Show time! Forest City Film Festival to welcome live audiences again


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Online streaming is so 2020.

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The sixth annual Forest City Film Festival features a well-stocked roster of in-person events and high-profile guests eager to welcome audiences again after its screenings and industry sessions were forced into line last year by the pandemic.

“I call it the salvage festival,” said Dorothy Downs, executive director of the Forest City Film Festival.

“We are experiencing fantastic growth and a substantial change in our presence, both provincially and nationally. “

The festival takes place from October 19 to 30 at several locations in the city. Tickets went on sale Thursday.

London-based novelist and screenwriter Emma Donoghue and acclaimed television writer David Shore will take the stage at RBC Place during the festival’s Ontario Screen Creators Conference, an event for emerging filmmakers and moviegoers .

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Donoghue will appear on October 21 and Shore, the House writer, will be at the conference on October 24.

The Forest City Film Festival is showing 95 films this year, up from 75 in 2020. Films cover seven categories, from documentary and narrative feature films to animated shorts and Indigenous films.

Those who will not be able to attend the screenings in person from October 19 to 24 will be able to watch them online from October 25 to 30.

It’s difficult to put together a hybrid film festival in person and online, Downs said. Film festival organizers will be live streaming some in-person events online and will be busy behind the scenes making sure virtual and in-person guest appearances go off without a hitch.

But the festival didn’t want it to be any other way, she said.

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“This is cinema. A film festival is the experience of feeling the audience move with the film, ”said Downs.

“I think it’s a bit of an obligation for a film festival to carefully push the boundaries of what we can do while being as careful as possible.”

Screenings and in-person events will take place with reduced audience capacity, mandatory masks and physical distancing, Downs said. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required for attendees, as will be the case for anyone watching a movie in Ontario theaters on September 22, when the province’s vaccine passport system goes into effect. force.

Here are some highlights from this year’s festival:

  • An opening night screening of Trigger Point at Wolf Performance Hall on October 20. The thriller is directed by Southwestern Ontario native Brad Turner and stars Barry Pepper and Stratford Festival icon Colm Feore.
  • Nineteen films are included in the festival’s new experimental category and will be screened at the Tap Center for Creativity.
  • A music video competition, now in its second year, held at 100 Kellogg Lane.

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This edition of the Forest City Film Festival is the first since the existence of the city’s new Film London office.

The initiative, which is led by the London Economic Development Corp. (LEDC), is designed to attract film investment to the city and was launched in the spring.

The makers of Film London feed an online database of filming locations in the city and will do the same for film talent and resources, said Kapil Lakhotia, President and CEO of LEDC.

“This year, since the launch of Film London, we have already hosted 15 productions in the city,” he said.

“We’re off to a good start. . . . We are committed to welcoming the filmmakers to London and ensuring that they have a warm experience for their next project in London.

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If you are going to

Forest City Film Festival

When: 19-30 Oct.

Or: Various venues, including RBC Place and Wolf Performance Hall, and online

What: Film screenings, industry events, Q&A with special guests and more

Tickets: Visit www.fcff.ca for more information on films, industry events and tickets

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