Whispers of Life (2013), Written and Directed by Florian Halbedl and Produced by Joshua M. Ferguson, has been awarded the Audience Choice Award and the Jury Choice Award at the 26th Annual Reel Pride Film Festival in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Whispers of Life was one of ten films in the festival’s Canadian GLBTTQ* Short Film Competition on October 16th, 2013. William F White Inc., and RBC Royal Bank support both cash prize awards.
“REEL PRIDE sends out a national call for the GLBTTQ* short film competition and Whispers of Life reflects the strength of the submissions received – Congratulations to Joshua, Florian and the entire Whispers of Life team- it is rare and extremely impressive to win both the Juried and Audience prizes, and a great statement about this film” – Geof Langen President of the REEL PRIDE Film Festival.
“We at RBC are so proud to support creative expression as presenting sponsor of the REEL PRIDE Film Festival for the past three years,” shared RBC Manager of Public Affairs Robb Ritchie. “We are thrilled to award the Audience and Jury prizes to Whispers of Life – a movie with a timely message that reflects the many talents of emerging artists and an exciting new generation of film makers,” said Ritchie.
Whispers of Life tells the magical story about the interdependence of imagination and survival of Tom, a gay teenager, who is threatened by a bully’s homophobic words. As Tom sits on his park bench, ridden with angst, a stranger named Charles suddenly appears next to him and strikes up a conversation that forever alters the teenager’s future and life.
Whispers of Life has been accepted into nine film festivals around the world so far including festivals in the US, Canada, Switzerland, Italy, Germany and Australia. Whispers of Life premiered at Cinema Diverse: Palm Springs Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in September and was selected a “Festival Favourite” by their audience. Whispers of Life’s next festival screening is at The 28th Annual Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival on October 21st, 2013.
Halbedl states that “the core idea behind Whispers of Life was inspired by the onslaught of publicized gay, teen suicides. The short film works as an artistic intervention to challenge the societal taboo of suicide, the pervasive and damaging effects of anti-gay bullying and the fact that these issues are not discussed openly.” Halbedl “believes that communication is one of the major missing links between someone who is pondering thoughts of taking their own life and someone who could potentially save it. Whispers of Life brings communication to the forefront of the discussion of suicide and anti-gay bullying.” Halbedl & Ferguson are pleased to announce this news on Spirit Day where millions wear purple in a stand against bullying and to show their support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth. Whispers of Life was shot and produced in Vancouver last year with the support of ninety-eight Vancouver industry professionals. Halbedl and Ferguson state that they used crowd-funding company IndieGoGo to raise the modest budget for the film; “138 funders from all over the world, including significant donations from the Philippines and France, supported the project.”