Fighting Ageism Through Intergenerational Film Making

Revera Retirement Homes has partnered with the Reel Youth film program to create an exciting new intergenerational project. The partners involved in this project have a history of advocating for older adults in innovative and meaningful ways.

Age is MoreTM
Revera began the Age is More initiative in an effort to confront the pervasive ageist attitudes that exist in today’s society. Often older adults are perceived as being ‘feeble and doddering’ when in fact they are a heterogeneous group of individuals like any other age cohort. This ambitious initiative plans to raise awareness and bring an end to ageism through research, commentary and storytelling.

Reel Youth
Reel Youth describe themselves as, “a not-for-profit, media empowerment program supporting youth, adults and organizations to create and distribute engaging films about the issues they care about most”. The Reel Youth ‘artist mentors’ provide the necessary leadership for young (under 19) individuals or groups to create ‘powerful media’ through film. With Canadian chapters in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario, Reel Youth is an international program that has produced over 1,000 films in over 9 years.

Age is More Film Project
According to Revera, the Age is More Film Project, “brings together youth and older adults in a creative collaboration to produce short films that celebrate ageless spirit”. In 2013, twenty short films were created by the partnership. For each film a young adult was paired with an older adult and given 6 days to create a short film with the guidance of a professional filmmaker. The final 3-minute films highlight engaging stories as told by older adults. All the films were submitted to the Reel Youth Film Festival.

The Revera Three O’s of Age Awareness
Addressing ageism means changing the way we engage with older adults. Here are some tips from Revera.

Open-mindedness
Many people assume they know what’s best for older adults. But, like all of us, older adults want to be actively involved in matters that affect them. Be sure to consult with the older adults in your life and allow them to share their opinions and have input into all decisions that affect them.

Optimism
People tend to focus on the negative consequences of aging. Instead, focus on the joys and fulfillment that can come with growing older. An optimistic attitude can go a long way to fueling age-inclusive behaviour.

Outreach
Research shows a lack of contact between people of different generations fuels stereotypes and misperceptions. The simple act of reaching out to talk with someone older will promote positive attitudes and behaviour towards older generations.

Find out if you are age aware by taking Revera’s Age Aware Quiz.

Revera is also offering a contest to win a $100 gift card by sharing a story about how your life has been enriched by someone of a different generation.

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