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Past Festivals by Year

2023 FOREST CITY FILM FESTIVAL

Eight years of award-winning regional and international film–and it’s just getting started! This year, we welcomed our audiences with a heartwarming opening film, ‘Mr. Dressup: The Magic of Make-Believe’. It was a night and a festival like no other, with record-breaking support and pride for regional filmmakers and international talent. We showcased over 70 films throughout our in-competition, Indigenous, experimental and Best of the World Fests programs.

2023 WINNERS

Best Narrative Feature

The Boy in the Woods

Best Short Narrative

Adore

Best Feature Documentary

July Talk: Love Lives Here

Uproot FCFF Short Documentary Winner

Best Short Documentary

Uproot

Best Animation

Afterimage

Old Oak Audience Choice Award

The Boy in the Woods

Best Screenplay

Legs

Experimental Film Fan Favourite

Manitou-Zoon

BOWF Fan Favourite

Mr. Dressup: The Magic of Make-Believe

2022 FOREST CITY FILM FESTIVAL

In its seventh year, the Forest City Film Festival expanded to a full 9-day film festival with 40 screenings across three venues that featured 85 films, the majority of which were connected to Southwestern Ontario. We introduced the Best of the World Fests this year by curating 15 very special films that had premiered and won awards at many of the most important film festivals around the world. We also created a French Day for our francophone and anglophone communities to appreciate the art of French films. There were two fantastic programs of indigenous films curated and hosted by Oneida filmmaker, Judith Schuyler. The Youth Day took place on Thursday and the audience was large and lively as they enjoyed 27 films and the Fanshawe Red Carpet Soiree afterward. Music video night was a great show at 100 Kellogg Lane that had live performances woven into the in-person screening and after-show with live music that brought the house down. Our keen audiences were engaged throughout our films and events, which was illustrated by their questions at Q&A sessions throughout the festival and their votes for the Old Oak Audience Choice Award.

Additionally, the filmmakers had numerous opportunities to learn and network over the course of 3 days at the Ontario Screen Creators Conference at RBC Place. High School Youth experienced a Specialist High Skills Major seminar about working with actors. The $60,000 project pitch had 6 excellent pitches and the winner was locally raised, Faran Moradi with his film Cry Wolf which will be 50% shot in London next year.

The 2022 Forest City Film Festival was an exciting and engaging week of celebrating regionally connected films and filmmakers and of bringing together talented screen creators. We are successfully having an impact on film culture in Southwestern Ontario!

2022 WINNERS

Best Narrative Feature

Ashgrove

Best Short Narrative

Tenth Generation

Best Feature Documentary

The Long Rider

Best Short Documentary

Cod Story

Best Animation

Burden

Old Oak Audience Choice Award

The Star Mill

Best Screenplay

Chameleon

Best Music Video

Hurt So Bad

2021 FOREST CITY FILM FESTIVAL

2021 was a year like no other, with the world opening back up under heavy restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Forest City Film Festival continued to adapt with its sixth uninterrupted festival, offering a hybrid model – each of the 92 Southwestern Ontario-connected films were made available for both in-person screenings and virtual viewing.

This year also saw the expansion of FCFF Industry Sessions into its own brand – the Ontario Screen Creators Conference, aka the OSCC. Over the course of 3 days, 13 events were geared towards connecting and educating filmmakers of all experience levels!

2021 WINNERS

Best Narrative Feature

Marlene

Best Short Narrative

Paris, Ontario

Best Feature Documentary

Dead Man's Switch

Best Short Documentary

Stitched Glass

Best Animation

The Lost Seahorse

Old Oak Audience Choice Award

The Gig is Up

Best Screenplay

Both Sides Now (Tyler Dowey)

Best Screenplay

“Eso Que Tu Haces” by Lido PimientaChameleon

2020 FOREST CITY FILM FESTIVAL

In 2020, the FCFF forged ahead with bringing films connected to this region to our audience despite the pandemic restrictions. We adapted and were proud of the films we were able to show and celebrate. In this fifth year of this festival, the films in competition included 15 short films, 15 short documentaries, 9 feature films, 8 documentaries, 6 animations and 15 music videos. We also streamed 11 films out of competition, a majority of which also had connections to Southwestern Ontario. All films premiered across the 9 day festival which audiences across Canada could stream online and participate in the filmmaker Q&As via live-chat. FCFF filmmakers get a portion of the ticket sales and we have YOU to thank for supporting regional talent!

2020 WINNERS

Best Narrative Feature

The Cuban

Best Short Narrative

Break Up for the Modern Girl

Best Feature Documentary

The Walrus & the Whistleblower

Best Short Documentary

Hollie's Dress

Best Animation

Scribblings

Old Oak Audience Choice Award

Into the Light

Best Screenplay

Sluts (Mary Cross)

Best Screenplay

“Gerry” by WHOOP-Szo (now Status/Non-Status)

2019 FOREST CITY FILM FESTIVAL

The fourth Forest City Film Festival opened with an exciting Youth Film Festival on October 23 and continued with back-to-back screenings featuring 64 films at four venues over five days until October 27. We started the festival with a day of seminars for area high school students and then celebrated the best of the youth films in the evening with an amazing show and screenings. The Lerners Opening Night featured a wonderful opening party at Che Restobar, followed by a very special short film that shows the best of the Fanshawe Advanced Filmmaking Program and the important, powerful and engaging documentary, Prey. The emotional Q&A afterward was one that will not soon be forgotten by the nearly sold-out crowd that attended. Friday night saw internationally acclaimed director and Ingersoll native Robert Budreau here for a Q&A for his film, Stockholm. Saturday night was a retrospective of films by critically acclaimed, Sarnia-born director, Patricia Rozema. Sunday morning a sold out house was captivated by Anne Dagg, The Woman Who Loves Giraffes. The weekend closed with our closing celebration where we awarded $4,000 in prize money and sculptures presented to winners in seven categories.

