Heart to host doco on organ donation

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
Camera IconCredit: Peter “Woody” Wood will be part of a Q & A before the screening.

Locally-made organ donation documentary Dying To Live will screen for the first time at the Margaret River Heart next week.

The event on Friday, May 21, will include a question-and-answer session with director Richard Todd and documentary participant Peter “Woody” Wood.

Next Friday will also see the opening of a new exhibition by artist Carol Seeley, while the cancelled Emergence Creative festival’s retrospective art and photography exhibition will also take over the Heart’s Foyer gallery. Margaret River-based documentarian Todd told the Times the message of Dying To Live was more relevant now than ever.

“COVID has shut down critical hospital beds and surgeons for transplant and organ donor patients, so now, more than ever we should sign up and have the conversation,” he said.

“As I now move onto two new documentaries that are in development, I feel totally obliged to have one last push to help to save lives.”

Released in 2018, several of Dying To Live’s participants were sourced from Times readers after the Frackman director went looking for people with important stories to tell about organ donation and the challenges involved.

Among those filmed were Cowaramup-based motorcycle enthusiast Woody whose journey through the course of the documentary is among the film’s most revered moments.

Todd said the film was produced at a time when Australia was leading transplant research, but had one of the lowest global donor participation rates.

“There just isn’t enough people listed on the official registry,” he said.

“We want this film to do a few things, including having families talk to their loved ones about their decision if something ever happened to them, and for people to officially register as an organ donor.

“If people don’t know the wishes of their loved ones, about half of transplants don’t happen.”

The Q&A with Woody occurs before the screening at 7pm.

Seeley’s exhibition New Beginnings also opens next week, and the Heart’s bar would be open to punters.

For more, visit www.margaretriverheart.com.au.

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