Using Film to change understandings of dying

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Prof Michele Aaron – the academic behind Life:Moving – talks with Dr Jed Jerwood about the importance of the films and the ‘toolkits’ that they have developed as a result of the project. 

About Life:Moving


The Life: Moving project was a unique collaboration between researchers, a filmmaker and hospice patients that explores the power of film to communicate the meaningful and honest experiences of those affected by terminal illness.

Through weekly workshops, participants at John Taylor Hospice were given the skills and support to create their own audio-visual stories. The six films that emerged not only challenge the misrepresentation of the dying, rife in society, but provide invaluable insight into the participants’ experience and needs. They also show how film can be used to shift individual and social attitudes, and practices, concerning human vulnerability. 

Discover Life:Moving’s research findings and recommendations in our Scoping Report. 

We’ve now created two training resources – a clinical toolkit and a creative toolkit – in order to share the films, and the research behind them, with a wider audience.

Project timeline


The Life:Moving Films have now been shared with communities on three continents. Through the toolkits, we’re hoping that they will enhance clinical and wellbeing practice, shift understandings of human vulnerability, and support the development of similar therapeutic and creative projects around the world.

2016 - 2017

Workshops at John Taylor Hospice: Six films produced


We thank all the staff at JTH in Erdington, Birmingham, for their support.


2017 - 2018

Films and Research shared regionally, nationally and in Europe


Following the local launch of the exhibition, the films were displayed and discussed at various clinical and cultural settings.  

Learn more about our past ‘Events’



Life:Moving Onwards


Thanks to additional AHRC funding, we were able to share the films and research in a wide range of  clinical, cultural and community settings in East Africa and  Australia.

Learn more about ‘Life: Moving Onwards’

2020 - 2021

Development of Online Training Resources


The completion and launch of the Toolkits were scuppered by the covid pandemic.



The Life:Moving Toolkits launch at Compassionate Communities Conference in Birmingham, UK July 11-12 2023

The Participants

At the heart, and as the heart, of this project are the six individuals to whom it is indebted:

Yussef Ahmed, Andrew Burchall, Rob Homer, Fran Tierney, Keisha Walker and Peter

Learn more about them and their films here



We’ve built two training resources out of the Life:Moving project.

The Clinical toolkit has been designed for the end of life care community, for all those who wish to better understand the experience of the terminally ill, and for anybody terminal illness, it provides a framework for using the films in clinical, community or educational settings in a safe, structured and generative way.


The Creative toolkit (in progress) provides a framework for using the films and research as best practice for the replication of the project – or provision of a similar project –  in clinical, community or creative settings.  

Who is the Clinical Toolkit for?

Who is the Creative Toolkit for?

Life:Moving core team

Prof. Michele Aaron

Film Studies academic, University of Warwick

Dr Jed Jerwood

Art Psychotherapist, practitioner and academic

Briony Campbell

Photographer and filmmaker

The Life:Moving Full Research Team

Prof. Michele Aaron

University of Warwick

Dr Jed Jerwood

John Taylor Hospice

Briony Campbell

Independent filmmaker

Prof. Russell Beale

University of Birmingham 

Dr Cath Lambert

University of Warwick

Dr Lisa Metherell

Birmingham City University

Dr Adrian Banting

Research Fellow