Short Films Highlight Ageism

Where will you be Sunday night? If you are like me and millions of viewers (43 million last year), you will be watching the 87th Academy Awards. Are you rooting for Birdman or Boyhood? Will Eddie Redmayne take Best Actor for channeling Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything? Who will win the Oscar for Best Actress? My money’s on Julianne Moore in Still Alice, in which she portrays a professor diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's.

Movies can be entertaining, informative, arresting. They have the ability to comment upon an aspect of society and, when done well, evoke great empathy.

Seniors experience ageism, discrimination, and prejudicial attitudes every day (I pity the fool who will condescends to call me “cute” when I hit 80.) Every year since 2011, the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) sponsors a short film competition (under 9 minutes) about the challenges faced by older adults when they are marginalized by a society that values youth above all things.
ALFA’s goal in sponsoring this Short Films on Ageism competition is to:

  • Demonstrate the destructive forces of ageism in society and/or
  • Raise public awareness of how ageism is expressed in direct or subtle ways and/or
  • Demonstrate how individuals can change their attitudes and behavior towards older adults.

Keith Rivers, principal/creative director at Workhouse Creative! won the 2014 ALFA Short Film Competition on Ageism with his short story documentary, Salt & Pepper.

Second place winner was A Father to Dye For , directed by Lena Nozizwe and starring retired history professor, Hulme Thamsanqa Siwundhla, Ph.D.

ALFA is the largest national association dedicated to senior living communities and the seniors and families they serve. Since 1990, ALFA has championed choice, accessibility, independence, dignity, and quality of life for all seniors.

ALFA is now accepting entries for the 2015 Short Film Competition. The submission deadline is 5:00 p.m. EST on March 30, 2015.

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