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October 5, 2017

Fanshawe's CCPV and Forest City Film Festival find synergy at the movies

Sometimes collaboration springs from the most unexpected places. Such is the case with a recent alliance between Fanshawe's Canadian Centre for Product Validation (CCPV) and the Forest City Film Festival (FCFF). On first blush, it may appear the only thing these two entities have in common is being relative newcomers to the London landscape. Yet, thinking outside the box, the two enterprises are making movie magic.

As a state-of-the-art testing facility, CCPV officially opened in London's Advanced Manufacturing Park a year ago, with a bold mandate to bridge the gap between innovation and commercialization. About the same time, the Forest City Film Festival debuted in the heart of London at Wolf Performance Hall, with a creative mandate to ensure London is no longer the only large Southwestern Ontario city without a film festival. 

A year later, both new enterprises are growing in complementary ways. As expected, CCPV's leading-edge validation technologies and equipment are helping companies test their new products by conducting electrical, mechanical, performance, environmental and thermal analysis – all under one roof.

Yet, in conjunction with its industry sponsorship of the 2017 edition of the Forest City Film Festival, CCPV is also doing something quite unexpected. It is liaising with the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) to serve as a unique international film location.

CEO Ben Cecil (L) shows Film Fest ED Dorothy Downs around CCPV

CEO Ben Cecil (L) shows Film Fest ED Dorothy Downs around CCPV

CCPV Chief Executive Officer Ben Cecil notes a recent tour of the facility clinched the OMDC endorsement as an exceptional backdrop for the film industry. “The site scouts were blown away by the futuristic look of CCPV, and believe we have an incredible range of film and photography options that directors and producers are seeking.”

Among the distinctive imagery options offered by CCPV are its space-age building exterior, an ultra-modern lobby and staircase, high-tech security walls, contemporary “glass-room” offices, and even a few spooky chambers. So, it can readily serve as a framework for films with futuristic, fantasy, science fiction and technology thriller storylines, as well as a rare setting for commercials and stylized photography.

Other components enhancing CCPV as a film location are its close proximity to Toronto, quick access to the highway, a safe, secure environment, lots of open space inside and out, and plenty of free parking. As such, the OMDC is featuring an array of CCPV images for moviemakers and publishers to peruse in its fall newsletter. This is welcome news to Cecil, who is also a sci-fi enthusiast, “Our site is very different from anything people ever see in education or industry, so we are excited and grateful for this novel opportunity to shine on the big screen.”     

Forest City Film Festival Executive Director Dorothy Downs concurs, “In addition to showcasing filmmaking talent across Southwestern Ontario, another goal of the festival is to build capacity across the film industry, as a whole – with London playing an ever-increasing part. And, this growing liaison between Fanshawe's Canadian Centre for Product Validation and the Ontario Media Development Corporation is a fine example of opening our eyes to new possibilities.”

The 2nd annual Forest City Film Festival runs October 26-29 at Wolf Performance Hall and Imagine Cinemas in Citi Plaza. In its inaugural year, the Festival enjoyed great success with 26 film screenings and 1500 movie-goers in attendance. This year, organizers have 46 films on tap and hope to attract 3000 film enthusiasts over the four-day event. “We're now in the audience-building stage, working to build brand recognition and loyalty with our audience and filmmakers,” notes Downs. “With a selection of the best Canadian films of the year, industry workshops, networking, filmmaker panels, a juried competition and awards, there is something for everyone.”

How encouraging to know CCPV's world-class facility is enhancing London's position as a national leader in innovation, while also supporting Canada's film industry. As well, kudos to the Festival for thriving as a new cornerstone for London's burgeoning film industry, including many Fanshawe graduates. A London win-win indeed!

Meantime, Fanshawe President Peter Devlin - who is also the retired Canadian Army Commander - will open the festival with a feature documentary called Clearing the Way about Canadian combat engineers in Kandahar in 2006.

For more information on CCPV, visit and to check out the 2017 Forest City Film Festival, visit

For further information about Fanshawe College, please contact Corporate Communications.