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Oil Springs director's World War One film gets streaming service boost

Blake Ellis

Local Journalism Initiative

A local director just got a boost, as his latest film is now available on several streaming services, giving the film far greater exposure, than anything he has done before.

Battle For the Western Front, a production by Electric Motion Pictures and Oil Springs Director Aaron Huggett, is now available on several streaming sites including Amazon Prime in the United States, Apple TV, Voodoo and several others.

“It is taking off a bit,” said Huggett, as the film is being seen is as many as 50 countries and in three languages. This is due to the number of awards the film and its cast has received at various film festivals.

The film has been rebranded from its original title of The Ace and the Scout to Battle For the Western Front. The film tells the story of Canadian flying ace Billy Bishop and how he inspired two young Canadians to join the Canadian Army and fight in France on the Western Front. The two men find themselves fighting on the western front during the 100 Day Offensive in 1918 in a platoon holding out for three days on limited food and ammunition. They are lucky to have legendary Anishinaabe sniper Francis Pegahmagabow with them.

The film was shot during the pandemic and trenches were dug on Huggett’s farm in the Oil Springs area to simulate conditions of the First World War on the western front.

One the highlights of filming for Huggett was to fly in a vintage First World War plane as they recreated a dog fight. To capture the action, Huggett rode in one of the planes with a camera slung over his shoulder. The planes were from the Great War Flying Museum in Cheltenham, Ontario. Huggett said this dog fighting scene was the most challenging he has been able to capture.

Huggett knew he had lightning in a bottle after seeing veterans react to the film. Some veterans have told him how the film successfully captures the realities of war and the experiences of soldiers.

Huggett has just been able to learn from every film he has been involved with. That knowledge and experience has grown from everyone that has been involved and he is proud of what everyone has been able to accomplish.

• The Independent

BLAKE ELLIS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Independent