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Films 2021
FCFF 2021 Program

92 amazing films, all connected to #SWOnt.

The Forest City Film Festival is excited to return to in-person screenings in downtown London this fall! You’ll be brimming with regional pride as you watch the lineup of 92 amazing films, across 7 categories, each with a connection to southwestern Ontario.

2021 FILMS
  • Feature Narrative
  • Short Narrative
  • Feature Documentary
  • Short Documentary
  • Indigenous Programs
  • Animated Shorts
  • Experimental Film
  • Music Videos
The feature narrative category is sponsored by Auburn Developments
The Cluster B Quadrilogy Director: Josh Litman | Producers: Josh Litman, Mitchell Brhelle, Michael Scolaro, Matt Nordstrom, Sal Di Nardo, Darlene Litman,

Four darkly comedic stories, each chronicling one of the four Cluster B personality disorders.

Between Waves Director: Virginia Abramovich | Producers: Virginia Abramovich, Alex Jordan

Jamie pursues her missing lover after his disappearance, discovering his departure may have been multi-dimensional.

Open Your Eyes Director: Greg A. Sager | Producers: Gary Elmer, Greg A. Sager, Soroush Saeidi, Michael Down

In a rush to complete an overdue screenplay a writer’s past explodes perilously into the present as his world unravels.

I’m Sorry If I Took a Toll on You Director: Jake Burgess | Producers: Jake Burgess, Mack Muir

After her parents death, newly orphaned Cath travels up north to her recently inherited lake house where she meets Ryan, a likeable man happy to fill the void her parents left.

Terry’s Car Gets Stolen Director: Daniel Turres | Producers: Daniel Turres, Christian Turres

Terry’s car gets stolen, and the police are no help. Terry joins forces with Porno Paul, and together they go on an epic adventure!

Marlene Director: Wendy Hill-Tout | Producers: Wendy Hill-Tout, Michael Peterson

Based on the true story, Marlene follows Ontarian Marlene Truscott, a housewife fighting to exonerate her husband from a crime he did not commit.

Trigger Point Director: Brad Turner | Producers: Thomas Vencelides

Follows Nicolas Shaw, a retired U.S. special operative who becomes part of an elite “invisible” team that quietly takes out the worst villains around the world.

The Kid Detective Director: Evan Morgan | Producers: Jonathan Bronfman, William Woods

A former kid detective, now 31, continues to solve the same trivial mysteries… Until a naïve client brings him his first “adult” case.

Beans Director: Tracey Deer, Mohawk from Kahnawake | Producers: Anne-Marie Gélinas

A Mohawk girl on the cusp of adolescence must become her own kind of warrior during the armed stand-off known as the 1990 Oka Crisis.

The short narrative category is sponsored by Digital Extremes
Freebird Director: Henry Daemen | Producers: Emily Ryder, Stephanie Nakashima

A father must confront his inability to accept change as his son prepares to leave the nest

BURDEN Director: Ethan Hickey | Producers: Ethan Hickey

Two brothers let out five years of pent-up aggression onto one another in a tense argument outside their hometown’s police station.

Moore’s Void Director: Brad Bangsboll | Producers: Lindsay King, Alex Jordan

A grieving mother attempts to speak with her deceased son.

Alfie Director: Emily Ryder | Producers: Sabrina Soto

After discovering an abandoned house, cousins Alfie and Julia, begin a journey of self-exploration where Alfie starts to push the boundaries of binary gender expression.

Up to Here Director: Liz Whitmere | Producers: Liz Whitmere

Desperate for alone time, a woman escapes to a meditative retreat in her mind… but finds it’s not as isolated as she’d hoped.

Chokablok Director: Cameron Carver | Producers: Cameron Carver & Poppy Pedder

Chokablok is a surreal exploration of our obsession wiht acheivement and the perpetual anxiety of trying to keep up.

Paris, Ontario Director: Arnaud Weissenburger | Producers: Matthew Ochal, Caitlin Davidson

When he arrives at the Ontario town of Paris, a French tourist will have to test his ability and willingness to cross the language barrier.

