Reel Aging Invitation to Association of Small Foundations
Seating is limited. Please RSVP to attend Reel Aging by emailing Molly Murphy at mmurphy (at) workingfilms (dot) org.
Working Films is pleased to invite you to Reel Aging, a unique convening that will bring together nonfiction media-makers telling powerful stories that explore aging with non-profit organizations and foundations working to support elder populations. Presented with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Reel Aging will be an opportunity for you to explore how a select group of independent documentary films and innovative social media tools can advance your work and the work of your allies.
Please join us on March 27, 2012 from 9:00a.m. to 3:30p.m. in Washington, D.C. at the Pew Charitable Trust’s D.C. Conference Center at 901 E Street, NW.
If you are able to attend, you will join representatives of other foundations, allied non-profits, individual experts and activists to spend a full day with the directors of eleven media projects. The group was curated to reflect the highest caliber of filmmaking, to feature the most pressing issues facing older adults, and to celebrate elders. These projects tell inspiring stories of active, engaged elders who are changing our culture’s typical perception of aging as well as stories that powerfully illuminate the personal and societal decisions most of us will face as we care for ourselves and our loved ones. Equally important, Reel Aging includes films focused on justice for often marginalized populations that are aging. The featured media projects include:
Age of Champions (Director: Christopher Rufo) is the uplifting story of a group of athletes—a 100-year-old tennis champion, 86-year-old pole vaulter, octogenarian swimmers, and a team of basketball grandmothers—all chasing gold at the National Senior Games.
American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs (Director/Producer: Grace Lee) tells the story a 96-year-old Chinese-American activist and philosopher in Detroit who has dedicated her life to creating the next American Revolution. What Grace means by revolution and her journey through a century’s worth of social movements tell an unexpected story of how one woman changed herself to change the world around her.
Coming of Age in Aging America (Director: Christine Herbes-Sommers) is a multi-platform project that explores a social transformation unfolding across our – and other modern – societies. America is an aging society, and it’s not just about old people. This phenomenon will change everything: how we approach education, work, health, housing, transportation, technology, medical care, and the economy.
Communities for All Ages (Director: Yoruba Richen) is a work in progress that will document five diverse communities where older adults, teens, and young parents identify and take action on issues affecting multiple generations such as health, safety, life-long learning and immigrant integration.
The Genius of Marian (Director: Banker White) follows Pam White in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease as her son, the filmmaker, documents her struggles to hang onto a sense of self.
The Graying of AIDS – Stories from an Aging Epidemic (Director/Co-Producer: Katja Heinemann) is a multi-media, multi-platform documentary project and integrated educational campaign centered on a series of digital video portraits that draw attention to a startling fact: By 2015, half of all Americans living with HIV will be over the age of fifty.
Kings Point (Director/Producer: Sari Gilman) is a short documentary that portrays the complexities of life in a typical retirement community through the experiences of six of its residents, providing a bittersweet look at our ambivalent relationship with freedom, self-reliance, and community.
Old People Driving (Director/Producer: Shaleece Haas) is a short documentary film chronicling the adventures of 96-year-old Milton and 99-year-old Herbert as they confront the end of their driving years.
Parenting 102: The Sandwiched Generation Speaks Out (Director/Producer: Mary Katzke) explores issues common to families caught between caring for their elderly parents, their own younger children, and their careers.
Prison Terminal (Director/Producer: Edgar A. Barens) is a feature-length documentary that breaks through the walls of one of America’s oldest maximum security prisons to tell the story of the final months in the life of a terminally ill, elderly prisoner and the hospice volunteers—they themselves prisoners—who care for him. The film provides a fascinating and often poignant account of how the hospice experience can profoundly touch even the forsaken lives of the incarcerated.
Untitled Gay Retiree Documentary (Director: PJ Raval) traces a year in the lives of three LGBTQ seniors, and a lifetime of experiences, and confronts the realities of aging in the LGBTQ community.
Reel Aging: Real Change will be preceded by a four-day residency for these media makers At the convening on Tuesday, March 27, the media makers will present their projects to the attending regional, national and global NGOs, funders, government agencies, activists, and policy makers – all leaders in the field of aging who have a track record of supporting the rights, respect and health of elders. Together they will explore the ways in which the documentary film and new media projects can be used to protect and enhance the rights of older adults and advance personal and policy changes that will improve their and our lives.
What Will Happen at the Reel Aging Convening?
Over the course of the day you will have an opportunity to:
• Watch clips from each project and hear an overview of the filmmakers’ plans for using their project to support a healthy and just world for older populations.
• Participate in small group conversations in which filmmakers, non-profits and funders explore plans for how the films can move people to action on the most pressing issues that you and your colleagues are addressing.
• Discuss how films and organizations can work together using one film or several, and explore the possibility of crafting a collaborative effort that maximizes everyone’s energy and resources.
Your foundation is one of a select group of leaders, advocates and creative problem solvers that we are approaching for this invitation-only event. Our goal is to listen to what organizations want and need and place the media naturally into the work you are already doing so that it acts as an essential resource.
Together we will lay the groundwork for a campaign that will offer authentic opportunities for the film projects to:
• Strengthen the voice of older adults and more actively involve them in advocating on their own and others behalf,
• Extend and protect the rights of older adults to health and economic security through policy change, and
• Sustain the capacity of organizations focused on aging issues to respond to future challenges.
Why Should I Attend?
• You will walk away with stronger relationships with filmmakers, funders, and allied organizations that are committed to making the changes you are working toward. You will develop specific ideas about how you can collaborate in ways that will engage audiences around your priorities.
• This is a day of serious movement strategy! You will be able to share your organizing experience and knowledge about the use of media so that you inform the work of your allies and of these filmmakers.
• You will be in a position to assure that these films advance the essential work of your organization. You can make sure that action items, informational resources, curriculum, etc. are tied to these film campaigns!
Simultaneously, we aim for filmmakers to leave with a better understanding of how their media can be used to meet the needs of activists and organizations. The workshop will be a space in which relationships are initiated and renewed, resulting in collaborative and concrete uses of these media projects in positive and meaningful ways.
We hope that you or another representative will be able to attend Reel Aging. Molly Murphy is coordinating this convening. If you plan to attend, please RSVP to her at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible, as space is limited.