64 new documentary films are now available to view as part of Vancouver's DOXA Film Festival 2020, which went online this year due to COVID-19.
Full disclosure: I wortked as a co-producer on the film which is now up for a few 2020 Leo Awards including Best Direction, Best Screenwriting, Best Editing, and Best Documentary.
While I obviously have a vested interest in you watching it, I jumped on board the production because I believe the story was too good not to do a feature length film about.
It tells the story of businessman Eddy Haymour, and how he bought a small island on Okanagan Lake and started to build a Middle Eastern-themed theme park on it... then wound up taking people at the Canadian embassy in Beirut hostage in order to try to get it back, after the government took it from him under duress.
I'm extremely proud of the final product, and again I'm biased but I feel director Greg Crompton (who also directs our history show BC Was Awesome) has masterfully put together the tale something that every British Columbian should know.
The trailer is below. You can watch it online (only in B.C.) for $8 as part of the festival HERE. As a bonus, there's a 30-minute Q+A with Crompton included in that ticket price, so after you watch the film you can learn more about it - just as if you were seated at a DOXA screening.
It's only screening for the next few days, and you won't have another chance to see it again until it's finished its festival run in a few months, so get on it now!
Eddy's Kingdom recounts the story of businessman Eddy Haymour, and the extreme methods he used to construct a Middle Eastern-themed amusement park in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. In 1955, Haymour immigrated to Edmonton, Alberta from Lebanon, and promptly started a chain of popular barber shops. On the tail of his success, in the early 1970s, he bought Rattlesnake Island, a piece of land resting in Lake Okanagan. Much to the dismay of many nearby residents, he dreamt of transforming it into an amusement park, complete with underwater submarines and a camel-shaped ice cream stand. Several obstacles prevented Eddy from reaching his dream, and a stranger-than-fiction string of events ensued, including a week-long hostage situation at the Canadian Embassy in Beirut.
Using archival footage, reenactments, and interviews with Eddy (now in his 80s) and his family members, Vancouver-based director Greg Crompton chronicles the saga of Haymour’s obsession. A controversial character, Eddy has been called both a narcissist and visionary, and his story details a very strange moment in B.C’s history.