Each film at WFF screens only once, benefiting from a strategy that maximizes audience attendance and enthusiasm for each picture. Short-form and feature-length filmmakers alike are provided with complimentary lodging, and feature-length filmmakers also enjoy round-trip travel to and from the festival. The winner of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Award -- an honor bestowed upon the festival's best short film, as selected by audience members -- receives an original piece of artwork valued at $18,000 USD, by internationally lauded painter Stephen Hannock. In 2010 and 2012, Reeve winners Luke Matheny (God of Love) and Shawn Christensen (Curfew) subsequently nabbed Academy Awards and embarked on exciting futures in filmmaking.
A destination event featuring an eclectic blend of rising talents and established industry professionals, WFF has been among the first festivals to feature indie film greats like Todd McCarthy's The Station Agent, Jay & Mark Duplass' The Puffy Chair, Brad Silberling's 10 Items or Less, Campbell Scott's Off the Map, and Jeffrey Blitz' Spellbound. There's no telling what audience-pleasing gems this festival might uncover next or what extraordinary careers it will help launch.