Musician and director finds clarity in darkest hour
His life has been deeply entrenched in music and filmmaking, but after a long battle with cancer, they have become more important than ever.
Throughout his illustrious career, Noosa-based musician and filmmaker Chris Lofven has worked with some of the biggest names in the country.
From Little River Band to Jimmy Barnes, the list of artists who have sought out Lofven's filmmaking expertise is as impressive as it is long.
Arguably Lofven's most memorable work was writing, producing, and directing the 1976 ambitious Wizard of Oz-inspired feature Oz - A Rock 'n' Roll Road Movie.
A film which well-known film critic William K. Halliwell claimed was "something just short of genius".
These days, you can find the passionate bass guitarist with the other band members of The Sandflys entertaining Sunshine Coast crowds.
But to Lofven, they are not just band members.
They are true friends, who have supported him in his darkest hour.
The beginning of 2019 begun a tumultuous cancer battle that resulted in Lofven having his right ear removed.
Only a few short months later, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
"I started thinking, what else am I going to get?" Lofven said.
"Having a radical prostatectomy is no fun, especially when complications keep you in hospital for over two weeks and treatment is to be ongoing."
While in hospital, the passionate muso's partner Flossie would visit him every day to check in and update him on the world outside.
Finances have been tough for the couple, surviving on the aged pension and pocket money made from playing music.
The Parkbench Ukulele Players, where Lofven is a proud member, banded together to donate funds, and his Sandflys bandmates teamed up with the Harbour Wine Bar on Noosa Marina to hold a fundraising night with a raffle and auctions.
"We have been overwhelmed and moved by the support and generosity we have received from family and friends," he said.
"It was all quite unexpected, but much appreciated."
If a lifetime in the music industry has taught him anything, it's that music is one of the only things that makes him truly happy.
Despite the pain, Lofven still bravely straps on his faithful bass guitar and performs with The Sandflys whenever he can.
"I didn't expect this was going to knock me around as much," he said.
"It has virtually incapacitated me.
"I can't do much at all. One song, that's the extent of all I can do."
On a positive, the occasions when he can't perform, Lofven enjoys experiencing a side of the band he otherwise would never have been privy to.
"It's quite a revelation seeing the band from the outside," he said.
"They're actually quite good."
For now, the renowned filmmaker and musician is making the most of every day.
And while music will always be a huge part of his life, his health challenges have only reinforced his love for those closest to him.
"Family and friends in music are the glue that holds us together. When we get sick, they are there for us," Lofven said.
"We love you all and hope to see your smiling faces at a music gig soon."