Arts projects highlight importance of organ and tissue donation this DonateLife Week

Two significant arts projects – one a feature length motion film and the other a 40 metre art exhibition – highlight the importance of organ and tissue donation this DonateLife Week August 2 to August 9.

‘Force of Destiny’ a film directed by Paul Cox, starring David Wenham, Shahana Goswami and Jacqueline McKenzie, tells the semi-autobiographical story of an artist who finds love whilst on the transplant waiting list. The film launched last week at the Opening Night of the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) to a sold out audience at Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne.

The ‘BIG Picture Project’ by artist and photographer Pollyannar, tells the stories of more than 100 transplant recipients, donor family members and people on the waiting list in one long 40 metre outdoor print featured at City Square in the Melbourne CBD.

Both projects underscore the importance of clear decision-making and talking to loved ones regarding your organ and tissue donation wishes. The pieces also highlight the life-changing impact transplantation can have, especially significant considering the 1,600 Australians currently on transplant waiting lists.

In his speech at the MIFF Opening Night Gala, Paul Cox, director of ‘Force of Destiny’ paid tribute to his anonymous donor.

“This film would not exist without the generosity of heart and spirit from my transplant donor. I received that great gift of life and was allowed to make Force of Destiny.

“Thank you anonymous donor. Thank you,” Cox said, followed by a round of applause from more than 2,000 audience members.

Pollyannar, artist of the ‘BIG Picture Project’, said the project was designed to give people time and space to ask themselves about the significance of organ and tissue donation.

“I photographed over three months in 20 different locations across the state to better understand what it means to be a registered organ and tissue donor and also to put a face to the statistics,” Pollyannar said.

“I was totally overwhelmed by the degree of grief and pain that comes from losing a loved one and by the energy and cost expended by people waiting for a transplant. The donation and transplant community taught me to have the courage to put your fears aside and go out and live the life you want today, because tomorrow it could be gone.”

DonateLife is urging the community to find out more about organ and tissue donation and to discuss their donation wishes with their family and friends. That vital conversation has the potential to save lives.

‘Force of Destiny’ has announced the initial wave of screenings. For information and booking visit:

The ‘BIG Picture Project’ by Pollyannar is on display during DonateLife Week between 8am and 6pm at City Square, Melbourne CBD.

For more information on organ and tissue donation and to register your decision visit  

To arrange to speak with director Paul Cox, artist Pollyannar, a donor family, a transplant recipient or a spokesperson, please contact:

Force of Destiny: Cathy Gallagher 0416 227 282
DonateLife Victoria: Prue Gildea – 0488 247 019 // Adam Duke – 0428 072 782





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