Script File

Dying to Leave

Dying to Leave is a bittersweet comedy about ageing, caring, and what happens when the possibility of death offers a new way of life. Think, Little Miss Sunshine meets A Man Called Ove meets The Farewell.

Set in Filey, Yorkshire, in a claustrophobic care home, Francis, recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, enlists his wayward roommate, Bernard and disillusioned carer, Marlene, to help him on his quest for assisted dying. Rigid habits, high-minded ideals and access issues collide as they escape from Hull via a ferry across the North Sea, to the kaleidoscopic world of Amsterdam, and find life in unexpected places.

Part cinematic road movie, part black comedy, Dying to Leave is an upbeat character driven story told through the lens of unexpected elderly protagonists. Using wry humour, existential conundrums, and moments of sharp pathos, it celebrates defiant survivalism and non-conformity. All set against a backdrop of an ageing population, Alzheimer’s, assisted dying, mobility impairment and care homes in crisis.

  • Charlotte Gwinner
  • Joseph Willis
  • Charlotte Gwinner
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Comedy, Drama
  • Number of Pages:
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • First-time Screenwriter:
  • Student Project:
Writer Biography - Charlotte Gwinner, Joseph Willis

I am currently co-writing a short film, ‘The Game’ with BAFTA nominated screenwriter, Simon Bent, produced by Same Name Productions. In theatre, I have collaborated numerous new works at The Bush and for Clean Break and at The National Theatre Studio with award winning writers such as Alice Birch, Theresa Ikoko, Michael Frayn, Deborah Bruce, James Graham and Michael Frayn. ‘Dying to Leave’ is my first feature which was developed by Screen Yorkshire under their innovative FLEX scheme.

Add Writer Biography
Writer Statement

Dying to Leave is a deeply personal story for me, having lived with a deteriorating illness in my immediate family - I’ve seen first-hand the effects of this on everyday life whereby easy choices become magnified and simple situations quickly become absurd.

My aim is to go beyond the newspaper headlines to explore the human complexity and grey areas of this topic with a blackly comic take against a backdrop of urgent issues such as an ageing population, the collapse of our social care system and the question of how the elderly live rewarding lives and how they die.

Dying to Leave is a celebration of the scabrous wit of the elderly told through a group of bold idealists who are blind to the situation but rigid and unsentimental in their determination to overcome adversity.