Dialog Box

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The Last Laugh. A film about dementia with Dr Mark Cross and Kate Swaffer
"Changing Minds" psychiatrist Dr Mark Cross is getting older. And like most of us, he's not looking forward to it. But he doesn't much like the alternative.

He thinks he may carry the gene for dementia, and wants to be tested to find out what the future may have in store for him, his partner and young family.

Meanwhile his friend Kate Swaffer was diagnosed with dementia seven years ago. She was told to return home, acquaint herself with the aged care services ( she was 50) and prepare her end of life affairs.

That so wasn't going to happen. Instead Kate is reframing how we look at people with dementia. She's funny and feisty and turning to comedy to get her message out. 


How does the project meet the aims of a philanthropic foundation?

Dementia - even the word sounds dreary.

We want to reframe that image. 

Dr Mark Cross and award-winning disability campaigner Kate Swaffer are going to take us on their personal journeys as they investigate life AFTER diagnosis.

They'll help us navigate through the most up to date, evidence based science, and they'll take us to the places where they are getting dementia care right.

But most of all they will give us permission to laugh and find joy in life after a dementia diagnosis. 

This is a feel good buddy movie with take home information that can change all our futures.

It's an important film, and has an important message, but is being made with strong entertainment values. It's not didactic, but wants to attract a broad audience who can see the funny side of a stand up comedian who can't remember her punchlines, and isn't afraid to laugh with Kate.

It will show that even respected clinicians have the same fears as the rest of us. But even if Mark does find he carries the gene, he'll be ok, because he knows Kate is ok. 

We will leave the audience feeling uplifted . 

Aims & Objectives

What outcomes do you hope to achieve by making this film and how will you measure its impact?

We are big dreamers. We hope by making this film entertaining we can bring a broad audience to a subject that's traditionally thought of as 'difficult'.

Our aim is to destigmatise dementia and start a national conversation.

We will carry out independent market place research, similar to the ABC after the first "Mental As..." season to measure the impact and recognition we have achieved.

We will use social media wherever possible to build a community.


What is your education and outreach strategy?

We want to share the latest science and self-help findings with our audience.

We will produce an ATOM study guide similar the excellent one that accompanied the "Changing Minds" series.

We will be available to talk after screenings and do web and podcasts when required.

We will use professional outreach strategists and impact producers help us get our message out.

Cian O'Clery
Alison Black
Total budget
80 Minutes