noise” is that it uses the horror medium to highlight and explore mental illness through a complex female character,” Karen said. “The premise is personal and visceral, and Christina’s connection with her subject and material elevates the project in today’s crowded marketplace.”

The jury members were Karin Lee and Julia Kwan, chaired by Board Member Christine Willes.

“The jury would like to convey what an honour it was to evaluate such a strong group of applications. It was inspiring to be introduced to these talented emerging voices, and we look forward to seeing these women’s future projects. Christina Saliba’s “White Noise” demonstrates a strong cinematic vision with a compelling and complex lead character. We were immediately drawn into the distinct emotional and sensory realm of the film. The application was so exciting, the jury recognized a clear winner. We’re all eager to see this film.”

Karin Lee is a writer, director and producer born and raised in Vancouver, BC. Since 1991, she has written, directed and produced narrative films, experimental video and documentaries. In 2001, Karin received a Gemini: The Canada Award, from the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television for her groundbreaking documentary, “Made in China”, about Chinese children adopted in Canada. In 2005 she received a BC Leo Diversity in Cultures Award. Her newest film, “Incorrigable”, tells the story of Velma Demerson who was was jailed in 1939 for falling in love with a Chinese man.

Julia Kwan is a writer and director living in Vancouver. Julia’s feature film debut, “Eve & the Fire Horse”, had its international premiere at Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Special Jury Prize for Dramatic World Cinema. Since then, Julia has written and directed numerous short and feature length films in different genres (drama, documentary, and/or animation) over the years, including the NFB’s “Everything Will Be”, her award winning debut feature documentary and “The Zoo”, an animated short film.