Ego of Nation - Janet Rogers screen shot

Ego of a Nation – Janet Rogers

October is a busy month for film makers in the Southwestern Ontario with the Forest City Film Festival happening on October 19 – 24 both in-person and virtually.

We had a chance to chat with a couple of 519 producers to find out about the films that they submitted to this year’s festival.


Philip Hoffman Director/Producer of the Experimental film “Vulture” is excited to showcase his work:

“I’ve been at this place near Mount Forest for about 25 years and my neighbours’ use the land for grazing their cattle, pigs and goats and it’s a family farm next door. So the animals can kind of roam together. It’s not like industrial farming, where, a large amount of animals are all kind of squeezed into one field. So, over the years, I watched these animals interact, and I noticed they have relationships, the pigs in the cows seem to stick together, whereas the horses and the goats stick together, and there’s all the same kinds of things that sort of happened with humans, I think in a way there is jealousy and love and all kinds of things. I should say less if you watch the film, there is one interesting scene.”

To develop his film, Philip has been working with flowers and plants, which as we know is a much more environmentally friendly process than the chemicals used to process films.

“I used more than 20 plants to develop the film,” he added. The different plants have different acidity values that change the actual developing times. It’s a very interesting process, but also every plant can give a different look to the film. And that’s sort of what I’m also very interested in. So the film has many looks to it.”

Be sure to check out “Vulture” on Thursday, October 21 at the TAP Centre For Creativity at 6:34pm


Director Gemma Eva has two submissions in this year’s festival. The first is “The Big Little Show” which was created for an NFA thesis project:

“It was originally supposed to be a live action musical, but due to the pandemic, we were no longer allowed to shoot with in person crews. So in order to save the script, and the story, I went towards animation. Luckily, we had all the songs recorded, and the music recorded. So we had a soundtrack already, which was a perfect situation to animate to.”

Gemma not only created one animation, but two, and decided to use this project for the social experiment.

“I was doing a social experiment on how audiences perceived protagonists of different gender,” she explained. “So by doing that, I created two identical films with different gender protagonists and did a social experiment with these films, so one film features a female protagonist, which is the one that will be screening, while the other features a male protagonist, which can be seen on CBC Gem as part of the Windsor shorts series.

Check out “The Big Little Show” on Wednesday, October 20 at 12:34pm at the WOLF Performance Hall.

Gemma was also the co-producer of “Continuum”, with her partner Callum Hotchkiss for his MFA thesis project. It’s about a young woman who is overwhelmed by societal pressures and breaks free of a simulated existence, opening herself to the full breadth of life.

“Continuum” will be shown on Sunday, October 24 at 12:25pm at TAP Centre For Creativity.

Janet Rogers has three submissions this year:

“It’s wonderful, because all of those films are recently made. And so I’m excited because we made two of those films this year, and one of the films we made last year and it’s just exciting when you’ve got new work and it gets accepted right away because it lets you know that you’re kind of on the right track in terms of what you’re doing creatively” said Janet.

The first is “Ego Of A Nation”:

“The poem is the title poem to a whole collection that exists in a book called Ego Venation, a poetry collection of mine. The poem itself was written in response to the frustrations around injustice. The injustice we see perpetrated through the Canadian court system, and in particular, that poem was written in response to the acquittal of the person who murdered Colton Boushie back in 2000.”

“Ego of a Nation” will be screened on Saturday, October 23 at 11am at the WOLF Performance Hall.

Janet’s second film submission is the experimental film called “Monologue Harmonic”.

“This poem was written before it moved into a media piece,” explained Janet. “It was pretty intense work. And it is the result of which is very powerful experimental piece that has got a lot of Sonic presence to it. It has a visually stunning presence as well.

Janet explained that there is a message within the film:

“The message within that piece is about feeling like you’re living in this paradoxical reality, where, you have to embrace at least two worlds at once, to cope, and to make a living for yourself. That’s what it’s like for Indigenous people. So that’s what it talks about.”

“Monologue Harmonic” will be shown on Saturday, October 23 at 1:32pm at TAP Centre For Creativity.

Her last submission is the music video for “Solidarity” performed by Joshua Arden Miller, which will be screened at 100 Kellogg Ln on Saturday, October 23rd at 7pm.

The Forest City Film Festival is taking over London from October 19-23. For more information, tickets and trailers, visit

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