A LETTER FROM
The Executive Director
We moved into our seventh year with an abundance of optimism for being able to make great advances with our mission of building film culture in SWO. We labeled 2022 the “comeback year”, which we thought of as the year that our audience would come back to enjoying film festival films in the way they should enjoy them: in a theater surrounded by their community and the creative minds of filmmakers. A wonderful shared experience that provokes deep thoughts and lively discussions.
It was a great festival, and we had amazing feedback. The city once again proclaimed our week to be Southwestern Ontario Film Week and our film office and music office threw their support behind us. Along with an absolutely fantastic group of films in competition this year we gathered together 15 of the best films from major film festivals around the world. We brought the opportunity for regional audiences to see some of the biggest titles to run the festival circuit in 2022 and the very best of our regionally connected films.
I was so delighted at the words of one of our visiting filmmakers as he accepted his award at our closing awards celebration. “The Forest City Film Festival is an amazing festival! For those of you who live locally, Cherish it! Support it! Because festivals like this are uncommon.”
I believe we are an uncommon festival because we have grown from grassroots and our team is filled with passion for our mission and vision. I am so grateful to this incredible team of staff, leading close to 100 generous and enthusiastic volunteers.
Thank you to our sponsors who supported us when times were tough. Your community-mindedness has made it possible to continue this great cultural event for our region. Thank you to the intrepid and talented filmmakers who submitted their films, attended industry events, and continue to create.
Thank you to our loyal and growing audience. It made 2022 a year we will never forget.
Founder & Executive Director, Forest City Film Festival
Former City Councillor in London and Peterborough ON, Nancy’s committee work included Chair of Arts, Culture and Heritage, Public Library Trustee and Community Funding in Peterborough and Chair of Planning, Trustee for the Public Library Board and Convention Centre Board in London. Nancy is mom to 3 teenagers, one of whom, Connor Kalopsis, has been an actor working in LA since 2009. She currently serves as the Vice Chair for the Board of Trustees at Westmark School which specializes in serving children with learning differences and ADHD. Nancy also serves on the London Police Services Board.
Has more than 25 years experience as a journalist researching, writing and editing in both print and online media. Having won multiple awards for a wide array of stories, from breaking news to business and labour, De Bono has a comprehensive knowledge developing content in the news industry and is instrumental in managing our media and connecting us to the business community.
A London, ON native Maria has over 15 years of film and video experience. Having studied filmmaking in the UK, she went on to produce three independent feature films and directed an award-winning documentary in Nepal. For the past 8 years she has worked in the social media space having launched the video division for Diply. She currently works for Hive Media Group where she directs the production of multiple Snapchat shows.
A partner at Lerners LLP, John is an experienced Associate Lawyer with a demonstrated history of working in the law practice industry. John is a Commercial Litigator with expertise in shareholder and partnership litigation, liquor license regulatory work, economic torts, dispute resolution and corporate governance. He is a lifelong film enthusiast with particular interest in documentary film and is a supporter of the arts community in Southwestern Ontario.
A native of London and a Western grad, Megan has had a highly successful marketing career in Toronto. She was instrumental in the initiation and cross Canadian development of Run For The Cure, a fundraiser at the Canadian Olympic Committee, a senior marketer at Coca-Cola and subsequently Director of Marketing at CBC Television. Her love of film resulted in her volunteer chairmanship of Film Crew at TIFF and her ex-officio membership of the TIFF board. After returning to London in 2014 she has actively volunteered for a number of organizations.