• By: Emma Dykstra

Lights, camera, and action: Raising awareness for Canadians living with cystic fibrosis

When Ottawa-born filmmaker Max McGuire was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, he realized he had to get to work in order to accomplish his film making dreams. Sure enough he went straight to work and has already produced, written, and directed multiple films throughout his career. 

McGuire hasn’t limited himself to making movies though; he’s planning on screening one right here in Ottawa as an effort to raise $10,000 for funds needed for research and care in the cystic fibrosis community. Cystic fibrosis is the most common fatal genetic disease affecting Canadian children and young adults. It is a multi-system progressive disease that affects mainly the lungs and the digestive system. There is currently no cure. 

As an effort to raise awareness of this brutal disease, McGuire will be screening Kirby Dick’s award winning documentary Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist at the Mayfair Theatre on November 13 at 6:30 pm. “We are excited to bring the community together in a unique way to support an important cause, not only for me, but one that impacts other families in Ottawa,” says McGuire. “There are over 130 children with CF who go to CHEO and more than 150 adults living with this devastating disease and they need our support.”

Sick profiles poet/performance artist Bob Flanagan, who was born with CF and puts what “CFers” grapple with on a daily basis on the big screen. Flanagan explains, with engaging humour, how his obsession with controlled, self-inflicted pain has helped him to deal with his uncontrollable suffering. His philosophy forces one to look at sado-masochism with fresh eyes. The film was released in the 90s and has won several industry awards, including at the Sundance Film Festival.

Tickets are $50 (includes film, food and drink at after party, and a $25 tax receipt) and can be purchased on Eventbrite