Leaving Turtleford

Eugene Tippler breaks free from his shell and goes on an adventure to keep a promise and find the worth of a beloved family heirloom.

Sometimes the biggest journeys start with the smallest trip.

Creative team

Writers: Julia Arkos, Robert Clarke
Director: Ron Kennell
Producers: Patrick Lanctot, Vivian Meyer, Ron Kennell, Robert Clarke

Filmmaker’s statement

I was immediately fascinated by the dark and quirky humour Robert Clarke and Julia Arkos brought to the script of Leaving Turtleford.

Balanced between the isolated and the intimate, the story of Eugene Tippler captures the essence of a klutzy and painfully shy man born into an overwhelmingly small town. In the face of loss and heartbreak he bravely dares to go out of his comfort zone to find an answer he didn’t even know he was seeking.

I wanted to earn even the simplest intimate moments by reflecting Eugene’s isolation throughout the film with long shots – small man/big world shots.

Leaving Turtleford is a story of adventure, but it does not take place on the high seas or in ancient temples. It takes place on a bicycle, and in the heart and mind of Eugene Tippler whose true nature blossoms when he sets out on a journey that has repercussions he could never have imagined.

Leaving Turtleford began as a fictional tale about a son finding his place in the world after the loss of his mother. Art would soon imitate life, as Robert lost his own mother shortly after the film was shot.

Adding to the film’s already great loss, Barbara Nadajewski, who plays Eugene’s mother, suddenly passed away only days after viewing this film.

At the screening, when asked what she thought about the film, Barbara said, “If you are happy then I am happy.”

The message hidden in the heart of our film could not be more resonant. May we honour the legacy of these great women by seizing the moment.

About Ron Kennell

Ron Kennell

Ron Kennell was born on May 30, 1970 in Stratford, Ontario.

He is an actor and writer known for Pompeii (2014), Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows (2001) and Dr. Cabbie (2014).

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