This past weekend, the short film based on my story Next to Her (aka Avalon) was shot. It's the story of an elderly man, Maurice, who visits his wife with dementia at the hospital. A shared lunch is all they have left, but his wife's thoughts drift off towards the ghost of her cat, Avalon, whose picture sits on the bed stand 'next to her'. As Maurice gets more frustrated with his wife's behavior, the fine line between nurturing and torturing is easily crossed.
The majority of Next to Her was lensed at the resident care centre Het Heiveld in Sint-Amandsberg, Belgium. Turned out Het Heiveld has a cat: Sheba. The cat loves to stroll through the hallways, peeps into the rooms, sunbathes in the garden, and keeps the elderly residents company at the refectory during lunch time. His food and water bowls sit together with a small scratching post next to the reception area. By following the cat around, I also discovered he has his own room with an even bigger cat tree. At the refectory is a framed picture of the cat. “Sheba is really kind and likes cuddles. We all love him,” one of the residents said.
You can read the story on which the film is based here. You can see pictures of the film set here.