Leeds Film Festival to celebrate ageing
The festival, organised by the Northern Film School at Leeds Beckett University, will feature a series of short films created by teams of over-60s and marks the completion of a two-year active ageing project.
Jennifer Granville and Ann Tobin of the Northern Film School, and Dr Mark Robinson of the School of Health and Wellbeing at Leeds Beckett, received funding from Europe’s lifelong learning programme, Grundvig, for the film project, entitled CINAGE.
The project brought together Leeds Beckett University with researchers in Portugal, Italy and Slovenia to explore the EU’s recommendations for healthy, active ageing and to see whether or not the needs and concerns of older people are reflected in contemporary cinema.
The CINAGE Conference and Film Festival will bring together everyone involved in making the films and conducting the research, screening the project’s 12 films to the public alongside Q&A sessions as well as feature films containing active ageing themes. It is hoped that the film festival for active ageing will become a regular event as a result, backing Leeds City’s Council’s bid to become ‘Best Elderly City in the World’.
The festival will take place on Friday 17 July from 8-11pm at the Hyde Park Cinema in Leeds, where CINAGE film Mid-August Lunch will be shown as one of the project’s films which volunteers chose as best representing active ageing.
On Saturday 18 July from 10am -1pm at the Leeds Everyman Cinema, all 12 short films produced as part of the project will be screened; from 2-5.30pm at the Carriage Works in Millennium Square, a selection of new international short films, which either address aspects of ageing, feature or were produced by seniors, will be shown; and from 7.30-10.30pm at the Hyde Park Cinema, there will be a screening of the hit short documentary 'Fabulous Fashionistas', with a Q&A with two of the stars and director, followed by the 2015 film, 'Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel', starring Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Bill Nighy.
Project Leader for CINAGE in the UK, Jennifer Granville, said: “The CINAGE Conference and Film Festival for Active Ageing is a film festival that celebrates the richness of later life – either through the subject matter, the inclusion of older actors in significant roles or because the film has been made by an older filmmaker. There will be films from all over Europe, including Portugal, Italy and Slovenia who were partners with Leeds Beckett in the project that researched the way in which age is portrayed in cinema and offered seniors the opportunity to take a course in filmmaking.”
Two years ago, focus groups of over-60s in each of the four participating countries were invited to watch a broad range of European movies and to discuss their portrayal of age and ageing, and how senior people with real life problems are addressed through film.
Using the latest technology available at the Northern Film School, and working with students on the University’s Filmmaking degrees, a team of volunteers from the UK focus groups then went on to attend practical filmmaking workshops, producing a series of three short films.
The group premiered early versions of their work at the Bradford International City of Film Summit in March 2015.