When I'm Dead

G | 10 min | Drama, Digital Short Film | September 2018

A mother's first laugh since her daughter’s death comes after finding a shocking surprise in her daughter's possessions.

The Movie

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This is a passion project inspired by true events. AMELIA is grieving the death of her adult daughter, Lizzie, from cancer. She is distant from her husband, ANDREW, who is also grieving and feels shut out. Ever present is a Lizzie-Shaped Hole in the lives of all who knew her, and Amelia fears this hole, where all her joy has disappeared, will grow as she goes through her daughter’s possessions. Lizzie knew this would happen and planted surprises for her mother to find among her things. Amelia reaches into a bag and pulls out something she never expected – something a young woman wouldn’t normally want her mother to find. Amelia is shocked and horrified – and then she laughs for the first time in many months. Suddenly she can see a light in the darkness of the Lizzie-Shaped Hole.



When I’m Dead was produced thanks to funds from a crowdfunding campaign and a grant from Telus Storyhive as part of their 2018 Digital Shorts Edition. Equipment was donated by Arri Cameras in Vancouver and SIM International. Mavourneen Varcoe-Ryan starred as Amelia and James MacDonald played Andrew. Karli Wright was the Lizzy and Madison Hartloff played Jenny. Cinematography was done by Nolan McAllister and camera and editing work were done by Nolan Chapman. Photography work was done by John Buchanan. A host of volunteers crewed this project and we are very grateful for their support. This project was written, directed, and produced by Vesta Giles.