In My Blood a dying wish
The award-winning documentary Kurt-E: In My Blood is to screen in Porirua to raise awareness in the Pacific community about bone marrow donors.
Kurt Filiga died from leukemia in September last year, less than 12 months after he was first diagnosed.
At the time he was studying film and television at Victoria University, and decided to document his struggle on film, during which time his prognosis became terminal.
The subsequent short film won the Show Me Shorts Film Festival Special Jury Award 2010 in New Zealand and the The Ellen Monague Award for Best Youth Work 2010 at the Toronto International Film Festival.
It will screen in March’s Relay For Life expo, alongside Chris Graham’s documentary chronicling last year’s inaugural Porirua Relay For Life.
Kurt-E: In My Blood is being brought to the expo by Spacific PR, which in December last year worked with the Filiga family, Park Road Productions, the Samoa Cancer Society, the New Zealand High Commissioner in Samoa and the Cancer Society to premiere the film at the Magik Cinema in Apia.
‘‘ Kurt passed at a young age because the Pacific Island donor pool was limited, a worldwide number of 1200, compared to nine million Europeans,’’ said Florence FaumuinaAiono, from Spacific PR.
‘‘This is a fundamental reflection of our Pacific culture where donating donor parts can be seen as a sacred taboo. This is well-respected. However, there is also an issue of being misinformed and we hope the film will allow our Pacific people to make a well-informed decision.’’
Park Road Productions editor Vicki O’Hagen met Mr Filiga in June 2010 and was moved by his determination.
‘‘It is a touching, honest autobiography of a young man and his family, showing quiet determination and dignity in the face of despair.
‘‘It is wonderful to see Kurt’s dying wish coming to fruition, to know that many Pacific Island people will get to see his film and hear his message in the hope that through his enormous efforts he might inspire others to register as bone marrow donors and eventually save lives.’’
The New Zealand bone marrow donor registry will have a presence at the Porirua premiere to answer any questions and to give the opportunity to the community to register.
New Zealand Blood Service youth donor marketing co-ordinator Jesse Lee Nankivell said deciding to become a volunteer bone marrow donor can mean the difference between life and death for someone like Mr Filiga.
‘‘If you meet the criteria, please join the New Zealand bone marrow donor registry. You could be the match that saves a life.’’
The Relay For Life Expo will run from 1pm till 4.30pm, Saturday, March 5, at Te Rauparaha Arena.