For the Birds Director: Marc Whiteway | Producers: Brian Finley, Westben

Join Canadian impov artists Deb McGrath and Colin Mochrie encounter fellow performers in search of an audience.

without you Director: Parker Foster | Producers: Diane Ng and Lori Foster

A young adult comes to terms with love and loss at the peak of his adolescence.

Spookwood Director: Jerry Wolf | Producers: Jerry Wolf

When a ghost haunts the woodlands, a young girl must journey deep into the woods to perform a ritual that will banish the vengeful spirit.

When Shadows Dance at Night Director: Taye Alvis,Anishinaabe/Ojibwe | Producers: Rachel Souza

Following the death of her brother, Georgia returns home to her reservation to find she’s become the prey of a shapeshifting, faceless figure. This is an indigenous film in competition.

First Love Director: Beatrice Woo | Producers: Ashley Finch

13-year-old Jacob navigates a crush on a girl named Jenny. Through some romantic mishaps, Jacob sneaks out in a brave attempt to win Jenny’s heart.

Solitude Director: Henry Daemen | Producers: Stephanie Nakashima, Hailey Frizzel

After hearing that his only son is moving away, an old man struggles to adapt to a new lifestyle in order to stay connected to his family

Outreach Director: James Campbell | Producers: James Campbell, Ben Srokosz, Jonathan Abrosimoff

Mr. Brianz gets a new position in the Outreach division of the firm he works for and is shown the best way to propel clients unto a proper path.

In the Backseat Director: James Salmon | Producers: Ro Bechard

During a not-so-intimate date night in his parent’s car, an underachieving 30-year-old attempts to win back his long-term girlfriend.

My Soul to Take Director: Laura Vandervoort | Producers: Laura Vandervoort, Jessica Petelle, Justin G. Dyck, Peter Mabrucco, Kevin Eade

Quinn suffers from what many of us do: she has become accustomed to relying on technology for all of her needs. And it’s killing her.

The feature documentary category is sponsored by the London Free Press
The Gig is Up Director: Shannon Walsh | Producers: Ina Fichman, Luc Martin-Gousset

The Gig is Up shines light on the millions of workers finding tasks online through the behind-the-screen world of AI.

Dead Man’s Switch: A Crypto Mystery Director: Sheona McDonald | Producers: Sheona McDonald

Upon a CEO millionaire’s disappearance, a major scandal erupts suggesting his exit was only one of many scams.

A.rtificial I.mmortality Director: Ann Shin | Producers: Ann Shin, Gerry Flahive, Erica Leendertse, Hannah Donegan

Filmmaker Ann Shin sets out on a journey, exploring the latest AI and biotech with scientists and visionaries who foresee a ‘post-biological’ world where humans and AI merge.

Bright Green Lies Director: Julia Barnes | Producers: Julia Barnes

Bright Green Lies critically examines “green” technology and the movement that’s pushing to destroy the earth under the guise of environmental protection.

Workhorse Director: Cliff Caines | Producers: Cliff Caines

Workhorse follows three humans whose work and lives are deeply connected with their stoic equine partners.

Grey Roads Director: Jesse McCracken | Producers: Jesse McCracken

Grey Roads is a documentary that follows a filmmaker returning to his hometown to document the dissolution of a small rural town while trying to reconnect with his only family left in town, his father and grandfather.

The short documentary category is sponsored by the Fanshawe School of Contemporary Media
Stitched Glass Director: Ian Daffern & Omar Majeed | Producers: Ian Daffern (idfactory productions)

Artist Kirk Dunn launches his tapestry piece as he grapples with the intersection of artistic commitment and religion.

Seawolf Director: Alexander Sworik | Producers: Alexander Sworik

Two indigneous men look to protect their cultural land and practices for once and for all.

Blood and Water: a Story of Reclamation Director: Layla Black | Producers: First Line Media

Layla Black, a generational survivor of residential schools, looks to reclaim her Mohawk identity.

Great Lakes Stories Director: Bryan Bakker | Producers: Bryan Bakker, Edward Jeanveau

Through trial, the Great Lakes have heralded both tragedy and renewal.

