Carl Hnatyshyn, Postmedia Network
May 19, 2015
Cannes. Sundance. TIFF.
And now Forest.
The inaugural Lambton Film and Food Festival is taking place at the venerable Kineto Theatre in Forest this year, from May 23 to May 25. The festival will showcase eight award-winning films, including some Canadian productions, two foreign films and two documentaries. It will also showcase some of the delicious eateries in the town of Forest as well as some of the food grown in the surrounding area.
Festival chair Glen Starkey said that the idea to hold a festival at Kineto – one of North America’s oldest movie theatres – came from holding smaller festivals over the past few years.
“For the past two years, we ran a small film festival during the winter, and I thought ‘well, there’s a lot of great films that don’t get to this area’. So I thought this would be a great opportunity to bring some of those films in.”
Big-time Hollywood fare, such as The Grand Budapest and The Invisible Woman, will be shown at the festival alongside some new and dynamic Canadian-made productions. Two foreign films – one from India, the other from Japan – will round out the weekend’s silver screen schedule.
For Starkey, the rich variety of films on display at the festival is a treat for a devoted movie fan like himself.
“I like all kinds of films, so this is certainly a chance to expand my horizons.”
As for the ‘food’ portion of the Lambton Film and Food Festival, Starkey said that it was just a logical step to consider when he began thinking about organizing the festival.
“If you’re here, you’ve got to eat, so why not support the local farmers and restaurants?” said Starkey.
“The food component is to celebrate and profile local produce, it really is an important area for food production and we want to highlight what we have here.”
And food will plentiful at the festival.
Aside from the popcorn and pop available in the theatre, downtown Forest will host a farmer’s market from 8 to 5 on Friday, May 23, which will include fruits, vegetables, meats, baking and crafts from local producers.
Later on Friday, a gala dinner will be held at Kimball Hall at six o’clock, complete with a gourmet meal, entertainment and a live jazz band.
And finally, the Royal Canadian Legion hall on Albert Street will host a Sunday morning brunch replete with fresh local foods.
Community support has been incredible, said Starkey, and interest in the festival is coming from across southwestern Ontario.
“We’re really encouraging people from all over the area to come and visit us.,” he said.
“We’re hoping to build on it next year, and make it one of the big festivals that take place in this part of Ontario.”
“We just want people to come and enjoy the films and the food.”
Tickets for the films and events can be purchased online at www.lambtonfilmandfood.com or by phoning 1-844-677-6653.