Her Last Project, a film by Rosvita Dransfeld, is the extraordinary story of Dr. Shelly Sarwal, a physician from Halifax. Diagnosed with the incurable disorder multiple system atrophy, Dr. Sarwal chose to receive medical assistance in dying (MAID) and become an organ donor. In case you missed last night’s broadcast premiere on CBC, the film is now streaming on CBC Gem. Find out how to watch this remarkable film online here
Part of the “I did it my way” series of screenings, Her Last Project will screen at the 2020 ThirdACTion Film Festival on SATURDAY OCT 24 @ 4:30 PM. Director, Rosvita Dransfeld, will be one of the speakers for this series. Learn more about this exciting (virtual) festival and find out how to buy tickets online.
Excited to announce that Her Last Project will screen at the fourth annual Central Alberta Film Festival on October 15, 2020. This year CAFF 2020 will be a socially distanced film festival taking place October, 14 -17, 2020 in Red Deer, Alberta.
“Her Last Project” has been nominated for Best Feature Documentary at CAFF 2020! The winner will be announce at an Awards Ceremony on Oct 17/2020.
Tickets available online.
Her Last Project: An extraordinary woman dedicates the last months of her life to educating others about dying with dignity and meaning. October 15, 2020 on CBC
Director’s Essay: With only months to live, this woman taught me about dying with dignity
Excited to report that Her Last Project is a semi-finalist in the 2020 NYC DUMBO film festival.
Learn more about this festival here.
Her Last Project hit screens in Saskatoon and Winnipeg the week of Nov. 19-22. Thanks to our colleagues and friends at Saskatchewan Health Authority and Transplant Manitoba’s Gift of Life for inviting us and for organizing such great events. We’re grateful for your support in sharing Shelly’s powerful message.
Each screening was followed by an engaging panel discussion that brought together donation coordinators, donor family members, MAID team members and audience members. It was an opportunity to share and understand regional perspectives and personal experiences.
If you’re interested in organizing a screening in your region or would like more information, please reach out through our Contact page.
Transplant Manitoba – Gift of Life, in partnership with Canadian Blood Services and Shared Health, is pleased to present the Manitoba screening of Her Last Project. The documentary follows the extraordinary journey of Dr. Shelly Sarwal, a physician from Halifax, Nova Scotia living with Multiple System Atrophy (MSA).
Dr. Sarwal chose Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) and included her wish to be an organ donor. As the first person in Nova Scotia to experience this medical journey, she dedicated the time she had left on this earth to educate health professionals and the general public about being in control of your death and creating a meaningful legacy through organ donation. Each screening will be followed by an expert panel including Gift of Life and Manitoba’s MAID team members.
There will be two screenings:
- Wednesday, November 20, Frederic Gaspard Theatre, Basic Medical Sciences Bldg, University of Manitoba, Bannaytne Campus from 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm. Registration is required. Please visit https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/her-last-project-winnipeg-daytime-tickets-80703300745?aff=ebdssbdestsearch to book free event tickets.
- Thursday, November 21, Winnipeg Art Gallery, 300 Memorial Blvd., from 7 pm – 9 pm. Registration is required. Please visit https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/her-last-project-winnipeg-tickets-80113209767?aff=ebdssbdestsearch to book free event tickets.
Join Canadian Blood Services and the Saskatchewan Health Authority Organ and Tissue Donation Program on November 19th at 6:30 pm in Room 1150 in the Health Sciences Building at the University of Saskatchewan for a screening of this film. After the film, a panel discussion with clinical experts will be held to discuss the film and its impact.
Reserve your seats at https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/her-last-project-tickets-79610484101
Her Last Project is the extraordinary story of Dr. Shelly Sarwal, a physician from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Diagnosed with Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), an incurable disease, Shelly chose to undergo the recently legalized Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) procedure and become an organ donor.
The documentary serves to honour Dr. Sarwal’s wish to bring valuable experience and insight about MAID and organ donation to the clinical community, to patients and to the general public. Through this film and other medical curriculum and professional training, the producers are helping fulfill Dr. Shelly Sarwal’s final wish to document and share her story.
Her Last Project teaches us to embrace and accept dying as an essential part of our lives and to stimulate greater conversation around organ and tissue donation as a part of quality end-of-life care.
For questions, contact the SHA Donation Program at SHA.DonationProgram@saskhealthauthority.ca
This year marks the fifth annual Deceased Organ Donation Symposium at the Critical Care Canada Forum in Toronto.
Presented by Canadian Blood Services, Trillium Gift of Life and the Canadian Donation and Transplantation Research Program (CDTRP), this two-day symposium held Nov. 11–12, 2019 promotes scientific research in organ donation and transplantation and its application to critical care practice.
The program will feature a family perspective by Randy Tresidder, Dr. Sarwal’s husband, who will share his experience and perspectives on MAID and organ donation. The incredible story of Randy’s wife, Dr. Shelly Sarwal, is captured in the documentary film Her Last Project.
Critical Care Canada Forum participants will have an opportunity to watch Her Last Project on Wednesday, Nov. 13 at 12:30 pm.
It was an emotional day as friends, family and filmmakers gathered to witness the film that chronicles Dr. Shelly Sarwal’s courageous end of life journey through MAID and organ donation.
Prior to the sold-out FIN festival screening, a reception was held at the Halifax Central Library (originally intended to take place at the Public Gardens in Halifax but relocated due to the impact of Hurricane Dorian). There, those involved with the film, along with Shelly’s health-care team, representatives from Nova Scotia Health’s Legacy of Life program, Canadian Blood Services, and many friends and family, raised a toast to Shelly and to the documentary that so eloquently tells her story.
Filmmaker Rosvita Dransfeld, Shelly’s husband Randy Tressider and Executive Producer Amber Appleby were on hand to reflect about the making of the film, Shelly’s legacy, and to answer questions.
That night at the debut screening, the film festival audience were moved to tears as Shelly’s charm and charisma left everyone feeling as though they’d made and lost a dear friend.
“Making this film was a fascinating journey. Shelly’s a very charismatic woman and she was really on a mission to educate people about dying, about medical assistance in dying and about organ donation,” says Rosvita Dransfeld, Director. “It is sad that Shelly [died], and we all miss her a lot, but on the other hand it’s a beautiful way to leave this world.”
The filmmakers and producers would like to share their sincere gratitude to the FIN Atlantic International Film Festival for the opportunity to debut this film in Shelly’s hometown surrounded by friends and family and those who cared for, worked with and loved Shelly. It was an extraordinary experience and is just the beginning.
“Being a part of the development of this film, working with Shelly and her husband Randy and continuing to facilitate the dissemination of her powerful message has been the most meaningful thing I have ever done,” says Ken Lotherington.
Ken is the project lead at Canadian Blood Services responsible for connecting the professional community and public to this work that will ultimately improve end-of-life conversations and experiences for health-care workers, patients and their families.
Screenings will take place across the country over the next few months. Stay tuned to this site for dates, times and locations near you. If you’re interested in hosting a screening or learning more about professional education about MAID and organ donation, please contact us.