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Omagh filmmaker is crowdfunding in Canada


FOLLOWING a stint of travelling in Mexico and the USA, it wasn’t long before Omagh filmmaker Stephen Campbell had his sights set on Canada, and an innovative documentary along with it.

Stephen is currently travelling 3,000 miles from Vancouver to Montreal with his girlfriend, Theresa, and along the way they have been speaking to a selection of people who have decided to move and call a new continent home. They will compile these encounters into a documentary, ‘Leaves of Europe’, complete with original soundtrack.

“We felt this would be a very interesting project to work on while travelling,” Stephen said. “As myself and my girlfriend are both from Europe and had been living in North America for six months, we were unsure how to feel about the continent. We wanted to hear what other people in a similar situation had to say.”

The couple’s trip has resulted in many interesting encounters with diverse individuals.

“One of the most interesting people we met was Claudio, an Italian friend from work,” Stephen explained. “He came to Canada to make a fortune that wasn’t possible to him in Europe. He didn’t stop complaining about how badly the Canadian construction standards were, and he was brutally honest with his views on Italy. An honest interviewee, and he was as candid on screen as he is off.

“Another highlight of the production was when we stumbled upon a Ukrainian woman living in a small town in Saskatchewan. She let us stay the night, plied us with white wine and treated us to old Ukrainian folk songs, played endlessly on the violin.”

While Stephen feels Vancouver is a world away from life in Omagh, he is attracted to the warmth and friendliness of Canadians that he likens to the people of West Tyrone.

“Driving through other places on our way East we’ve come across towns pretty similar to Omagh. Maybe the accents are a bit different and the Guinness isn’t half as good, but they aren’t far off.

The people in these towns are very friendly, much like West Tyrone, which has been a pleasure.”

Now that the couple are nearing Montreal, they will spend a number of months editing the footage and recording the soundtrack. The couple are currently seeking financial support to successfully complete the film.

“At this stage we want to make a documentary we think is worth watching,” Stephen said. “To complete the project we are now seeking support on the online platform Kickstarter, a crowdfunding website (Deadline Monday, October 16). People can donate to projects that are currently in development and receive rewards for their support, for example a digital download of the film, the soundtrack on cassette, or film posters. We hope to reach our crowdfunding aim and share our experiences with everyone back home.”

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