Sam and Tusker have spent twenty years together, and they are as passionately in love as they have ever been. But in the two years since Tusker was diagnosed with young-onset dementia, their lives have had to change. As autumn comes, they plan a road trip while Tusker is still able to travel, to reconnect with friends and family and visit the places of their past. As their trip together progresses, their individual ideas for their future begin to collide. Secrets are uncovered, private plans unravel, and their love for each other is tested like never before.

Director's Statement

In 2015, two events happened around me almost simultaneously: in February, a colleague, who had become distant and increasingly bad at her job, was fired from our place of work – in six months she would be dead. A few days later a close friend was forced to put her father in a care home – he had just turned 60. A short time after this I saw a documentary that moved me like nothing had before. It followed a 65-year-old British man to the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland where, in the company of his wife of 40 years, he legally took his own life. The man in the documentary, my colleague, and my friend’s father all had versions of young-onset Dementia that had played out in very different ways. These experiences made me want to find out more about this disorder specifically, as well as the vital debate around end of life choices – one that still rages to this day in many countries around the world.

SUPERNOVA is the result of a lengthy and immersive research process. Over a three-year period, I worked closely with the UK’s leading dementia specialists at UCL and The Wellcome Trust and collaborated with many individuals and families affected by the condition. I have spent time with people who have since died both from dementia and suicide – in secret and in public - and seen the fallout from that at first-hand. It has been one of the most profound and important experiences of my life. The characters and themes in SUPERNOVA reflect my attempt to do these people and their stories justice in a truthful and original manner – to place a selfless, loving relationship in the context of an immediate future that hangs in the balance. From the outset, my desire was to make an empowering, powerful, challenging and time film about what we are willing to do for the people that we love.

SUPERNOVA is a romantic, original, modern love-story. It is an intimate, self-contained tale that investigates some of the biggest human questions of all: how we live and love and laugh, even as we near the end of our time.

Director's Biography

Harry Macqueen trained as an actor at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, before turning to filmmaking in 2013. His debut feature as a writer/director/producer, HINTERLAND, was theatrically released with Curzon Cinemas and Soda Pictures in 2015. The film was nominated for several awards including Best British Feature at the Raindance Film Festival and Best Debut Film at Beijing International Film Festival. It was also the UK’s first fully carbon neutral feature film. His acting credits include Richard Linklater's ME AND ORSON WELLES and the hit British TV show EASTENDERS. In 2017 Harry won Best Supporting Actor at Madrid Film Festival for his performance in PROVENANCE.

SUPERNOVA is his second feature film as a writer/director. He also has several other projects in development


Cast & Crew

Directed by: Harry Macqueen

Written by: Harry Macqueen

Produced by: Emily Morgan, Tristan Goligher

Cinematography: Dick Pope (BSC)

Editing: Chris Wyatt

Production Design: Sarah Finlay

Costume Design: Matthew Price

Make-Up & Hair: Tamsin Barbosa

Original Score: Keaton Henson

Sound: Joakim Sundström

Casting: Shaheen Baig

Main Cast: Colin Firth (Sam), Stanley Tucci (Tusker)

Nominations and Awards

  • Feature Film Selection 2021