beginning with the end

Beginning with the End

I held a woman’s hand who knew as little about me as I knew about her. Her name was Ernie. She didn’t mind when I held her hand. She liked lemon meringue pie.
EMMA, 15

Emma and Ernie ate lemon meringue pie together. Ernie taught Emma about life. And Emma helped Ernie to die. In 2002, a high school teacher in Rochester, NY, invited nine high school seniors to attend his new class. The name of the class: Hospice. A decade later, the program continues with student volunteers learning about and providing comfort care for the dying and their families. The film follows the real-life stories of four student volunteers through their senior year. In the quest to understand “the big sleep,” they find a whole new kind of awakening.

Film Stills


  • PBS, 2014
  • Swedish TV,  2014
  • YLE Finland,  2014
  • Foxtel Australia,  2014
  • NHK Japan,  2014





  • SXSW Documentary Competition, February 2014
  • San Francisco Jewish fest, 2014
  • Cinema St-Louis,  2014
  • Human Rights, Arts and Film, Australia 2015
  • Bergen internasjonale filmfestival|, Norway 2015
  • American Film Showcase US State Department, 2015-16
  • Anima Film Festival, Argentina 2016



  • Emmy for Directing 2016
  • Emmy for Editing Program 2016
  • Emmy nomination for Photography Program 2016
  • Emmy nomination for Producing Education/Schools 2016