Dave vs Death

From his deathbed, David Kane challenges the Grim Reaper to a game of chess. If Dave wins, his life is spared. For every piece lost, someone he cares about will die. Hilarity ensues.

Produced with a grant awarded by bravoFACT (Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent), a division of Bell Media Inc.

Creative team

Writer/director/producer: Patrick Hagarty
Producer: Anneli Ekborn, Lindsay Somers, Elli Weisbaum

Filmmaker’s statement

Patrick Hagarty says:

“After slogging away in the Toronto film biz for over a decade, struggling to get any traction on my own projects, Dave vs Death was my first kick at the can. My first opportunity to make use of all I had learned, and all the talented people I had befriended in the trenches – with a healthy budget from bravoFACT to do so.

I didn’t take it lightly. I came out swinging for the fences. I roped in the best and funniest damn actors the city had to offer. I called in a decade of favours, and assembled an A-team of technicians and collaborators. I brought in my former college prof, who happened to be an Gemini Award-winning composer, to give it a killer score.

The shoot was challenging and ambitious, and it was a blast. When I caught my breath, at the end our 14-hour final shoot day, and reflected on what we shot, I knew we had something special in the can.

Dave vs Death had audiences howling at many festivals, collected a bevy of nominations, and won film of the year at the Northern Ontario Film Awards. It also got a beyond glowing review from Ain’t It Cool News, which felt a lot like Christmas to me.

I have since picked up another round of funding from Bravo. My next short film The Golden Ticket hits festivals in fall 2013. But Dave vs Death will always be the cornerstone onto which my burgeoning writer/director career is built.”

About Patrick Hagarty


Patrick graduated with honours from the Ontario College of Art. He majored in both fine art and film and is an accomplished painter, having exhibited and sold work internationally.

Patrick is a 15-year veteran of the Toronto film industry. He has worked as an actor, editor, field producer, location scout, French translator and lecturer – but predominantly as an assistant director.

In 2005, Patrick founded Torch-Head Productions. The company’s first bravoFACT short, Ten for Grandpa, premiered at Sundance in 2009.

Patrick’s first directorial effort, Dave vs Death, enjoyed a very successful festival and awards run in 2012. His second bravoFACT short, The Golden Ticket, will premiere at festivals this fall.

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