The Flying Stars make African debut in Ghana

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The Flying Stars will make its African premiere at the Black Star International Film Festival in Accra, Ghana on August 25.

The Flying Stars plays on the opening day of Black Star, at 6:30 pm at James Town (Brazil House).

Filmmakers Allan and Ngardy are excited that their film is reaching Africa. Ghana lies near Sierra Leone, just east and also nestled against the Atlantic Ocean. The amputees in The Flying Stars have often played fellow amputees in Ghana in tournaments.

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Above: The Bo regional team in practice. Below: Bornor cooking for his children. (photos: Johnny Vong)

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The Flying Stars dazzle Oakville

Willson Oakville Film Festival June 2016 057 The Flying Stars returned to the Toronto area Sunday afternoon with a screening at the Willson Oakville Film Festival. Co-director, Allan Tong, presented the film to a near-capacity cinema, which boasted a gorgeous two-storey-high screen and a rich sound system. The Flying Stars was paired with another documentary about sport and disability, 8% No Limit.

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The audience asked Allan perceptive questions such as, “Who started amputee soccer? and “Has the film helped the team find sponsors?” The answers, respectively, are retired American nurse Dee Malchow, herself an amputee who did volunteer work in Sierra Leone; and yes, including our fundraiser last month at the Gladstone Hotel.

The final question was: “What else that you shot for the film that you couldn’t put in? The answer was that we...

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Meet the Makers: Oakville film fest talks to the Flying Stars directors

“There are themes of family and the need for family and belonging. These men are not always considered as being part of the community.”

Read more at this interview of directors, Allan Tong and Ngardy Conteh George, by the Willson Oakville Film Festival, where The Flying Stars screens on June 26.

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Fundraiser continues to lift Flying Stars amputee players

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DSC08028All photos by Sierra Nallo unless noted

On May 12, supporters filled the Gladstone Hotel ballroom on Toronto’s hip Queen St. West to raise money for The Flying Stars amputee football (soccer) club of Freetown, Sierra Leone and the Bo Team in the southern region of Sierra Leone.  (For those who couldn’t attend the fundraiser, you can still support the players by buying photographic prints and Sierra Leonean wood carvings at our new online store. This site will also accept donations on behalf of the Flying Stars team.)

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Fundraiser organizer and co-director Ngardy Conteh George (above) gave an update on the teams and details on their income-generating initiatives and goals. You can find out more details about both teams initiatives here.

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Attendees snapped up beauti...

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The Flying Stars soar to Willson Oakville Film Festival

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The Flying Stars returns to the GTA with a June 26, 12:30 pm screening at the Willson Oakville Film Festival, west of Toronto. Our film will be paired with another documentary about sport and disability, 8% No Limit.

“This story is not only about overcoming disability, but also PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), which is something that crosses all borders…,” said co-director Allan Tong at last week’s festival launch. (Click the photo above to read a full report of the festival.)

Tickets are on sale for all festival screenings, and Allan will be present on June 26. Join us!

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May 12 fundraiser to help The Flying Stars amputees

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Help a one-legged man fly!

Join us Thursday, May 12, 7-10 pm at the Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen St. W. at Gladstone) to support The Flying Stars amputee soccer team, the stars of our documentary. To become self-sufficient, Bornor and his teammates are raising money to open a tailoring shop and internet cafe in Freetown, Sierra Leone. 

The evening features live African music by Kobèna Aquaa-Harrison who scored the film, a joint exhibition by photographers Fiona Aboud (in attendance from New York) and Johnny Vong who shot our poster (the left and right frames of the poster above), Sierra Leonean masks & artwork, silent auction of these photos and masks, food by Chef Philman George (The Rhyming Chef) and exclusive documentary footage!

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Fiona will be in attendance from New York...

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Toronto premiere: photo album

There was no shortage of social media coverage of The Flying Stars’ recent Toronto premiere at the Toronto Black Film Festival. Here we add a few more images to remember that sold-out screening:

Left to right: Directors Allan Tong, Ngardy Conteh George & associate producer Fiona Aboud (photo: Cody Turner)

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The 15-minute Q&A session with the capacity audience. (photo: Cody Turner)

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Directors Allan Tong & Ngardy Conteh George

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Directors Ngardy Conteh George & Allan Tong during the post-screening Q&A

Moments before the screening. Associate producer Fiona Aboud (in black) and co-editor, Tiffany Beaudin (in white) are chatting in the second row. (photo: Guillermo Lozza, Toronto Black Film Festival)


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The Flying Stars sells out Toronto premiere

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The Flying Stars returned home on Friday evening and played to a packed house at the Toronto Black Film Festival. The Feb. 12 screening marked the Toronto premiere after award-winning screenings across North America.

“Awesome” and “amazing,” Tweeted audience members that included friends and family members of both directors, Allan Tong and Ngardy Conteh George, as well as Kickstarter supporters. Everybody stayed for the 15-minute Q&A with the directors (as well as Anna Musso, the writer/director of the fine fictional short film, Run Fast, that preceded The Flying Stars). 

Ngardy Conteh George & Allan Tong  (photo by Jennifer Campbell)

Allan recounted how he began the film in spring 2008 when he first saw the images of the Sierra Leonean amputee soccer players shot by New York pho...

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What does football mean to Sierra Leone?

What does the Beautiful Game of football (soccer to North Americans) mean to the people of Sierra Leone? Find out in this outtake from our film, The Flying Stars, shot in Freetown and Bo in 2011 and 2012:

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The Flying Stars having hometown premiere at the Toronto Black Film Festival

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Jan. 21, 2016 (Toronto) – Award-winning documentary, The Flying Stars, returns for its hometown premiere at the fourth Toronto Black Film Festival (TBFF) on Friday, Feb. 12 at 5:00 pm at the Carlton Cinemas. Toronto filmmakers Ngardy Conteh George and Allan Tong will introduce the film.

The Flying Stars profiles amputee soccer players, Bornor and Census, who play the beautiful game to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in postwar Sierra Leone. In the film, Bornor is an amputee who plays organized soccer in Sierra Leone to cope with the horrors of war he suffered a decade ago...

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