Track to the Future Director: Ryan Gransden, Mark C. Edwards | Producers: Ryan Gransden, Mark C. Edwards

Follow a group of muralists as they present a bright future to the historic walls of St. Thomas, Ontario

The Signing Director: Jon Izma | Producers: Jon Izma

A father and son rekindle their love for sports collectibles as they strive for the final autograph on a unique set of hockey cards from the 1960’s.

Roots of Lacrosse: A History of the fastest Game on 2 Feet Director: Shelby Tsioweri:iohsta Adams, Joanne Storkan | Producers: Joanne Storkan, Chris Carpenter, Tom Ryan, Brant Davis, Stu Lisson

Provides a brief history of the sacred and cultural aspects of this sport, originally played for the Creator, as well as for the health and welfare of the people.

The Show Must Go On Director: Aidan Boyle | Producers: Yvan T. Nzitonda, Romy Goulem, Adamm Liley, Matt Brickman, Joel Merritt

After COVID shut down Canada’s theatrescape, a Fanshawe program is determined to perform again.

Hope Director: Aaron Huggett | Producers: Aaron Huggett, Lee Bernier, Joe Kessler

Our documentary answers the question: “When tragedy knocks someone down, what makes the difference to those who get back on their feet?”

1492 Land Back Lane Director: Kellen S. Bomberry | Producers: Gerald Williams

A group of community members from the Six Nations Community occupies a piece of land that has been stolen while fighting for their rights.

Lift Off Director: Sarah Wilson | Producers: Sarah Wilson

Ron Seaward pursues his childhood dream of becoming an airline pilot.

Something Behind Director: Craig Thompson | Producers: Craig Thompson, Andrea O"Shea

Something Behind is a profile of actor and musician, Randy Hughson, who performs as a handyman after COVID shuts down his industry.

John Muir at Trout Hollow Director: Amy Phelan Anthony Guerriero | Producers: Amy Phelan

When he arrived in Canada in 1864 John Muir was searching for his future calling.

Vinyl: A Collector’s Item Director: Ricky Paradis | Producers: Taylor Plourde , Romy Goulem

Record collecting has impacted peoples lives in many ways since the first pressings came off the line and directly into a music hungry world.

Band Society Director: Gerald Williams | Producers: Adamm Liley, Romy Goulem

Band Society is a documentary about the lives of local musicians being apart of a band, unknown and underground, their success is to play.

The Indigenous programs are sponsored by the Canada Council for the Arts and curated by Judith Schuyler of Oneida First Nation
Mohawk Midnight Runners Director: Zoe Leigh Hopkins, Mohawk/Heiltsuk, Six Nations | Producers: Laura Milliken, PJ Thornton

A Mohawk man starts a midnight running club to honour the life of a friend he lost to suicide. Grant carries on the memory by… streaking all over the reserve.

Ego of a Nation Director: Janet Rogers, Mohawk/Tuscarora and Wes Day, Anishinaabe

An experimental short film using creative imagery inspired by the poem “Ego of a Nation” by spoken word poet Janet Rogers

Becoming Nakuset Director: Victoria Anderson Gardner, Ojibway, Eagle Lake First Nation | Producers: Felicity Justrabo, Daniel Roher

As a small child, Nakuset was taken from her home and adopted into a Jewish family; she reclaimed her Indigenous identity, with help from her Bubby.

Soup For My Brother Director & Producer: Terry Jones, Seneca Nation

In a touching and heartfelt film, Jimmy prepares the Haudenosaunee Traditional corn soup in memory of his brother.

Gik:Skwod (How I Lost My Indian Name) Director & Producer: Terry Jones, Seneca Nation

Walter Murch’s editing concept is used to tell the story of how director Terry Jones lost his Native American “Indian” name.

Savage Director & Producer: Lisa Jackson, Anishinaabe

In this award-winning film, a beautiful song and a zombie breakdance is a wonderfully surprising unexpected mix of genres.

