Drama about Steven Truscott’s wife wins major Forest City Film Festival award


A docu-fiction about one of the most controversial murders and trials in Canadian history won top honors for narrative feature films at the Forest City Film Festival.

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A docu-fiction about one of the most controversial murders and trials in Canadian history won top honors for narrative feature films at the Forest City Film Festival.

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Marlene, a film by director Wendy Hill-All based on the wife of Steven Truscott, won a cash prize of $ 500 and a sculpture. Truscott was a teenager in 1959 when he was falsely accused of raping and murdering a classmate near Clinton, convicted and sentenced to death.

The live portion of the festival and the Ontario Screen Creators side conference ended on Sunday, but films and recorded sessions from the conference – including keynote speakers actor Colm Feore, writer and screenwriter Emma Donoghue and writer-producer David Shore – are still available online at ffff.ca .

Actor Colm Feore, left, and Forest City Film Festival executive director Dorothy Downs address reporters at a media roundtable on the festival's <a class=opening night in London on Wednesday 20 October 2021 (Derek Ruttan / The London Free Press)” class=”embedded-image__image lazyload” src=”https://smartcdn.prod.postmedia.digital/lfpress/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/LDN20211020DR003_88275108-scaled-e1635193273661.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=288″ srcset=”https://smartcdn.prod.postmedia.digital/lfpress/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/LDN20211020DR003_88275108-scaled-e1635193273661.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=288,
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Actor Colm Feore, left, and Forest City Film Festival executive director Dorothy Downs address reporters at a media roundtable on the festival’s opening night in London on Wednesday 20 October 2021 (Derek Ruttan / The London Free Press)

“All of these filmmakers are incredibly talented people and I know we’re going to see a lot more of them in the future,” said Dorothy Downs, founder and executive director of the festival.

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“The shorts are mostly young filmmakers who we’ll hear about again, and the feature films are mostly established filmmakers doing an amazing job. As the narrative film category winner (Hill-Tout) said, it’s so hard to get Canadian stories told in a film and winning at this festival means a lot, just to get the validation. This is the purpose of this festival.

Other winning films include:

  • Best Short Story: Paris Ontario, by Arnaud Weissenburger
  • Best Documentary: Dead Man’s Switch: A Crypto Mystery, by Sheona McDonald
  • Best Documentary Short: Stitched glass, by Omar Majeed
  • Best animation: The lost seahorse, by Benjamin Fieschi-Rose
  • Best clip: Eso Que Tu Haces, by Lido Pimienta
  • Best screenplay: Both Sides Now, by Tyler Dowey.

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The awards show, which took place at Wolf Performance Hall on Sunday, included the biggest prize of all: the $ 60,000 Project Pitch at the Ontario Screen Creator’s Conference, awarded for the idea of ​​a film called Audit, written and directed by Geordie Sabbagh which tells the story of three “honest” accountants who steal $ 10 million during a bank audit.

The prize includes $ 35,000 in cash from the London Film Office as well as equipment, facilities and services valued at $ 25,000 with the understanding that half of the film will be shot in London.

“We are just delighted and very excited. It’s almost surreal, ”said film producer Olga Ziman Sabbagh, who is the writer’s wife.

“And we are very happy to come to London to shoot our film. Everyone was very welcoming and kind to us, showing us around the different places. We’re probably going to shoot more than half of the movie there (in London), the locations are so amazing. It’s a smart, funny movie with a lot of twists and turns.

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The prestigious Audience Choice Award for Best Overall Film will be awarded on November 1 following the end of the voting results for the online portion of the festival. The winning film also receives a cash prize of $ 500 and a sculpture by London artist Mary Jo Carter.

Although this was the second year of the Music Video Awards, it was the first time filmmakers, musicians and fans could come together to celebrate. They met at 100 Kellogg Lane which has a space with theater-style seating.

“It was a phenomenal night, just amazing,” Downs said, noting that the music video’s award was won by former Londoner, Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Lido Pimienta, who directed and performed in the video with the Matilde Herrera y el Groupe Kumbe dance ensemble. One of the producers, Trevor Blumas, is also from London.

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“The venue is so wonderful and I thought our team had a fun and amazing evening with lights, music and cameras, it will be an annual event.”

Downs said the Ontario Screen Creators Conference was a huge success, with the most popular being the sessions with speakers Feore, Donoghue and Short, which drew large crowds to the RBC Place convention center.

“It was just a big festival,” she said.

New program will help London’s ‘artists of color’ make music videos

A new program launched by the Forest City Film Festival and the London Music Office will support creators from racialized communities.

The ISO project, described in the promotional materials as a “multidimensional program that provides creative opportunities, support and expertise to musical artists of color” in London, was announced during the festival’s music video night on Saturday at 100 Kellogg Lane .

Zahra Habib, a London DJ who also works for the festival, is the coordinator of the ISO project.

The new program pairs artists with a “comprehensive and experienced music video production team who will work together to plan, script, film, edit, produce and distribute a music video.”

More information on the program is expected to be announced in November.

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Twitter.com/JoeBatLFPress

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Gerald R. Schneider

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