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
Forest City Film Festival Board Members
Norman DeBonoPast Chair
Our Advisory Council
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.
Kelly Peckham is a respected director/producer in factual programming. Armed with a journalism degree, she left her hometown of London to work in national broadcasting in Toronto for nearly 25 years. Kelly has also worked as a production executive overseeing series being produced for a network. She loves great characters, strong storytelling and compelling content. Now, she’s living back in London and chasing adventures to wherever great content will take her.
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.
Supervising Sound Editor, Gemini Award winner – For the past 22 years, Mark’s sound design has been heard at every major film festival around the globe, earning him a Gemini Award, as well as the Award of Distinction in Sound Design at the Wild Rose Film Festival in the United States. An active volunteer in the local sound community as both a technical and creative engineer, Mark currently holds the positions of Supervising Sound Editor at Farmhouse Creative Labs in Toronto, and Director of Sound Design at the Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology in London, Ontario.
Nord is very involved in the London community, including being a member of the Mayor’s Strategic Advisory Committee, the Global Business Opportunities Committee, and the Government Affairs Committee for the London Chamber of Commerce. Nord is also the Chairperson of the Board for the Black Entrepreneurship Program. He is passionate about creative expression, and excellence in teaching and learning.
Before winning prizes and international acclaim with her documentaries on art, music, and design; film director and writer Janice Zolf worked as an arts and entertainment
journalist for CTV News in London. Her award winning films have screened on CBC’s Documentary Channel, Air Canada, and played at film festivals in Italy, Belgium, and the UK. Her current documentary film, Into the Light with Cité Mémoire, about the immersive projections that reimagine history on the walls of Old
Montreal, was broadcast on CBC Doc Channel and is currently streaming on GEM. It continues to tour festivals worldwide and won the Audience choice award at the Forest City Film Festival in London. Janice’s documentaries include Michael Bublé: Audacious, a short film for the NFB, profiling the artist behind the superstar and Revealing Marie Saint Pierre, about the influence of artist Jean-Paul Riopelle on a renowned Canadian fashion designer. Janice is an experienced storyteller, motivated to give audiences insight into the creative process.
14 years of political experience at the municipal, provincial and federal level, managing the interactions of elected officials and the community. She has sat on multiple local boards as Secretary, Treasurer and Vice President. A high-performing, results-driven individual with extensive experience in executive administrative support, business management, and talent management. Lamise is known for her ability to grasp complex concepts in fast-paced environments and effortlessly insert herself into any project to deliver results. A great film buff, and along with her political experience, Lamise also carries with her over 5 years of involvement on multiple movie and TV show sets in Hollywood. She has experienced everything from auditions, charity events and live tapings.
A long-time resident of London, Ontario and has a long affiliation with the University of Western Ontario. Susan graduated from the Faculty of Law at The University of Western Ontario in 1982 and was called to the Alberta Bar in 1984 and the Ontario Bar in 1986. Her firm Carlyle Peterson Lawyers LLP has been in existence since 1994; it is a solicitor’s practice consisting of real estate, estates and corporate work primarily. Susan was formerly the President of the Middlesex Law Association, and as such participated extensively in the failed merger attempts between CDLPA, the Toronto Lawyers’ Association and the OBA.. She has served on many charitable boards including: Women’s Community House (Now Anova) , the Kidney Foundation, the Learning Disability Association of London, the Learning Disability Association of Ontario, London Health Science Foundation, and a lay member of the Professional Geoscientists of Ontario She is currently a proud Board member of the Blyth Festival.
Andrew is a self-proclaimed cinephile and passionate about film. Being a film graduate himself, Andrew knows first-hand what it’s like to try and break into the film industry, especially for those hoping to stay in London. As Manager, Film London, Andrew is grateful for the opportunity to support, incubate, and be a part of the local film community, including the Ontario Screen Creators Conference and the Forest City Film Festival.