Production Notes

After Life is currently in pre-production with a view to commence production in April 2017. The project team is led by producer Kayla Robertson and director Max Greenstein of Matter Studio. They have worked hard over the last 12 months to build the trust of the cryonics community across Australia and have gained unparallelled rights to chart the progress of Southern Cryonics with intimate access and interview opportunities. 

 

Synopsis

In 2018, Australia will become home to the Southern Hemisphere’s first cryonics facility, offering paying customers a sub-zero ticket to cheat death and live again in a future decades, centuries or millennia from today.

Cryopreservation might be a staple of sci-fi movies, such as Aliens (1986) and Passengers (2016), but with astounding advances being made in medical science, thousands of people worldwide are now putting their faith and life savings in this controversial industry. After Life documents the growing trends behind cryonics as people all over the world place their bets in the ultimate gamble for the chance to live again.

 
 

Story Outline

As Southern Cryonics begins its construction of a facility in New South Wales, the time is right to begin production of a definitive documentary that investigates the validity, ethics and implications of cryogenic preservation in Australia and beyond.

In 1919 the world laughed when a physicist predicted that humans would one day walk on the moon. In 1978 the world’s first baby was born of IVF into outrage and controversy. Prior to their Nobel Prize in 2005, two scientists were mocked when they claimed that stomach ulcers were caused by bacteria. Today, amid the fierce debate, thousands of people are choosing to put their faith in a new science. This science claims the ability to preserve the human body for centuries, in the hope that medical science will one day discover the technology to cure, rejuvenate and reanimate paying customers into a future unimagined by anyone alive today.

In the seemingly quiet country town of Holbrook, NSW, Australia’s first cryonics facility is about to throw open its doors. Behind the controversial venture are several unlikely believers, each with their own personal quest to achieve longer life, emotional redemption and the improbable chance to live again in a future that exists only in their hopes and dreams. The advocates of cryonics claim that at temperatures lower than -140° all organic decay of the body ceases. This means that those in preservation can ‘wait’ until the technology exists to revive them from death, cure them of illness and offer whatever benefits that modern technology might offer.

With cryonics now gaining traction across the world, government and medical bodies are struggling to measure the implications of storing human tissue indefinitely in containers of liquid nitrogen.

After Life charts the construction of Australia’s newest controversy, investigating whether those selling tickets to the future are simply ahead of their time, or exploiting the rich and vulnerable for a fantasy of a second chance.As many claim the technology behind this science-fiction concept is quickly approaching viability, cryo-sceptics are also emerging to voice concern over the process that they claim has “zero chance” of success. 

Leapfrogging from small-town Australia to the United States and Russia, where cryopreservation is readily available, this feature documentary explores more than just the scientific validity; going deeper to reveal the complex motivations and emotions behind the advocates, the ethical questions posed in the worlds of faith and end of life decision making, as well as the implications within a society that is becoming increasingly complex as technological advancements impact the natural course of human life.