Over the course of the weekend, we had 44 films in competition with 15 shorts, 14 short documentaries, five feature films, five documentaries and five animations. We screened 20 films out of competition. Most of the films had someone from the creative team present for a Q&A after the screening. Audiences were engaged by asking questions at the Q&A sessions and handing in ballots for the Old Oak Audience Choice Award. They could then go and spend time in the Drewlo Filmmaker Lounge to chat one-on- one with filmmakers. It was a full, exciting and engaging weekend of local film!

2019 WINNERS

Best Narrative Feature

Open For Submissions

Best Short Narrative

Christmas Green

Best Feature Documentary

Prey

Best Short Documentary

Take Me to Prom

Best Animation

Little Star by iskwē

Old Oak Audience Choice Award

Prey

2018 FOREST CITY FILM FESTIVAL

The third Forest City Film Festival ran from preview night on October 24 at 6 pm to Sunday October 28 at 10pm with back-to-back programming of 48 films all with connections to the region. We started the festival with a special preview night screening of the She Has a Name, a feature film about human trafficing, written by Londoner Andrew Kooman. The Lerners Opening night was on Thursday night with a wonderful starting party at Che, followed by a very special short film that was pitched here last year and then we moved on to the perfect Southwestern Ontario Feature Film. The Drawer Boy by Arturo Perez Torres and Aviva Armour-Ostroff thrilled a full house and Miles Potter charmed the audience with his opening talk. Friday night saw our special Flashback Friday event with famous Londoner, John Kapelos, coming into town for the screening of The Breakfast Club. Sunday afternoon was the inaugural International screening. A sold out house was captivated by On Her Shoulders, a very special film. The Weekend closed with the TD Awards Celebration with local band Waterbaby entertaining us and $4000 in prose money and sculptures given out among all the categories.

Over the course of the weekend, we had 37 films in competition with 11 shorts, 10 short documentaries, 3 feature films and 5 documentaries and 8 animations in our new category. We screened 11 films out of competition. Most of the films had someone from the creative team present for a Q&A after the screenings. The filmmakers had an opportunity to learn and network from Friday through Sunday in eight industry workshops and panels. Audiences were engaged by asking questions at the Start.ca Q&A sessions and handing in ballots for the Old Oak Audience Choice Awards. They could then go and spend time in the Labatt Filmmaker Lounge to chat more one on one with filmmakers. It was a busy, full and engaging weekend of local film.

2018 WINNERS

Best Narrative Feature

Firecrackers

Best Short Narrative

Little Black Dress

Best Feature Documentary

What Walaa Wants

Best Short Documentary

Nests of Gold

Old Oak Audience Choice Award

The Drawer Boy

2017 FOREST CITY FILM FESTIVAL

The second Forest City Film Festival ran from Thursday Oct. 26, 6PM to Sunday Oct. 29, 10PM with back-to-back programming of 46 films all with connections to the region. We started the festival with a sold-out preview night screening of the world premiere for Clearing the Way, a documentary about Canadian military engineers in Kandahar province Afghanistan from London director Paul Culliton. This was a powerful experience that will not soon be forgotten by those who were lucky enough to be there. The emotional night saw Silver Cross families, the loved ones of soldiers killed in action, joining military brass and soldiers profiled in the film, on stage at Wolf Performance Hall. We opened on Friday night with a special screening of the Truth is in the Stars, the documentary by Stratford filmmaker Craig Thompson featuring Williams Shatner’s study on Star Trek’s influence on science. We had 36 films in competition with 11 shorts, 11 short documentaries, three feature films and two documentaries and eight animations in our new category sponsored by Digital Extremes. We screened 10 films out of competition. Many of the films had someone from the creative team present for a Q&A after the screenings. The filmmakers had an opportunity to learn and network fromFriday through Sunday in eight industry workshops and panels. Audiences were engaged by asking questions at the Start.ca Q&A sessions and handing in ballots for the Old Oak Audience Choice Awards. They could then go and spend time in the Labatt Filmmaker Lounge to chat more one-on-one with filmmakers. It was a busy, full and engaging weekend of local film.

2017 WINNERS

Best Narrative Feature

Go Fish

Best Short Narrative

Martin's Hagge

Best Feature Documentary

Sea of Life

Best Short Documentary

Babe, I Hate To Go

Best Short

It Happened During Recess

Old Oak Audience Choice Award

Clearing the Way

Best Screenplay

Lost Slaves of Sand Island (Lisa Hagan)

2016 FOREST CITY FILM FESTIVAL

The inaugural Forest City Film Festival ran from Nov. 11 to Nov. 13, with back-to-back programming of twenty-eight films, all with connections to the region. We opened the festival with a fabulous sold-out Opening Gala Party and a screening of Room with a speech from screenwriter and Londoner, Emma Donoghue. We had twenty-two films in competition with ten shorts, eight short documentaries, three feature documentaries and one feature film. We screened six films out of competition. Many of the films had someone from the creative team present for a Q&A after their screenings. The filmmakers had an opportunity to learn and network at Saturday and Sunday morning industry workshops and panels. Audiences were engaged by asking questions at the start.ca Q&A sessions and by handing in ballots for the Audience Choice Awards. It was a busy, full and engaging weekend of film with local connections.

2016 WINNERS

Best Narrative Feature

Liminality

Best Short Narrative

Go Fish

Best Feature Documentary

Missing Mom

Best Short Documentary

Revealing Marie Saint Pierre

Old Oak Audience Choice Award

Revealing Marie Saint Pierre