My name is Rehana Rose and I’m an experienced filmmaker and audio-visual designer. I founded Life Films after my 80-year-old mother Rosie died. Mum had suffered a stroke four years earlier. A year before her death she literally lost the will to live. Mum had talked to me about death since I was thirteen years old, possibly because my father was close to death from a young age, but also, because my mum was Spanish she had a very different attitude towards death. Now, as her main carer and aware of the inevitable circumstances, I tentatively asked her if she would like me to make a short film – with her photographs. That afternoon the two of us looked through the family albums that she had compiled over the years.

We chose thirty-five photographs, and mum had many stories to share as we looked back over her life. It was emotional, reflective and, surprisingly for me, an education – I learnt so much more about my mum as she recounted hardship as well as funny stories that had long been forgotten. I was astonished at how good her long-term memory was. I asked mum to think about a music track to go with the photographs – without hesitation she knew exactly what music she wanted.

It was Christmas 2011 when I showed mum her short film. Though suffering far more at this point both mentally and physically from her stroke, mum stayed focused as the three-minute film played. At the end she turned to me and smiled. My brother said it was lovely. Mum nodded. She raised her glass of sherry. “To life” she said and a few tears were shed through all of our smiles.

Rosie died in September 2012. As family and friends entered the chapel an image of my mum and dad on their wedding day was on a large LED screen. I was the last person to speak at mum’s funeral. At the end of my speech, seamlessly, the film played. Many people commented how beautiful the film was. I liked that – I liked that many of those at mum’s funeral who had only known her in her last years had a chance to see her as a ‘whole’ person through her life. That would have been important for mum. She was a very proud woman.

Many think those planning for their end of life or those arranging a funeral for a loved one will appreciate a simple, sensitive three-minute film played at a memorial service. To celebrate a life is a powerful and beautiful tribute, especially when many of us find it so hard to speak at such an emotionally difficult time.

A little more

I have recently completed an “end of life Doula” foundation-training course with Living Well, Dying Well.

Four years ago I was nominated for a United Nations Online Volunteering award, for my charitable design and film work.

I am an award-winning filmmaker with 30 years experience in audio-visual design.

My team and I take great pride in our work, ensuring the story of the person whose film we are making is told thoughtfully and respectfully. We are meticulous in our attention to detail, making sure any damaged photos are carefully restored and making sure that images are choreographed to appear sensitively and move in rhythm to the chosen music track.

A simple, sensitive three-four minute film is a wonderful addition to a memorial service. Whether you are arranging a funeral for a loved one or planning your own end-of-life film, We will do our utmost to ensure that we create a sensitive and memorable tribute film – working as closely as you want us to with you.

Thank you

Rehana Rose