London held their third annual Forest City Film Festival on the weekend which celebrates cinema connected to the region of Southwestern Ontario. Executive Director Dorothy Downs wanted to create the Forest City Film Festival after she and her son attended the Raindance Film Festival in London, England. She co-produced his short film, All Fight that played at Raindance. The films that are featured at the festival tell stories, and without this event many of these movies would not be seen by the community. Ranging from short films to animation to documentaries, this event covers them all and portrays local talent in an entertaining way. Dorothy loves the cinema and is ecstatic about the festivals’ success.
“It’s a lot of work but I am very pleased with the outcome. It took a lot of time and work to get to where it is now, but overall, the experience has been so rewarding. We are on our third year now and it’ll only grow from here!”
From October 24th-28th, the festival showcased 48 films in total. In addition, this event also included industry workshops, networking, screenplay competition, filmmaker Q & A’s and awards. In just two years, the festival has doubled in size, showing more movies, adding two days, a screenwriting competition, two venues and another category, an international screening and Flashback Friday. The audience is growing and it is clear why London has embraced in a third year. Dorothy adds that the community wants to celebrate the talent of the region.
“It is crucial for people to feel that they have a voice and a vision for their career, and what a better way to express that than through cinema. I strongly believe this festival has helped many people in the film industry reach their goals of becoming successful in this field. They get feedback and praise from the community, which is such a wonderful opportunity.”
In addition to showcasing Southwestern Ontario’s finest films, the Forest City Film Festival provides opportunities for Western University and Fanshawe College film students. The festival has interns from both Western and Fanshawe at different times of the year. Interns focus on blogging, social media, and public relations under the supervision of the festival’s marketing and PR committee.
The filmmakers were delighted by the opportunity to screen their work to their community and learn and grow from networking with each other and other experts in the field. Those who attended The Forest City Film Festival were impressed with the films that were shown. Ryner Stoetzer is a composer, a superb music industry professional and was one of the attendees at the festival. He shares his thoughts about the qualities that can make a film a huge success.
“Originality, appeal and the soundtrack. Those are the most important qualities of a film in my opinion. It also applies to the script. It’s getting more difficult to come up with a good story that is worth telling and that hasn’t been already put on screen. As the saying goes, “you’re never going to please all of the people, all of the time.” If you’re able to please a large majority of the people, then you may just have a successful hit.”
The organization continues their excitement to keep the audience growing and provide reasons for London and the region to be proud of the talent that comes from within.
To learn more, go to www.forestcityfilmfest.ca