Beans Director: Tracey Deer, Mohawk from Kahnawake | Producers: Anne-Marie Gélinas

A Mohawk girl on the cusp of adolescence must become her own kind of warrior during the armed stand-off known as the 1990 Oka Crisis.

Mooz Miikan Director: Evelyn Pakinewatik, Ojibway, Nipissing First Nation

This film “is intended as a love letter to my father and means to process my sorrow.”

The Fake Calendar Director: Meky Ottawa, Atikamekw

A hilarious neon animation of ways to avoid social functions.

The Lost Seahorse Director: Benjamin Fieschi-Rose | Producers: Kirsten Brass

A stop-motion short film about a vulnerable seahorse that is swept away from his reef and must survive the dangerous journey back home.

Caterpillar Soup Director: Jessie Stilwell | Producers: Sheridan College

Inside a caterpillar’s cocoon waits a psychedelic world where they can discover their ideal self– but they soon discover that choosing an identity is complicated.

Make Believe Director: Don Murray, Andrew Strachan, Matthew Sahagian | Producers: Don Murray, Jamie Hiltstone

A young artist lives with magical creatures. He creates a book based upon them and finds success, but that success comes at a cost.

Chappy Director: Rachel Sutherland | Producers: Rachel Sutherland

A short stop motion animation that tells the story of Chappy, a Cree grandmother living is a nursing home when Covid-19 strikes.

Undeniably Young: Nora Young & the Six-Day Race Director: Julia Morgan | Producers: Julia Morgan

Undeniably Young tells the story of multi-sport champion Nora Young in her 1936 barrier-breaking bike race.

Big Little Show Director: Gemma Eva | Producers: Gemma Eva

A playwright must find a way to overcome producer rejection by producing her play on her own in a small-but-mighty way.

Watershed Director: Charlie Egleston | Producers: Charlie Egleston

A watershed moment invites an exploration of perception and the tranistory nature of things.

SEE / SAW Director: Charlie Egleston | Producers: Charlie Egleston

A film about seeing and having seen.

vulture Director: Philip Hoffman | Producers: Philip Hoffman

`vulture’ follows grazing farm animals in their minute inter-species exchanges.
The film was shot and processed with various means including flower/plant processing carried out as blooming occurred.

Monologue Harmonic Director: Bawaadan Collective | Producers: Janet Marie Rogers

Monologue Harmonic is a paradoxical visual and sonic offering speaking in part from legend, despotic visions, collective cultural analysis and individual repeal.

Projections Director: Xavier Wehrli | Producers: Xavier Wehrli (Gilbert Productions)

“Projections” is an experimental animation which blends 20th century archival footage with newly captured media to produce a chimeric digital collage.

International Dawn Chorus Day Director & Producer: John Greyson

Birds from around the world gossip on a zoom call about the prison-related deaths of queer Egyptian artist/activists Sarah Hagazi and Shady Habash.

Mappe Of: The Isle of Ailynn Director: Edward Platero | Producers: Kristyn Watterworth, Tom Meikle

The Isle of Ailynn is a long play musical visual journey created entriely inside of Virtual Reality.

Thought Cabinet Director: Xavier Wehrli | Producers: Xavier Wehrli (Gilbert Productions)

“Thought Cabinet” is an experimental short about a man who, literally trapped in his own mind, is forced to confront his most disturbing fantasies.

Inferno Director: Nick Maizlin | Producers: Nick Maizlin

A suffering soul decides to travel into an uncertain darkness.

Continuum Director: Calum Hotchkiss | Producers: Gemma Eva, Calum Hotchkiss

A young woman who is overwhelmed by societal pressures breaks free of a simulated existence and opens herself to the full breadth of life.

What You Are Out Here For Director: Jason Zumpano | Producers: Jason Zumpano

The open-ended and coming of age beginnings of a day tripper take us from ladders to subways, from subways into tunnels of abstract expressionism, and finally into a series of far flung locales in outer realms.

Marat Minus One Director: Andrea Slavik | Producers: Andrea Slavik

Marat Minus One is part of a video series in a meditation on the relationship between suicide and capitalism.

