Feather Hat Guy comes to the big screen in WIFF screening
'He's a good guy and embodies Windsor in a lot of ways' says filmmaker
A short film about an iconic Windsor character hits the festival scene this week — but 'Finding Feather Hat Guy' has been more than a decade in the making.
Mike Evans started working at a downtown bar in the early 2000s and was interested in who Feather Hat Guy really was.
In 2004, Evans jumped into filmmaking and was determined to track down the well-known Windsor face.
"When I first approached him he was a little standoffish, but when we started talking the wall came down," said Evans. "We were like two friends."
Evans said he was accepted into a "downtown, late-night world" with Feather Hat Guy and his friends.
Feather Hat Guy — legally Ron LaDouceur — grew up on the east side of Windsor and has worked at Hiram Walker, among other area jobs. He started walking the streets to both get in shape and keep his mind off the world.
At some point in the '70s, a now-ex-girlfriend got LaDouceur into the feather hat — but that's all Feather Hat Guy will say about it.
"He's funny, he's inviting. He's got a great sense of character," said Evans about Feather Hat Guy.
Some of the footage in the film include first-person footage of Feather Hat Guy walking down Ouellette Avenue.
I hope that people remember Ron.- Mike Evans, Windsor filmmaker
"I wanted to explore Windsor from his perspective," said Evans.
And while most Windsorites think they know the Feather Hat Guy story, Evans said they really don't. The documentary — which Evans described as "a love letter to Ron" — will "explode" stereotypes.
"I hope that people remember Ron," said Evans. "I hope they won't have any misconceptions about him and they'll know that he's a good guy and embodies Windsor in a lot of ways."
Feather Hat Guy of course knows he's been filmed for more than a decade ... but he's never seen the final film.
"I hope he's at the screening with us," said Evans. "I hope he really likes it."
'Finding Feather Hat Guy' premieres at the Windsor International Film Festival as a 19-minute film on Nov. 2.