What happens when you die?
I asked myself this question a few years ago and it was then that I realised it’s a question we all ask at some point in our lives. Perhaps it’s safe to say that we all have an image in our minds of what happens when we die, or what doesn’t, but I wanted the challenge of creating a film that didn’t specifically pinpoint any ‘one’ view on death, but instead, started a conversation.
In 2017, I scripted and directed a short film called ‘A Grave Matter’. An unlikely conversation between Adam and Daisy in the village church, sparks a conversation about death. Adam is clearly upset about something, and through Daisy's experience dealing with death in her own life, she is able to help Adam open up about his story.
‘A Grave Matter’ was officially selected for the ‘Short and Sweet Film Festival’ which took place on January 18th-19th 2019. The judges said:
After watching the film A Grave Matter, it made me contemplate about the quality of time I spent with my loved ones. Adam and Daisy's exchange of heartfelt thoughts and reminisced memories of their departed loved ones were touching, it felt real, a conversation that a person needs to vent out and accept death. I appreciate the gravity of emotions that both actors Stan Elliott and Liz Hume poured in this film. They were superb. It was evident in their scenes that they were able to connect with their characters to bring out the drama in the story. I don't want to spoil the plot, but director Luke Taylor who also wrote this film made a chilling twist you certainly have to watch out for.
The film has been through various versions and had many changes, but nearly two years on and it is finally ready to be shared with the world.
A GRAVE MATTER
Since making the film, I realised that there was much more to talk about.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DIE?
Joanna Crosse and I spent 2018 travelling the country and documenting the stories of people with extraordinary stories about ‘what happens when you die?’.
Our first interview was with David Grove - once an international banker who had a spiritual experience later on in life and now works as a medium. We also interviewed Dr Penny Sartori, expert on Near Death Experiences. Penny was able to tell us first-hand about the time she spent as an intensive care nurse and the experiences patients were having when they died and came back to life. During the filming we captured a number of stories, creating a balanced documentary that helps people start a conversation about death.
We screened both films to an audience of over 100 people at the end of 2018 and had a Q&A with a member of the Death Cafe,Sue Brayne. Sue was able to take questions about dealing with death and the grieving process. We have since screened the film a second time with positive responses and audiences saying how the feel the film will help others to be more open and honest about death and dying.