Only months after becoming a father for the first time, Jeremy is diagnosed with an extremely rare form of cancer on his heart. With a prognosis of less than 6 months to live, he urgently sets out to document for his children who he is, what he has achieved and what has given his life meaning. As he struggles to remain positive and search for a cure, he is confronted with the fact that only 200 people in medical history have had this cancer, most discovered only after death, and none of them alive today. With his twins less than one year old, his motivation to survive is intense as he battles with hope and pragmatism in his final months. What matters most in life is crystallised as he faces everything he has to lose. As universal as death is, it is only when staring into its face, that the meaning of life becomes apparent.
BEHIND THE SCENES
BEHIND THE SCENES
BEHIND THE SCENES
A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing
Jez deals with death and dying. Walking alongside a young man as he faces the end of his life provides an intimate and compelling insight into how the inevitability of death sharply focuses what matters most in life. The story deals with themes including family, friendship, success, social harmony, competition, intrinsic values, emotional pain and grief.
What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?
Jeremy Spinak AM was a remarkable young man who achieved much for his age. By the age of 32 he was the youngest elected President of the Jewish Board of Deputies. Leading to and during this time, he worked for interfaith harmony and social cohesion. Leadership and ethics are the focus of the impact strategy.
What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?
The key outcomes are intended to reach across public and private domains. In the public domain an initial outcome is to inspire a generation of young professionals to live an active and engaged political life. Through a deeply personal frame the film intends to provoke thought and influence behaviour around living a meaningful life. This may sound vague, but what is "a meaningful life" is a deeply personal yet profound ambition and must be shaped by individual values. Hopefully the project will catalyse change in significant examples which at this stage are not prescribed.
How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?
Through screenings, discussions, embedded as a tool in young leadership programs and written into curriculum materials for school and university level education programs. There is also a long term project which is to embed Jez, with short age appropriate clips, into the lives of his 2 year old twins who will see and hear him as they grow. Four to six short films will also be produced covering themes relevant for them at ages of 7, 12, 16, 21, 26 to keep Jeremy in their life as they grow. The overall project will have a long lasting effect on his children specifically.
How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?
I have relationships with the Jewish Board of Deputies and the Australian Jewish Museum. I am also in discussion with the Groundswell Project who are an organisation dedicated to talking about death to create social change.
Audience Engagement and Social Impact
What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?
To discuss and consider their contribution to life. To act towards goals they have identified as being significant to them and their community. To live an active and conscious life, giving to their family, friends and community.
Measurement and Evaluation
What is the projects indicators for success?
Qualitative responses from individuals who have been moved to feel, think and act differently. Critical success indicators for the film itself as a quality documentary. Educational outreach and its use in relevant programs. I will track the take up of the film and survey audiences, teachers and partners over several years. The long term impact of the film will also be apparent in the lives and achievements of Jeremy's children.