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My Dead Dad

East Coast Premiere

Directors: Abby Ellis and Erik Osterholm

United States, 2024, 26 min

Shooting Format:Digital

Festival Year:2024

Category:Documentary Short

Genres:Drama, Dark Comedy, Family

Crew:Producers: Omar Mullick, Michael Simkin, Olivia Becker, Kati Hetrick. Director of Photography: Singeli Agnew; Editor: Olivia Becker


With a cult-like following at the New York Times, Christopher Gray throws his family for a posthumous loop when he requests his body be defleshed and his skeleton preserved for permanent display—not before a last family road trip along the way.

About the directors

Abby Ellis - ABBY ELLIS is a Peabody and Emmy nominated Director. Her film, Flint's Deadly Water, was a multi-year investigation that exposed a steep number of unknown deaths from a deadly disease outbreak during the Flint water crisis, the negligence of officials who allowed it to continue and the efforts to obstruct the legal and scientific investigations around it. In 2020 she was the Hollyhock Filmmaker-in-Residence at PBS, where she wrote, directed and produced Shots Fired, an unflinching look at the high rate of police shootings in Utah. Prior to that Abby produced America Divided, an original docu-series executive produced by Norman Lear and Shonda Rhimes, which featured narratives around inequality in America woven into an eight-story, five-part series. Abby's work has earned her a Peabody Award, several Emmy nominations, an Edward R. Murrow Award, a Scripps Howard Award, an Izzy Award, Sentinel Award, Acting for Justice Award, two Livingston nominations, and other honors. At the start of her career Abby spent six years at VICE where she produced and edited on some of the network's most pivotal and award-winning shows, from character-driven social and cultural documentaries to current affairs films.

Website Filmography

Erik Osterholm - ERIK OSTERHOLM is an multi-Emmy award-winning executive producer and director who has produced over 80 hours of critically acclaimed documentary programming, multiple feature documentaries, and both short and long-form content for networks, streamers, brands and institutions. Erik is the only director-producer to have produced both award-winning unscripted series CNN's Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown and HBO's VICE, taking him to all seven continents and some of the most remote corners of our planet. Since then, Erik has developed and produced multiple new series and talent as an Executive Producer and the SVP of Development at Zero Point Zero Production Inc., including the investigative series The Business of Drugs; and Latif Nasser's Connected: The Hidden Science of Everything on Netflix; and a soon to be released Zac Efron documentary as well as a recently released CNN documentary series with Master Sommelier Carlton McCoy entitled Nomad.

Website Filmography

Filmmakers' note

What will happen to your remains after your death? Most of us will follow the path of least resistance and be ushered onto the conveyor belt of the lucrative death industry, ultimately ending up in one type of box or another. Christopher Gray resisted this fate and made plans for his remains that no one could have expected. When Olivia told us she was en route to pick up her father's bones for a road trip that would end at a holiday family dinner we had so many questions. Once we got through the”who, what, where, when, and how” questions, we kept coming back to the question of meaning in death. Are we missing out on an irreplaceable opportunity to bring more value to our loved ones and the lives of others by simply committing our bodies to holes in the ground? Christopher Gray thought so, and so do we.

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