Dead or Dying - Short Film


Coming Soon

When her grandmother dies, a teenage girl is forced to move away with her infamous aunt unless she can find and convince her self-exiled brother to return home.

Responsible and headstrong teenager Isabel has been living alone with her sick grandmother for years, taking care of her in the absence of her self-exiled big brother, Jonah. One night after school, she comes home to find her worst fear realised. Gran is dead, and she is alone. The next day, still in shock, Isabel is informed by a lawyer that Jonah is supposed to be her legal guardian, but no one can track him down. He tells her that, unless he appears within the next three days, she’ll have to leave her home to live with her infamous stiletto and faux-fur-wearing aunt Sharon in Johannesburg. That afternoon, just before Sharon can arrive at the house, Isabel finds the only map to Jonah’s house, grabs her grandmother’s machete and sets off on an epic journey to the middle of nowhere. 

After travelling through various landscapes, Isabel notices a mysterious woman figure in the desert, but she blinks and the figure is gone. Eventually, she arrives at a little house in the middle of nowhere. She finds her brother who reiterates that they were only supposed to come looking for him if someone died. Isabel tells him that their grandma did. She spends the night there and conceals the truth by telling Jonah that he needs to be at the funeral on Monday. He refuses. There is a knock on the door, and he opens it to find the figure that Isabel saw in the desert - an old woman named Rue wearing a poncho with a pellet gun over her shoulder. She supplies him with a bag of premade dough, but he’s behind on his payment. Jonah gives her what he has and promises to give the rest later. After Rue leaves, he serves himself and Isabel plain vetkoek. When Isabel brings out some of their gran’s homemade Jam, Jonah refuses to eat some. She continues to taunt him until he takes a shovel and walks off into the wilderness. Isabel follows him into the bush where he digs up an empty treasure chest. Isabel confesses that she really needs him to be her guardian. They return to the house where they fight until Jonah reveals that he exiled himself to escape the shame of not being there for their grandma when she was first in the hospital. He tells Isabel to leave. On the way out, she leaves him a note and the jam.

Isabel returns home to her aunt Sharon, defeated. Meanwhile, Jonah wakes up and reads Isabel’s letter, explaining how she needs him and how gran never hated him. He decides to go home. As he does, Rue shows up again to claim her debt. Instead of fighting with Isabel’s machete, Jonah throws the jam at her head, knocking her out. The next morning, just before Isabel can leave for Johannesburg, Jonah returns and the two siblings reconcile, realising they don’t have to endure their grief alone.

Good day all! 

We are a group of films students from City Varsity, Cape Town, looking to raise money for our final year film! 

Through these trying times, our film aims to inspire laughter and joy in our audience - a blissful 20 minute escape from reality focused on vetkoek and adventure. 

As you know, living off of a student budget is already difficult - adding a R20 000+ film budget to this is even more challenging! We hope that you will invest in the film that will help us invest in your futures. 

Thank you for your consideration!



Additional information

Refund policy No refunds


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