Indignitas a short film raising a timeless question

LIVERPOOL, UK 5th December 2022 – INDIGNITAS, a short sci-fi/thriller from director Darcia Martin (Riches, The Chelsea Detective) starring Mark Addy (Game of Thrones, The Full Monty) and Bethany Antonia (House of the Dragon), has just wrapped production and explores the age-old questions surrounding the morality and acceptability of voluntary euthanasia. Despite its timeless nature, the film sets these issues against the very real and current backdrop of the global economic crisis and the seismic ripple effects it’s had on families.

Originally a short play that won a scriptwriting competition in Birmingham called Enter.Stage.Write, Indignitas caught the attention of Darcia Martin who was one of the judges at the competition. Author, Jonathon Skinner, then adapted his own play for the big screen, portraying a story that remains thespian in drama but all too human in content. Producers, Natalie Yesufu-Edwards and Paul Furlong, instil it with a cinematic milieu that masterfully retains the pathos that resonates today.

Indignitas takes place amid a raging financial crisis, where the government no longer supports its people, and society is becoming increasingly dystopian. The story is coated with a thick veneer of consumer-capitalist advertising, as euthanasia clinics complete with 2-for-1 offers and pop up everywhere like high street shops, giving the story a satirical, absurdist wit that still manages to delicately tread the line on such a sensitive and real issue.

Philip, the protagonist of this short thriller, offers his life to the government’s voluntary euthanasia scheme in return for financial benefits for his children. As Philip’s enigmatic and cold doctor Mort prepares him for death, will he fight his instincts and do the “right thing” to secure his children’s future – ultimately sacrificing his life in exchange for the freedoms we cherish today – free education and healthcare? The film offers a surrealistic take on an unrecognisable society, but is it also painfully realistic?

Opus Studios and Transition Stage Company present their interpretation of an issue that has been discussed since Suetonius, Socrates, and Plato, and really since the dawn of man. One might ask, ‘Why now?’ Frankly, all one needs to do is look around to see why this ethical dilemma is on people’s minds more than ever.

The future of healthcare is in danger. We don’t know what it will look like in 5 years, or 50. Will it still be considered a basic human right, or will it be another thing that the government reserves for the richest 1%? It seems that year after year the majority becomes more and more disposable.
Except this isn’t some far-fetched sci-fi dystopia, this is the here and now. In Canada, people are turning to assisted death as a solution to their financial troubles. This is an inescapably dire situation they find themselves in as a result of the pandemic and lack of affordable housing. As assisted euthanasia is becoming legalised in more and more countries around the world, the debate on euthanasia is as prevalent as ever.
Just about everything else in the world has been commodified and commercialised – how long until death itself?

Opus Studios is a film production company founded by producer Paul Furlong, who set out to tell stories with commercial appeal to audiences worldwide. The company operates from the North West of England and produces independent film and media. As well as Indignitas, Opus Studios have two other feature films in development and a feature documentary in post-production.

Transition Stage Company, founded by Natalie Yesufu-Edwards, is an award-winning production company specialising in film and developing screenwriting intellectual property. Transition Stage Company is passionate about amplifying diverse storytellers with thought-provoking stories and putting those stories in the limelight.