PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT

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Death is the inevitable end to life, and we should be supported to have what we consider to be a ‘good death’ whenever possible, shouldn’t we?

But how do we, and who should be allowed to, define a ‘good death’?

Recent landmark cases have highlighted the issues surrounding assisted suicide and may be shifting public opinion in the direction of greater freedom. However, this remains one of the most challenging and controversial debates of our time.

On the one hand, organisations such as Care Not Killing campaign for more and better palliative care, ensuring that existing laws against euthanasia and assisted suicide are not weakened or repealed, and the global alliance of disabled people, Not Dead Yet vigorously oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide.  On the other hand, Dignity In Dying believe assisted suicide for terminally ill, mentally competent adults should be legal in the UK, and My Death My Decision insist that medically assisted dying should be available to all mentally competent adults with incurable health problems, and not just restricted to those who are terminally ill with a prognosis of six months or less.

With participation, analysis and comment from all sides of the debate; the medical community, legal experts, people who are left incurably suffering and wish to slip painlessly away, and those who vehemently oppose any legislative change, award winning film-maker, Andi Reiss’ documentary investigates this high profile argument, in an in-depth and explorative way, from an ethical, medical, legal, cultural and personal perspective. The aim of the film is to provide information as well as to encourage social and political discourse in the UK about assisted suicide by showing perspectives of the people it actually concerns.

Participants  (to date) include:- Colin Campbell, Alex Pandolfo, Omid T, Phil Cheatle, Dr Colin Brewer, Dr Michael Irwin, Penny Hall, Richard Pratt, Professor Celia Kitzinger, Saimo Chahal QC, Paul Bowen QC, Dr Erika Preisig, Lauren Nicklinson, Sarah Wootton, Robin Ince, Dr Richard Huxtable, Revd Canon Rosie Harper, Rev Canon Dr Sarah Rowland Jones, Revd Graham Sykes, Rt Revd Dr Lee Rayfield and Lord Carey of Clifton.

 

THE SACRIFICIAL VIRGINS (in-production; Documentary 75 mins) 

a film by Joan Shenton and Andi Reiss 

2017 marks the tenth anniversary of the launch of the vaccine against the human papilloma virus (HPV). 100 million young girls and some boys in perfect health have been vaccinated worldwide in an attempt to prevent cervical cancer. This documentary examines the social and scientific justification for this questionable policy and tells the story of those who have died and those who live on the shadows of life in the interests of the “greater good” and the profits of both governments and the pharmaceutical industry.

CRIMINALLY FALSE (in-production; Documentary 30 mins)

a film by Joan Shenton and Andi Reiss 

Hundreds of men and women are imprisoned, some on life sentences, for transmitting HIV to their partners, many without any proof of transmission. Some of these sentences are now being overturned. This documentary questions how sure are we that these convicted prisoners are HIV infected? How difficult is it to transmit HIV? Is there real proof of transmission? Is HIV transmissible at all? Is the science behind the infectious hypothesis for AIDS mistaken?

 

All In The Mind (in development; Feature Documentary 90 mins)

an Andi Reiss film

Mental disorders appear to be increasing in number and severity, and untreated illness can have significant implications for academic success, productivity, and social relationships. Though the burden of illness resulting from psychiatric and behavioural disorders is enormous, it is grossly underrepresented by conventional public health statistics, which have tended to focus on mortality rather than morbidity or dysfunction. For example, when suicide represents a death due to depression, schizophrenia or drug abuse, it is tabulated as suicide. This documentary investigates the personal experiences of both service users and those who work on the other side. Objective and journalistic in its essence, it will hopefully allow the viewer to reach their own conclusions on the stigma of mental health, especially in the light of current funding issues.

Around the World On Scissors. Strangely Drawn? (in development; 6 x 30 min tv series)

Charles Burns, an artist who draws portraits with scissors, is making a journey to find other artists working with unusual tools. One winter’s morning he leaves the comfort of his home with nothing more than a passport, his favourite scissors and a pocketful of paper. Living on his wits and his skill as an artist, Charles will meet a variety of artists and “having a go” at their techniques. Those include graffiti artists in Säo Paulo who draw with a cherry picker, and in Shanghai, a pioneering adman and artist who draws with his eyes. Strangely drawn?

 

Little Calais (in development; Short Drama 30 mins)

an Andi Reiss film

Nine year old Syrian girl, Aya arrives with her family in England after a year living in the Calais jungle. She faces the challenges of a new life and a new school. However, with the help of the ghost of her best friend, Nooga, she creates an imaginative art project to teach her classmates the true meaning of being a refugee.

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