Film-maker Deborah sets sights on completing Derry Hallowe'en film

A local film-maker who has undergone a Cornea transplant which has transformed her sight, is hoping local people can help her finish a documentary she is making on Hallowe'en in Derry.

Tuesday, 3rd July 2018, 4:08 pm
Updated Monday, 16th July 2018, 5:03 pm
Filmmaker Deborah Boyle pictured with Mayor of Derry Councillor John Boyle. DER2718GS013

Deborah Boyle (29) from The Glen area, who was partially blind in both eyes, said she is delighted that after major eye surgery last year for Corneal Clouding she will be able to see her film clearly once it is completed.

Deborah, who is also hoping to get a second transplant on her other eye later this year, has spent five years developing and editing her ‘Hallowe’en Town’ film project and is hoping it will get a TV broadcast in October this year.

In order to complete the film however, she is seeking some photographs of people dressed up for Hallowe’en in the bars in and around the Waterloo Street area back in the 1980s.

Hallowe'en's city centre festival started out with fancy dsress parties in the pubs.

The Derry woman first pitched the idea for the film during a workshop in Belfast following her Masters Degree in documentary making.

“Every year people always ask, where did it come from? Why Hallowe’en? And why Derry?” she said. “It is the top destination for Hallowe’en in the world, above places like Transylvania and Salem that have that obvious connection with the witch trials etc.”

How and why Derry’s celebrations evolved from those early days of fancy dress parties in a few local pubs to the city hosting one of the biggest street carnivals in Europe is explored in the film, through footage, interviews and photographs of the celebrations down through the years.

“It would be great to get more old photos from Hallowe’en costume parties in the pubs on Waterloo Street in the 1980s,” Deborah added.

Footage from Derry's Halloween parades past will be included in the film.

“I spent the last few years working on the film and just need some more old photographs to get it all done.

“I had major eye surgery last year, so I can now finally see the fruits of my labour, and I’m excited for others to see it too.”

Deborah was partially blind in both eyes as a result of Corneal Clouding. “The best way I can describe it is if you wear glasses and you drink a cup of tea and you steamed up your glasses, or if you have a car and its cold and the windscreen is clouded up, it’s like that.

“I actually edited the film with ‘milk bottle bottom’ thick glasses and a magnifying glass that I literally had to hold up to the computer screen.

“It’s genuinely unbelievable the difference. Before I had the surgery I thought if I could just read without the magnifying glass, with just my glasses, that would be amazing, but after I got the surgery I can see perfectly. I just don’t ever want to get to the point where I am used to it.”

Anyone who can help with Hallowe’en photos from the 1980s is asked to contact the Hallowe’en Town Facebook page at or e-mail [email protected]