Dearest Director: Andrea Slavik | Producers: Andrea Slavik

“Dearest” is part of a video series that use material such as stock footage, found text, found sound and popular moving image conventions to meditate on the relation between suicide and capitalism.

Plot M/Site A Director: Andrea Slavik | Producers: Andrea Slavik

A study of some monuments related to the early history of nuclear age in Illinois.

Courted Director: Imogen Clendinning | Producers: Imogen Clendinning

Imogen Clendinning’s latest found footage video-work utilized ripped clips from other films to explore various media representations of femininity.

Atonal Director: Mikel Guillen | Producers: Mikel Guillen

A film poem about the mysterious relationship between music Atonality and Male Asexuality.

TEKAHIONWAKE Director and Producer: Shelley Niro

A short film on the life of E.Pauline Johnson.

Frame Her Look Director and Producer: Kelsey Haas

Images and sound from the family archive are layered to compound and unravel time and memory.

From Scratch Director and Producer: Kelsey Haas

The transmission and deterioration of matrilineal traditions over time are traced through images of domesticity and the physical manipulation and destruction of celluloid with thread.

All of our Music Video contestants will be screened at the Music Video Night at 100 Kellogg Lane on October 23rd at 7:00PM.

Eso Que Tu Haces Performed by: Lido Pimienta, Matilde Herrara & el Grupo Kumbe dance ensemble

This video honours Lido’s Afro-Colombian roots by showcasing the spirit, colour, dance and rhythm that rests at the centre of her art and music.

Genocidio Performed by: Status/Non-Status

From atop the makeshift mountain, a grim presence looms above the life below. A mediation on encroaching empire and the resounding fury.

Solidarity Performed by: Joshua Arden Miller

Solidarity was written as inspiration for the people and hope for togetherness in our very troubling times.

Encore Performed by: Jules McCools

A man with a love for toys wants one more chance with his partner.

Lost & Found Performed by: Huron Lines

Lost & Found is the second music video directed for Windsor band Huron Lines. Shot at an undisclosed location in Essex county.

Earthworms Performed by: Alexa Lee Caissey

A lullaby meant to soothe a broken soul.

The Downward Gaze Performed by: Cellos

This live performance was a means to reconnect through and enjoy live music during the pandemic lockdown of 2020.

I Am Not Waiting Performed by: Austra

Exploring the suffocating struggle of trying to overcome filters, algorithms, and inter-personal projections.

Everything All At Once Performed by: SYML

Marshall builds a device in his family garage hoping to gain back the time cancer took from him.

Cloud by Day Performed by: The Stereo Division

A day in the life of a down-on-his-luck man on his way to work.

Sunday Morning Performed by: The Savilles

A young couple sneaks out and spends the night driving around Toronto.

Lonely Performed by: Lost in Japan

A young man dreams of reconnecting with his friends and bandmates.

You Were In My Dream Last Night Performed by: Babygirl

A date with your sleep paralysis demon.

SOMEONE Performed by: Fancey feat. Saveria

Shot in glorious super 16mm film, starring local artist and talent Saveria and and all London based production team.

October 15 - 29, 2022

Save the date for the 2022 edition of the Forest City Film Festival!

SUBMISSIONS OPEN SOON
FESTIVAL 2021

Congratulations to Our Winners

Best Music Video:
Eso Que Tu Haces – Lido Pimienta, Paz Ramirez, Trevor Blumas
Best Short Film:
Paris, Ontario – Arnaud Weissenburger
Best Narrative Feature:
Marlene – Wendy Hill-Tout
Best Documentary Short:
Stitched Glass – Ian Daffern, Omar Majeed
Best Documentary Feature:
Dead Man’s Switch: A Crypto Mystery – Sheona McDonald
Best Short Animation:
The Lost Seahorse – Kirsten Brass
Winning Screenplay:
Both Sides Now – Tyler Dowey
Old Oak Audience Choice Award:
The Gig is Up – Shannon Walsh
Project Pitch Winner:
Audit – Geordie Sabbagh, Olga Ziman Sabbagh