Somewhere, Andy Whitfield is smiling.
The “Spartacus” star, who passed away last September at age 39 from stage 4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, allowed filmmakers to capture his 18-month battle for a planned documentary.
“In my heart, I am convinced that this is all meant to be,” Whitfield says in the documentary. “And I’m open to the journey and to the discoveries and to the adventure of all of this. ‘Be Here Now’ is all about being present and not fearing what you don’t know.”
Last week, the producers started a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the last stage of the doc’s development.
“This unprecedented access and his openness and honesty gives the audience an intimate look into his personal life, that is rarely shared, especially by a celebrity,” says the campaign website. “It was Andy’s hope that by opening his story up to a documentary, he might help or inspire others facing similar challenges, while pushing to accelerate the pace of cancer research around the world.”
The Kickstarter goal was $200,000 – but only days into the campaign, fans and loved ones of the late actor have already rallied more than $227,000. And there’s still 26 days more of fundraising left to go.
“The notion that so many will continue to pledge to this cause even when the goal has been reached is a testament to Andy’s spirit,” wrote one donor. “Rest In Peace Andy, and best wishes to the Whitfield family and all who have worked on this project. I’m looking forward to seeing the finished film.”
A trailer to the documentary, which looks to be equal parts heartbreaking and inspiring, is below. To make a donation yourself, please visit the Kickstarter campaign here.