The Goodbye Girl

A surreal tale about a lonely reaper who escorts people across the threshold between life and death while collecting their final memories in a pink suitcase. She finds a chance to make a true connection when a neglected young boy takes an interest in her.

Creative team

Writer/director: Amber Ripley
Producer: Michelle Kim

Filmmaker’s statement

The Goodbye Girl is a brief and haunting glimpse into the life of a young reaper who is very unlike the traditional personification of death: a girl-next-door who has her own unique view of the world, and who admits to being lonely in her unorthodox occupation. This film is an attempt to present her character in a purely visual format and capture mood and tone without a linear storyline.

Life is pain and beauty in one messy go and death is inevitable. I really wanted to play with the dark ideas around death and put a spin on them.

Death commonly becomes this gruesome, weighty subject matter presented in dominantly horrific or dramatic contexts. I like the idea of creating a colourful film that celebrates death.

For me, there is some comfort in the idea of someone who collects people’s memories; that we might leave behind only our fondest moments; that the dark and painful pieces of our lives have no hold on us as we leave this world behind.

About Amber Ripley

Amber Ripley

Amber Ripley has worked with two of the top independent film companies in the market, Infinity Features and Foundation Features, where she worked closely with a wide range of award-winning writers, directors and producers on feature film productions in Canada and abroad.

Amber’s extensive training in numerous aspects of development and production led her to head up the development teams for both companies from 2008-2014.

Amber has gone on to produce numerous feature films, including Rob Stewart’s award-winning documentary Revolution and Ana Valine’s debut feature Sitting on the Edge of Marlene.

Most recently she produced Jason James’ Entanglement which will be released in late 2016. The script was a Movie Central Script to Screen award recipient and stars Thomas Middleditch (Silicon Valley) and Jess Weixler (Teeth).

Amber has also been working over the last few years to develop her voice as an emerging artist. She directed the short film Violet Violence which premiered at the 2011 Victoria Film Festival. Her adaptation of the short story by Toronto writer Sheila Heti, Mermaid in the Jar, was shortlisted for the 2011 MPPIA short film award at the Whistler Film Festival.

She also wrote and directed the short film The Goodbye Girl, which was supported by the NSI Drama Prize program and has screened at numerous festivals in Canada and internationally.

Amber is an alumni of SAIT’s Cinema, Television, Stage, Radio program.  She was invited to participate in the National Screen Institute’s Drama Prize program (2012), Producer’s Lab Toronto (TIFF 2013), Trans Atlantic Partners (2014) and When East Meets West (Trieste Film Festival 2015).

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