Age-Friendly Film Festival looks to seniors in shorts showcase
Speaker 1: (00:00)
Media arts center, San Diego is hosting the first ever age friendly film festival on November 13th. If you're curious about exactly what that means, then KPBS arts reporter, Beth Armando has the answer. She speaks with filmmaker, David Meza and San Diego foundation, director of community impact Katie Rast about what the festival will be highlighting.
Speaker 2: (00:24)
Katie, you are with the San Diego foundation and they are one of the sponsors and partners for this age friendly film festival. Now, the title of this intrigued me because I couldn't tell right away what that meant. So explain what an age friendly film festival is about.
Speaker 3: (00:42)
San Diego foundation is working with media art center, San Diego in partnership with the county of San Diego health and human services, agency aging and independent services, and a RP San Diego to present the age friendly film festival. And this is something that has been put together by media arts center, San Diego, to showcase and really highlight stories of older adults in our community, as well as to support, uh, emerging filmmakers who have created and produced these stories.
Speaker 2: (01:18)
And why did the foundation feel it was important to focus on this topic?
Speaker 3: (01:23)
So by the year 2030, there will be over 1 million people living in San Diego over the age of 65 older adults make up an important, valuable part of our community. And the age friendly film festival is really a way to hear their stories, right? And we're, we're interested in developing plans with our partners that envision a future that really considers the needs, the knowledge and the insights of the older adults in our region. And this is one way to, to, to capture that information and highlight those stories.
Speaker 2: (01:59)
Do you feel that seniors and the elderly are sometimes kind of forgotten and just pushed aside?
Speaker 3: (02:06)
Sure. And I think within the stories that are highlighted in the age friendly film festival, we do see stories of social isolation. We see stories of people overcoming some of those challenges, but certainly within, within our region nationally, and certainly globally, there are a lot of challenges that older adults are facing.
Speaker 2: (02:27)
David. Your film focuses on a program that teaches technology to seniors. And here's a little clip from the film
Speaker 4: (02:34)
Check for seniors program. It's a pilot program based in south bay, San Diego county. And the program helps to try to reduce social isolation and loneliness among older adults, um, by providing them not with just assistance with technology, but to partner them with, with a buddy that can help them, um, learn technology. So
Speaker 2: (02:54)
Tell me a little bit about the process of making this film and being part of this emerging filmmaker fellowship.
Speaker 5: (03:00)
The process of making the film was really short process because we do have the help of our mentors named Diego and Edwin. And so they, they pushed us and they told us that we needed to talk about the main topic that is the seniors living in San Diego. But also we need to talk about something that really comes close to us as filmmakers, we have to comprehend, we have to listen. And so the process for me was making sure that I made a film that I can relate to and that can talk to a lot of people, not just me and I right away knew that I wanted to do a story about this senior. She's a Latina senior. We, we met and then we started talking right away. And so she knew that I speak Spanish and she was like comfortable, um, speaking with me. And so that was the thing that really got me into thinking, this is the film I wanted to make. And also with the help of my mentors, Edwina and Diego, they really, um, Diego and Edwin really made me, took the path I took because they told me that this is a story that could really impact other people. And so it really impacted me in the first place.
Speaker 2: (04:22)
What was it about Consuelo that appealed to you in terms of using her for a subject in the film?
Speaker 5: (04:29)
She really is a person that's extrovert like me, you know, but at the same time, the language barrier was a thing that sometimes made her feel like she doesn't belong. And so really the thing was that I talked to her and she was really comfortable with me cause we, we spoke the same language, but also from that, we were really people that like to talk with other people, but we'd sometimes don't know how to exactly communicate or we're not really familiar with our second language like English. She just speaks like a little bit of English. And so in the classes, they actually have teachers that speak Spanish, but in the same classes, not a lot of people speak Spanish. So she cannot be like truly herself because she cannot communicate the way she wants to.
Speaker 2: (05:24)
Katie. How did you feel about pairing up these young filmmakers with a senior? Did you feel that impacted the seniors in any way?
Speaker 3: (05:30)
Yeah. You know, I think one of the interesting elements about this film festival is that it really is intergenerational. And certainly in the work that we do within the community with our partners, we recognize that an intergenerational approach is extremely important when we have policies and practices within our communities. We know that it's, what's good for one is good for many. And certainly the more we support and the more our older adults within our communities have the supports that they need and are recognized and their voices are recognized. I should say the better off we all are.
