Chalk-art fest in Forest as part of the LaFFF. 2023. (Photo courtesy of Ruth Illman)Chalk-art fest in Forest as part of the LaFFF. 2023. (Photo courtesy of Ruth Illman)

Expanded Lambton Film, Food Festival kicks off

This year's Lambton Film and Food Festival (LaFFF) will have more of a focus on the "street festival" aspect with several community-based activities planned.

The 11th annual LaFFF will be held in downtown Forest from Thursday, May 23 to Sunday, May 26.

The multi-day event will begin with the Youth Film Competition Awards at the Kineto Theatre on Thursday at 6 p.m. The winning short films submitted into the annual contest will be screened for community members.  

In order to accommodate for planned outdoor festivities, King Street West will be closed Friday until about 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Kiwanis Club of Forest member Ruth Illman said they're introducing a cornhole tournament this year along with a few community barbecues in order to attract more people.

"We're trying to turn this into a community event, a street festival," she said. "There will be street music, live entertainment, cornhole boards out in the street, and this is in between the two films that we have. The Friday films are American Fiction in the afternoon and Joan Baez I Am A Noise in the evening."

Friday's schedule will include the second annual "chalk-art fest" where 250 to 300 students, split into teams, will draw colourful displays.

"They come prepared with a plan and do their chalk designs," Illman said.

A drone will capture the downtown activity and the finished product.

Live music can be heard from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., and the cornhole tournament will be held from 5:30 p.m. until 8 p.m.

Street barbecues are planned on Friday and Saturday at 5:30 p.m. and on Sunday at 12 p.m.

The Kineto patio will also be set up on Friday from 4:30 p.m. until 8 p.m., on Saturday from 12 p.m. until 8 p.m., and on Sunday from 12 p.m. until 2 p.m. The area will serve beer from Stonepicker Brewing Company and house wine. On Saturday, live entertainment will be held from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.

An artisan market, including approximately 30 vendors, will be set up along King Street West from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

The Forest Library will offer a workshop at 4:30 p.m., in the downstairs area of the Kineto Theatre. The workshop's theme is "Here’s Looking at You: From Casablanca to Casino Royale."

In total, seven award-winning films, ranging in genre, will be shown at the Kineto Theatre from Friday through Sunday.

"In the beginning, we showed films that were a little more artsy, and we're trying to appeal to a broader demographic this year," Illman said.

Show times and film trailers can be found on the theatre's website.

All planned outdoor activities are weather dependent.

Although the LaFFF weekend will take place over the next few days, the event technically kicked off on May 11 with a ticketed Film Festival Gala.

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