London film festival opens $60K pitch event nationwide

The Forest City Feature Film Pitch is open to any feature film ready to go to camera, with the hopes of attracting new productions to the city.

London, ON-based Forest City Film Festival has opened its pitch program to all Canadian filmmakers with the aim to attract local productions.

The Forest City Feature Film Pitch is open to a feature film project that is ready to go to camera, with a prize valued at $60,000. Eligible projects must shoot at least 50% of their production in London.

The pitch event will take place during the festival’s recently rebranded industry conference, the Ontario Screen Creators Conference, on Oct. 22 to 24.

Selected creative teams will pitch their projects, either in-person or virtually, on Oct. 24 to a judging panel that includes experts from Amazon, CBC, the Bell Fund and Corus. The current deadline to apply is Sept. 10.

The winning project will receive a $35,000 cash prize from the London Film Office; $10,000 worth of equipment rentals from William F. White International; $10,000 in audio post-production, tax consulting, marketing and PR services; and $5,000 in the City of London’s Downtown Dollars, which can be exchanged for goods at local retailers and restaurants.

The pitch event was previously held on a smaller scale and only eligible for short, regional films.

“This is the largest narrative film pitch prize in Canada going to a single winning team, and we are taking our support for regional filmmaking to the next level by helping filmmakers work here,” said Dorothy Downs, executive director of the Forest City Film Festival, in a statement. “This is an opportunity for our region to join the Canadian cinematic conversation.”

Among the speakers announced to take part in the Ontario Screen Creators Conference are Emmy-winning TV writer David Shore (House), bestselling author Emma Donoghue (Room) and Paige Murray, executive in charge of development, drama, at CBC.

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