Speaker 2: (06:09)
And David, did you feel you learned anything through this process or through meeting Consuelo?
Speaker 5: (06:15)
Yeah, absolutely. Um, I learned the, the art of patience because really when you work with older people, usually they come from another era. You know, they, they come from another culture from another cultural background. And so sometimes they really do want to learn things. They really do want to talk to people, but it's a process. Sometimes you have to just be there and just listen. I learned to listen a lot. I learned to have a lot of patients, but I also learned that I can learn a lot from older people. Uh, I can learn a lot from younger people. And so that was the thing. My film also talks about a lot of patients because sometimes Consuelo wanted to learn technology. And so that's a lot of things that needs a lot of patients and the director of the program named Kwan talks a lot. He talks a lot about, um, being patient with a lot of a lot of people because really you don't know what they're been through and you never really know if you're helping them by just listening. And so the thing I learned the most about making this film is patience and listening.
Speaker 2: (07:34)
You both very much for talking about the age friendly film festival.
Speaker 3: (07:38)
Thank you, Beth. I appreciate it.
Speaker 5: (07:41)
Thank you for the opportunity
Speaker 1: (07:45)
That was Beth haka. Mondo speaking with David Mesa and Katie Rast. The age friendly film festival is free and takes place on November 13th at Redding cinemas town square.
Speaker 6: (07:57)
Media Arts Center San Diego pairs emerging filmmakers with seniors.
Media Arts Center San Diego has partnered with AARP, The San Diego Foundation and the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, Aging and Independence Services, to celebrate the completion of the Emerging Filmmaker Fellowship by hosting the first-ever Age-Friendly Film Festival.
This four-month fellowship provided participants with a cash stipend, filmmaker training, and mentorship to produce short films highlighting local efforts to build age-friendly communities where people of all ages can be healthy and thrive.
“The films produced by the Fellows give us a glimpse as to what age-friendly communities can look like; underscoring the radical potential for structural change and a future rooted in care and compassion for people of all ages,” MACSD director of education Cameron Quevedo stated in the press release.
"This is something that has been put together by Media Art Center, San Diego to showcase and really highlight stories of older adults in our community as well as to support emerging filmmakers who have created and produced these stories," said Katie Rast, San Diego Foundation director of community impact.
These stories are important because"by the year 2030, there will be over 1 million people living in San Diego over the age of 65," she said.
"Older adults make up an important, valuable part of our community and the Age-Friendly Film Festival is really a way to hear their stories," Rast said. "And we're interested in developing plans with our partners that envision a future that really considers the needs, the knowledge and the insights of the older adults in our region. And this is one way to capture that information and highlight those stories."
The films highlight programs for seniors and also reveal the challenges, such as social isolation, that seniors can face.
David Meza is one of the filmmakers who went through the fellowship program. His film is "Consuelo's Tech," which looks to a Latina senior who signed up for a South Bay program to learn how to use technology. The program strives to help reduce social isolation and loneliness among older adults by providing them with a younger partner who can help them learn technology.
Meza immediately took to Conseulo when he met her.
"She really is a person that's an extrovert like me. But at the same time, the language barrier was the thing that sometimes made her feel like she doesn't belong," he said. "And so really the thing was that I talked to her and she was really comfortable with me because we spoke the same language, but also from that, we're really people that like to talk with other people. But we sometimes don't know how to actually communicate or we're not really familiar with our second language, like English."
Rast appreciates how the festival paired young filmmakers with seniors.
"I think one of the interesting elements about the film festival is that it really is intergenerational," she said. "And certainly in the work that we do within the community with our partners, we recognize that an intergenerational approach is extremely important. When we have policies and practices within our communities. We know that what's good for one is good for many. And certainly, the more we support and the more our older adults within our communities have the supports that they need and are recognized and their voices are recognized. I should say the better off we all are."
The festival hopes to raise awareness of age-friendly programs and the importance of age-friendly communities. Filmmakers were encouraged to highlight how age-friendly work impacts low-income and underserved older adults and to use storytelling to bring issues to life.
The short documentaries will be screened at the Age-Friendly Film Festival at 4 p.m. Nov. 13 at Reading Cinemas Town Square, 4665 Clairemont Drive, and is free to the public.