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A 15-minute documentary about an amputee soccer team in Sierra Leone, exploring the power of sport to create dignity and hope when all seems lost.
A 15-min documentary about an amputee soccer team in Sierra Leone, exploring the power of sport to create dignity. (Note: With the success of this campaign we went on to make a feature length documentary and the film is now called 'The Flying Stars')
A 15-min documentary about an amputee soccer team in Sierra Leone, exploring the power of sport to create dignity. (Note: With the success of this campaign we went on to make a feature length documentary and the film is now called 'The Flying Stars')
125 backers pledged $20,175 to help bring this project to life.

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Leone Stars: A documentary

$20,175

125

This project has attracted some of the top film, music and photography talents in Canada and the United States: K'NAAN who has contributed his song, "Fire in Freetown," to this trailer you see; JERRY McINTOSH, a longtime executive for CBC-TV and now heads the documentary program at the world renown Canadian Film Centre; Hot Docs board member WALTER FORSYTH who produced the viral hit How to Be Alone and the feature doc CUBERS; New York photographer FIONA ABOUD, and journalist/filmmaker ALLAN TONG.

They're helping me make a 15-minute documentary about an amputee soccer team in Sierra Leone. I was born there, but grew up in Canada where I make movies and TV series. NOTE: Only a few minutes of rough, demonstration footage (in the trailer here) has been shot. The funds raised will be used to go back and shoot this movie.

The film will profile these players whose arms and legs rebel soldiers hacked off in the civil war of the 90s. They were children then, and today the players have no family, job or home -- only the game of soccer. The team is their family, and their fans their admirers. Soccer has turned these amputees from victims into champions.

The amputees inspire me. They have nothing in this world except their teammates and the game of soccer. Soccer gives them hope and (pardon the pun) a goal in life. The team has won the all-African championships which has made them heroes. Imagine a stadium cheering a homeless, legless, 22-year-old man.

Secondly, I feel a kinship with the players. I'm of that generation that suffered the most during the civil war. If I had stayed in Sierra Leone I could've lost my arm, lost my family, and been enslaved. Only because my father taught abroad did I escape the killing fields. It is impossible not to wonder how my life could've been if I had followed a different path.

The inspiration comes from FIONA ABOUD, associate producer and a New York photographer who shot the Leone Stars during an assignment in 2007, and from Allan Tong who alerted me to Fiona's photos. Their reaction to these players was the same.

The amputees give me hope, and I bet they will inspire you.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    5% OF ALL DONATIONS go to purchasing equipment and supplies for the soccer team.
    Gratitude Pledge - For $5 or more you will receive: • E-mailed updates on the film • Our sincere gratitude • The knowledge that you helped fund a story that needs to be told.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Thank You Pledge - For $10 or more you will receive: • The above plus • A thank you on our website • A quarterly update on the soccer team (for 2 years) • An advance ‘sneak preview’ of the trailer for the film.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    CD Pledge - For $25 or more you will receive: • All the above plus • A hand written 'Thank You' postcard from the creative team while in Sierra Leone • A ‘thank you’ on the film credits • A mix CD of tracks that inspired us on our journey to Sierra Leone.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    DVD Pledge - For $50 or more you will receive: • All the above plus • A "special thanks" credit on the film credits • A DVD of The Rhyming Chef Barbuda (First season) 8x10min episodes plus 20 min. of tips and techniques and more bonus footage OR • A DVD copy of one of our previous short films (choose from: LSD 25, The June Bug Symphony, Old St. Nick, This Tear is a Word. See IMDB for details of each.)

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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About $100

    Book Pledge - For $100 or more you will receive: • All the above plus • A limited edition Leone Stars team T-shirt.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Kindness Pledge - For $250 or more you will receive: • All the above plus • A signed DVD copy of the film when it is completed • An autographed copy of the multi-award winning book, The Bite of Mango by Mariatu Kamara (featured in the video introduction) about her experiences as an amputee victim in Sierra Leone.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Dignity Pledge - For $500 or more you will receive: • All the above plus • A limited edition 16X20 photograph of the main characters by Associate Producer, Fiona Aboud, your choice of four to choose from • The newest CD by Somalian born K’naan; Troubadour (featuring the song used in our trailer).

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    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About $1,000

    Courage Pledge - For pledges of $1,000 or more you will receive: All of the above plus • A limited edition Leone Stars team soccer jersey.

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    Hope Pledge - For pledges of $2,500 or more you will receive: All of the above plus • A competition soccer ball signed by the productions team and the players • An Associate Producer credit appearing as such on the IMDB listing.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Hero Pledge - For pledges of $5,000 or more you will receive: All of the above plus • One soccer ball birthday cake delivered to you on your birthday • A limited edition framed 16X20 photograph of the main characters by Associate Producer, Fiona Aboud, your choice of four • An Executive Producer credit appearing as such on the IMDB listing.

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Funding period

- (50 days)