September's Awesome Ottawa award goes to Andrew Conte to support the production of a very personal film, The End of Your Tale, about death and dying.
"Since my Dad passed away two years ago after having faced a terminal diagnosis," explains Andrew, "I've wondered how a 'right to die' option might have shaped the last days of his life with us. The investigation of my personal story has led me to the related examination of our death-phobic culture, and community fora where stories of living, dying, and eldership are being told."
"Andy and Red from The Shawshank Redemption proposed to 'get busy living or get busy dying.' When you think about it, these are not mutually exclusive ways of being busy," says Andrew. "Investigating the inerwovenness of living and dying, my film will not only tell my own family's story, but also explore the deeper meaning of the dying with dignity policy debate. And it will seek community participation through interviews on what dying means to you, and how it has affected your life experience so far."
"As constitutional rights for physician-assisted dying are to be challenged in the Supreme Court of Canada sometime in 2014, and as legislation has already been tabled in the National Assembly of Quebec as of June 2013," Andrew notes, "the timing for this investigation of how our culture shapes our experience with death and dying is of particular importance."
Andrew is a writer and musician, as well as a recent graduate of the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs. He keeps a blog at http://unbeauconte.wordpress.com.
Funded by Ottawa (September 2013)