Lambton’s oil history to be tackled next by Donnellys director

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The man who brought the story of the Black Donnellys to the big screen says he’ll bring Lambton County’s oil history to life next.
Aaron Huggett was part of the audience during the two sold-out showings of The Black Donnellys in Petrolia.
The film, which was partially filmed in Lambton, is making its way around Ontario and even out west for screenings. Huggett goes to as many as possible, gauging the audience’s responses and later tweaking the film to make it better.
It’s his hope that after the screenings, The Black Donnellys will be part of film festivals in Ontario and hopes to sell it into the US market as a history film.
And while viewers are just getting their first look at The Black Donnellys, Huggett is working on his next film; Boomtown.
“It’s the 45-minute history of the oil industry in Lambton County,” he says.
“It’s not going to tell the whole story, it will be chapters of it over a period of time…We are still kind of distilling it down to the essential pieces and doing the research.
“I grew up a kilometre from where the first oil gusher happened…we live there again now, I work in the industry in my day job as well. It is a piece of history we are much more tied to personally.”
Huggett admits with such a wealth of stories about the characters who opened Lambton County’s oil fields and developed the industry it will be hard to find just the right stories.
But he has a secret weapon – his mother.    “In the 90s, the Oil Museum of Canada hired a research for a period of time to help them dig up the history and that was my mom,” says Huggett.
“I have several years of notes from that research that I have access to. As well as I have had conversations with the people who have been around 60 or 70 years who know the history,” he added.
Huggett is excited to tell a much more positive story with Boomtown.

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