Off The Fence secures international rights to ‘Laura’s Choice’

'Laura's Choice'.

The universal subject matter of Sam Lara and Cathy Henkel’s documentary Laura’s Choice has been recognised by distributor Off The Fence, which has picked up the project for international sales.

The film details the life and death of Laura Henkel, a 90-year-old that has decided she wants to end her life on her own terms, and asks her daughter Cathy and granddaughter Sam, both filmmakers, to document the process.

Developed through Virgo Productions, in collaboration with Factor 30 Films, the documentary was produced by Lara, Cathy Henkel, Ryan Hodgson and Melissa Kelly, with Chris Haws on board as executive producer.

Head of acquisitions Loren Baxter said the company was “thrilled” to be a part of the film’s journey.

“Sam and Cathy have created such a special film that will resonate with so many audiences around the world,” she said.

Henkel said the project was well suited to the distributor.

“Sam and I are absolutely thrilled to have Off The Fence represent Laura’s Choice internationally,” she said.

“Their care and passion align perfectly with the film.”

Following its premiere on the ABC last month, Laura’s Choice has been selected for New Zealand’s Doc Edge International Film Festival in June, to screen in both Auckland and Wellington. Henkel and Lara will also speak at the Doc Edge Forum, the festival’s annual industry conference.

  1. I loved this doco and completely resonate with Laura (RIP lovely lady). I really hope the whole of Australia will allow us, who choose this way, make it Legal. Thank you.

  2. Absolutely blown away by this amazing doco. Laura was an amazing, funny and frank woman and I applaud her decision to do it her way. Cathy and Sam, you have made a documentary that will hopefully start the wheels turning on this important subject. It was beautifully crafted and I couldn’t help but think of my mother’s death, where we sat in her hospital room every day for a week waiting, knowing it was only a matter of time, while she lay a shrivelled up shadow of herself on morphine and unable to speak. The only movement from her was an occasional grimace of pain. I will never accept my end to be like that and your film was inspirational and something I have considered for some time, so thank you, I am truly grateful for the story and the information

  3. I found his Doc’o by complete accident..
    OMFG!! It’s really sad but also amazing.
    I totally agree with Laura.. As hard as it
    Is / was.. it’s also beautiful to be able to put a final date and have a great send off with loved ones all around 💕❤️..
    Yes it’s going to have a affect on everyone around, regardless of a personal choice or infant death.. It will have an affect on all our loved ones.
    Laura you have paved the way for so many.. Laura, Cathy & Sam I admire your strength & courage to stand & speak up. Xx

  4. Thank you for a wonderful and eye opening documentary.
    I wish my father could have been saved the indignity and suffering of lying in a nursing home bed after suffering a massive stroke. It took over a year, while he lay there, knowing what was going on but his body was completely crippled. He couldn’t communicate but you could see the pain in his eyes, willing someone to let him go. It was so cruel.
    I lived 5 minutes away, yet I wasn’t called to be there with him when he did go.

  5. I too stumbled on this documentary by accident and after reading other people’s comments, I also was amazed by the power of Laura’s story. This story is an inspiration.
    I would like to think that laws could be changed to allow us to use our human rights in a considered, informed and safe way to suit each person in their circumstances.
    Sam and Kathy, your strength at such a difficult time was beautiful, to give someone the respect of a gentle, pain free send off, was wonderful, to be able to gather with friends and family to say good bye was magical, a true celebration of someone’s life, it was beautiful, thank you for sharing Laura’s story.
    Fingers crossed it makes the difference Laura intended.

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