Donate … The Movie

If you were out and about in Ascott on Sunday September 19th 2021, you may well have encountered an oversized kidney being pulled along on a dinghy trailer by a balding middle aged bloke. In which case you had wandered onto the set of a small British film dealing with the tricky subject of organ donation.

In March 2017 I received the gift of life in the form of a kidney transplant from an anonymous, deceased donor.  Since March 2017, my daily challenge has been to do as much justice, to pay as much respect as I possibly can to the individual and the family whose selfless sacrifice kept me alive.

All of which is great, but it does nothing to highlight the issue of Organ Donation or the profile of Kidney Disease – a disease which kills more people every year than Breast and Prostate Cancer combined. One obvious way would be to make a film or TV programme, and, given that making TV and film has been my career for the last forty years, it is perhaps inevitable that my family and I are now making DONATE …The Movie.

My wife Sue, our two daughters and myself have lived in Ascott for thirty years, so together we made a trailer based in the local landscape around Ascott. As a consequence of producing the trail, DONATE The Movie is now supported bykidneyresearchuk.org, the UK’s leading kidney charity.

A number of grant applications and fundraising initiatives are planned for the coming months – making a worthwhile film is always going to cost money. All funds raised will only be used to cover production costs and to support research into kidney disease. Much of my professional life has been working with popular comic writers and performers, and the ambition for DONATE is to produce a film with broad appeal; entertainment and challenge will go hand-in-hand. In short, we aim to make a film which appeals to anyone whose body has organs in it….!

It is our firm intention to shoot DONATE The Movie in and around The Wychwoods, and there will be opportunities to get involved. You might for instance want to ‘buy a scene’ in the film.  If you think you might have something to donate to DONATE, be it expertise, time or cash, then we would love to hear from you. Visit the website donatethemovie.com to watch the trailer, to find out more about the team producing the film, and to find out about the ways in which you can help. You can follow us on instagram @ donate_the_movie, or you can email us ondonatethemovie@hotmail.com

Thanks for reading, and remember ….look after the squelchy bits inside.

Andrew Smith

April – May 2022