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!