We all feel like certain things are promised to us — happiness, love, longevity. These things are the pillars of a full life, and yet sometimes they allude us. Andy Whitfield had career fulfillment as the star of Spartacus and he had love and happiness with his wife, Vashti, and his two children, but Whitfield was cheated out of longevity, passing away at the age of 39 after an 18 month battle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
It has been nine months since Whitfield’s tragic death, but his voice can still be heard in Be Here Now, a documentary that was filmed during his illness in an effort to, according to director Lilibet Foster, “be helpful and inspire other people facing similar challenges in their lives.
It was Foster that Whitfield, his wife, and his manager Sam Maydew, entrusted with this delicate and hard project, a project whose subject matter she was familiar with thanks to her work with Stand Up to Cancer. Still, the Academy Award nominated documentary director clearly took a shine to Whitfield, and was hit hard by his death:
“The hardest emotional part of the filming process was when Andy took a turn for the worse. It is no exaggeration when you hear or read that Andy was a wonderful and beautiful person both inside and out, who I feel honored to have gotten to know.”
The goal of Be Here Now, is to remind the world of that Andy Whitfield, but also to show the “love story” between Andy and Vashti, and according to Foster, to show “a beautiful, poetic and inspirational film that takes you into and beyond the subject of cancer, becoming a life-lesson for anyone about living fearlessly, going for your dreams and living in the here and now, despite the potential outcome.”
There isn’t likely a person reading this that hasn’t been personally touched by cancer, and there isn’t likely a person reading this who won’t be inspired by the grace and resiliency that Whitfield and his family show in the trailer (below) for Be Here Now. So many of us know the toughness required, the value of joy and laughter in beating back this disease, and so many would likely benefit from hearing a story that displays those things — something that Lilibet Foster’s documentary seems to promise. Right now though, the film is stuck, and that’s why a Kickstarter campaign has been started to help fund the filming of the documentary’s conclusion and to edit the project for release.
Presently, the Be Here Now Kickstarter page has more than $35,000 pledged by more than 650 people, but with 43 days to go, the project still needs another $170,000. To view and contribute to the Be Here Now project, and help Lilibet Foster tell Andy Whitfield’s story in full, go here.
Source: Lilibet Foster, Deadline