Allan Tong and Ngardy Conteh’s Leone Stars (pictured), a documentary following the Sierra Leone Single-Leg Amputee Sports Club’s pursuit of a world championship, has won the Toronto International Film Festival’s Pitch This! Competition, and with it CDN$10,000 (US$10,100) in development funding.
The duo took the prize at the industry competition today (Tuesday), with Leone Stars topping five other films vying for the title. Each team was allowed six minutes to pitch their idea and two minutes to answer questions about it from the audience of more than 200, after which each film was evaluated by a six-person jury.
Leone Stars chronicles the Sports Club’s pursuit of a place in the 2012 World Amputee Football world championships. Tong was inspired to make the film after seeing photos of the team members, many of whom lost limbs in Sierra Leone’s brutal civil war.
“This is amazing,” Tong said in a statement. “Thanks to Telefilm and TIFF we now can go back to Africa to film the team as they compete at the All-African cup in Ghana.”
Work on the doc was partially funded by a Kickstarter campaign, which helped the team raise more than CDN$20,000 for filming and production. The film was produced by Walter Forsyth (Gorgeous Mistake Productions) and executive produced by Jerry McIntosh.
The award marks the first time a doc has won Pitch This! in the event’s 12-year history. Leone Stars was up against Breaking the Band, The Lost Woods, Pinweight, The Multiple Selves of Hannah Maynard and The Marksman.
(From Playback Daily)