Watch the Winning #YODOContest Films

Watch the award-winning YODOContest films

Hospice Waterloo Region (HWR) partnered with the Grand River Film Festival (GRFF) in 2020/2021 for the inaugural short-film competition — You Only Die Once: #YODOContest.

This short film contest calls on filmmakers and storytellers to focus on death as a part of living. #YODOContest is about living well until you die. This phrase reminds us that life matters right until the end and that how we live at the end does matter.

While death is a natural part of life, many people distance themselves from the topic of death and this has created a death-denying culture. This “death denial” causes us to avoid the subject leaving us unprepared to support our family, friends, neighbours and community to live well until the end of life. Hospice of Waterloo Region believes that living well until we die begins by challenging our ”death denial”and igniting the conversation about death, dying and bereavement. 

Art is often able to reach people emotionally and intellecturally, and as a result, can be a catalyst for great conversations. It is our hope that inviting local artists to create short films will be such a catalyst for conversations about death, dying and grief.

The winning films were screened at GRFF in May 2021. Below are the winning entries.

As a result of the success of our inaugural contest, HWR in collaboration with GRFF,  will be launching the second annual #YODOContest in September 2021. Stay tuned!

1st Prize

Brian Douglas

A Beautiful Death

#YODOcontest - a beautiful death

2nd Prize

Stephie Reimer

That’s Ok

Stephie Reimer That's Ok

Hon. Mention

Kay Brown

If There Were Only 7 Days

Kay Brown If There Were Only 7 Days

What The Judges Said About the Films

Brian Douglas: A Beautiful Death

This is the video you didn’t know you needed to see on this topic.

It felt like it was very real, thought provoking; it made you think about how living your life can impact your death.

Stephie Reimer: That’s Ok

This was one of those videos that if I had more time I would want to go back and watch 2 or 3 more times and would share with others because this would be so relatable to so many people at different points in their lives and at different ages.

To do animation well is tough; you can go way too cheesy or go way over the top. This was fun. It felt as though I was almost reading my son one of his storybooks; from a dad’s perspective it was relatable.

Kay Brown: If There Were Only 7 Days

This film poses a very honest and very challenging question to all of us – what would you do if you had 7 more days.

Hospice of Waterloo Region – Vision/Philosophy of Care

  • Hospice of Waterloo Region strives to create and support a community where no one experiences an end of life journey alone.
  • Our goal is to engage the community to inspire, nurture, and comfort the human spirit in life, death, and bereavement
  • Our philosophy is to provide comfort and care, to neither hasten or prolong life and to allow a natural death.

Have Questions?

Contact Sheli O’Connor, the Director of Community Engagement and Partnerships at Hospice of Waterloo Region:

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