Film charts the end of life at Isle of Wight hospice

  • Published
Mary ChessellImage source, Steven Eastwood
Image caption,
Mary Chessell, who died in September 2016, features in the film which explores what happens at the end of a person's life

The story of how four terminally ill people from the Isle of Wight lived their final year has been made into a film.

Island was made over 12 months with patients and staff at the Earl Mountbatten Hospice in Newport.

The four who feature were coming to terms with a terminal cancer diagnosis.

Director Steven Eastwood said: "I found it a real privilege - it was about meeting people who perhaps wanted to say something."

All four participants in the film have since died. It was filmed and produced with the full consent and involvement of inpatients, outpatients and staff of the hospice.

The film was shot between June 2015 and July 2016. Roy Howard died in December 2015; Alan Hardy died in April 2016; Jamie Gunnell died in July 2016; and Mary Chessell died in September 2016.

The 90-minute film is being shown at the LBFI London Film Festival on 7 and 12 October, and is expected to be released in the UK next year.

Image source, Steven Eastwood
Image caption,
Alan Hardy, who died in April 2016, invited Steven Eastwood to be with him when he died

Mr Eastwood said: "It was about meeting people who perhaps wanted to say something - I wanted to be witness to the moment of death, because I felt that this was taboo in our society.

"I wanted to ask, why is that taboo, given that death happens every day and is as natural an event as birth."

Nigel Hartley, of Earl Mountbatten Hospice, said: "The film is very powerful and I feel very proud to have been part of it.

"When people come to the end of their life we give them an opportunity to create memories. This film has been a really useful opportunity for those involved to leave something of themselves behind."

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