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Local creators to share spotlight at Forest City Film Festival

“The mandate of the festival is to screen films that are connected to the region of southwestern Ontario,” said executive director Dorothy Downs.
“The mandate of the festival is to screen films that are connected to the region of southwestern Ontario,” said executive director Dorothy Downs. Liny Lamberink/980 CFPL

The third annual Forest City Film Festival will put a spotlight on creativity connected to southwestern Ontario.

It doesn’t take place until this fall, but organizers drew the curtains back on many of details of the five-day festival on Thursday.

“The mandate of the festival is to screen films that are connected to the region of southwestern Ontario,” explained executive director Dorothy Downs.

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That doesn’t mean that all the films were shot in the region, though.

“Some of the films are international films. But there’s somebody in that film — the key creative team – who has to spend a significant portion of their life in London, Ont., or southwestern Ontario,” she said.

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She Has A Name is about human trafficking and is shot in Thailand. It’s written by Londoner Andrew Koomman, who doubles as one of the film’s three producers.

The Drawer Boy is a must watch for anyone living in southwestern Ontario, said Downs. It is based on a play, and is written, set, and filmed in Huron County.

Firecrackers is partially shot in London, St. Thomas, and the surrounding area, and features London actor Callum Thompson. It’s also a selection for this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.

“Film is a very important way of communicating. It’s a very important art of the modern world,” said Downs.

READ MORE: Get the popcorn, Forest City Film Fest returns for 2nd year

“It is a wonderful, relaxed, immersive experience. It’s a different way of seeing films, the conversations that happen after is really the icing on the cake… it gives you a completely different appreciation for the art of filmmaking.”

The Forest City Film Festival runs from Oct. 24 to 28, and will screen 47 features, documentaries and short films. Wolf Performance Hall in downtown London will be the main venue, though some screenings will take place at Museum London and Fanshawe College’s Good Theatre.