You may recognize her as the master of ceremonies at the Lerners Opening Night of the Forest City Film Festival, but by day Maia Bent is practicing personal injury law as a senior partner at Lerners Lawyers.
Maia and Lerners have been supporters of the film festival since the first Forest City Film Festival in 2016. That initial vote of confidence from such an established and well-respected local business aided the festival in ways we can’t even imagine!
Across the board, members of the Lerners law firm are dedicated supporters of London’s cultural industries – whether it be sports, history, or the arts like Maia. As Londoners, they recognize that the city thrives on cultural and events, such as our film festival, as it invigorates everyone with a sense of regional and local pride.
During the festival, you may catch Maia at a number of screenings, and not just the ones that she is emceeing! Despite her busy schedule, she tries to sneak in a few extra viewings. The draw of regional films has led to a number of entire days spent at the Wolf Performance Hall, watching film after film.
“That’s a great part about the festival…” Maia says of binge-watching films at FCFF, “you can stay the whole day to watch local talent be celebrated.”
When Maia does take the stage, she absolutely shines as an interviewer – perhaps its her background in theatre that prepared her for the spotlight, or the high stakes questioning process in court cases. There’s a certain je ne sais quoi about her that draws incredible stories out of the actors and filmmakers, which offer amazing insight into the artform that fans and other filmmakers alike can appreciate.
The Lerners Opening Night is always a highlight of the festival. It has consistently been a must-attend event, in no small part due to Maia’s excellent interview skills. We have been privileged to have Maia act as master of ceremonies for every year of the festival thus far – and hopefully for many years to come!
Maia says that the 2021 Lerners Opening Night Q&A with the cast and crew of Trigger Point will always be a cherished memory. The excitement of returning to in-person events paired with the calibre of guests – Canadian treasure Colm Feore in particular – made for a night that will not soon be forgotten.
“It was such a magical evening. The calibre of the films was exceptional and it was such an honour to have true celebrities on our stage. Everyone was thrilled to be back to a live event after a tough year. There was so much fun and laughter.” If you ever find yourself in need of assistance, we simply can’t recommend Maia Bent highly enough! Experienced, compassionate, and smart as a whip, Maia should be your first call if the need arises. You can find Maia’s details and contact information on the Lerners website.