Fundraiser continues to lift Flying Stars amputee players

Two attendees study framed photos of The Flying Stars soccer players, shot by Fiona Aboud and Johnny Vong.

Patrons view and buy Johnny Vong's photos of The Flying Stars players at fundraiser.All 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.)

Co-director Ngardy Conteh George updates audience on The Flying Stars players and their income-generating plans.

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.

Co-director Allan Tong poses with two happy owners of Fiona Aboud's portrait of a Flying Stars Sally Warburton

Attendees snapped up beauti...

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The Flying Stars soar to Willson Oakville Film Festival

Inside Halton press clip (May 13-2016) PHOTO ONLY

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

poster of May 12 fundraiser to help The Flying Stars amputees

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. All funds raised at this May 12 fundraiser go directly to Bornor’s team.

The evening will feature 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 exc...

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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 present a photo album to remember that sold-out screening:

Directors Allan Tong, Ngardy Conteh George & associate producer Fiona Aboud at Toronto premiere

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

Directors Ngardy Conteh George and Allan Tong do a post-screening Q&A before capacity audience

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

Directors Allan Tong & Ngardy Conteh George after the sold-out screening.

Directors Allan Tong & Ngardy Conteh George

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

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

Moments before the screening, associate producer Fiona Aboud and co-editor, Tiffany Beaudin chat in the cinema.

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)

Schedule board proclaims sold-out screening for The Flying Stars at Toronto Black Film Festival

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The Flying Stars sells out Toronto premiere

capacity crowd attends Toronto premiere of The Flying Stars documentary

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 filmThe 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

FS @ TBFF press launch (Jan 20-2016) (2) edit TBFF press launch - poster (edit) FS @ TBFF press launch (Jan 20-2016) (1) editOfficial-SelectionFIFBT2016

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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Flying Stars editor gets Oscar nomination for short documentary

Flying Stars editor, Tiffany Beaudin, is part of the filmmaking team that has received an Oscar nomination for the short documentary, Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah. In the film, Claude Lanzmann discusses the process of directing, producing, editing and presenting his influential documentary, Shoah.

The filmmakers of The Flying Stars congratulate Tiffany for cutting Spectres of the Shoah. Here's Tiffany cutting the opening of The Flying Stars:

Tiffany Beaudin editing the opening sequence of the documentary, The Flying Stars

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The Flying Stars are coming home!

The Flying Stars teaser image of a forthcoming hometown screening. Census carries a soccer ball down a field.Watch this space for details…

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The Flying Stars win Best Documentary Award at BronzeLens

Tweet by Atlanta's BronzeLens Film Festival announcing best documentary award to The Flying Stars film.

On Saturday evening in Atlanta, the BronzeLens Film Festival awarded The Flying Stars the Best Documentary Award. The film had screened the day before at the sixth annual edition of this esteemed festival, featuring the best of filmmaking by the African diaspora and African-Americans.

Honoured!!! 🙂,” was how the filmmakers responded to the BronzeLens news on Twitter early Sunday morning. Indeed, we are.

Amputee soccer players from Bo region in Sierra Leone hoist a trophy.

The Flying Stars has a long history of awards. In September 2011, when it was known as Leone Stars, directors Allan Tong and Ngardy Conteh (now George) won the Telefilm Pitch This! competition at TIFF (the Toronto International Film Festival). The Flying Stars remains the only documentary to ever capture this prestigious award, given to the filmmaking team with the best pitch for a...

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