the film


In a small town in rural Ontario an aging man sets out on a challenging 1050 km bike ride around Georgian Bay. He’s riding solo on a tandem bike with a life-sized copper stick figure name Otto on the back seat. He calls him a ghost figure. In Hong Kong a young woman receives news that makes time stand still. She flies home to Toronto to deal with the reality that life as she knows it will never be the same. Nobody Does It Alone tells the story of these two people as they navigate the emotional rollercoaster that accompanies a cancer diagnosis.

Set against the backdrop of Georgian Bay, this is a film that celebrates the beauty in how we cope.

director’s statement

I was asked to make a film about the idea and importance of a support network when dealing with cancer. This seemed like a special project. As I progressed in the planning stages I was confronted by the realization that it would be impossible for me to truly understand what’s it’s like to deal with cancer, to deal with such deep emotions and a very real relationship with mortality. I reached out to my friend Caroline in hopes that she could give me some insight into what she was going through. She had recently beat very slim survival odds and was still confronting the aftermath of stage IV melanoma treatment. She was ready to talk, and what she told me changed everything. I was right, I knew nothing. She opened up her mind to me and her story changed this film into something I never could have dreamed up myself. We present this fim to you in hopes that it can help people open up about their experiences, whether it be with a stranger, a friend, or a blank page in a notebook. I have been humbled by the people who shared their stories with me, and I’m grateful for the experience of having made this film.

-David Hartman