Ben Tyler has been diagnosed with cancer. With a grim chance of survival in the best case scenario even if he immediately begins treatment, he instead decides to take a motorcycle trip from Toronto through the Canadian prairies to British Columbia. Along the way, he makes new friends, reevaluates his relationship with his fiancée, his job, and his dream of becoming a writer, and after suffering some near-death experiences, learns to appreciate life. Fitting squarely in the tradition of “road trip” movies, the film features classic Canadian scenery, roadside attractions and Canadian icons.
“The idea for making One Week came about because I was interested in exploring the notion of what you would do if you had one week to live. I wanted to incorporate it in a way that would feel natural. The problem is how to create the ticking clock of limited time without it feeling like a plot gimmick or using a deus ex machina to engineer a feel-good ending. I figured out that I could do this metaphorically by setting up a situation where Ben needed to get treatment immediately. The longer he delayed, the worse his already slim odds became. Of course, once he went into treatment, he might never come out, so in effect, it’s the going into treatment that ends his life. This gave me the dramatic tension I needed to set Ben on the road.
I’ve always wanted to make a road movie. I love the serendipity that traveling without an itinerary allows. As one of the characters in the film says to Ben, “You live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world.” We’ve seen most of the rest of the world shot very beautifully. I wanted to do the same for Canada; to create a narrative that was also a love-letter to the country.” – Director’s Statement