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Camden International Film Festival launches the Aging in Maine Screening Tour, a new statewide program that brings screenings of award-winning documentary films and discussions to more than ten different communities between March and July 2014.
The tour is the second part of CIFF’s inaugural Engagement Summit: Aging in Maine, a unique program that connects Maine-based nonprofit leaders with documentary films and filmmakers to develop community-based social action campaigns designed to engage communities in a thoughtful inter-generational dialogue around the issues of aging and dementia-related illness.
During the 2013 festival, fourteen organizations from across Maine convened in Camden to identify a wide range of needs facing aging communities and the organizations that support them, as well as workshops on how to utilize the power of nonfiction storytelling to advance their advocacy goals. Participating nonprofits included the Aging Consultation Services, Aroostook Agency on Aging, the Bingham Program, Dirigo-Maine Geriatrics Society, Eastern Area Agency on Aging, Maine Gerontological Society, MaineHealth, Methodist Conference Home, Office of Aging and Disability Services, Pen Bay Healthcare, Seniors Plus, Spectrum Generations and the University of Maine Center on Aging. “The summit and screenings are proving to be a superb way in which to mobilize Maine’s aging services providers and help them share with the larger public poignant stories of both the joys and challenges associated with growing older,” said Len Kaye, Director of the University of Maine Center on Aging. “The beneficiaries will be Maine’s citizens who will leave the film screenings better informed of the issues, places to turn for help, and the emerging opportunities associated with Maine’s ranking as the oldest state in the nation.”
Films screened as part of the Aging in Maine tour will include CIFF’s 2013 Harrell Award for Best Documentary, The Genius of Marian, a selection of short films called Golden Shorts and other aging films including Age of Champions, First Cousin Once Removed and Last Dreams, which also received a Special Jury mention at last year’s festival.
AGING IN MAINE Screening Tour Schedule:
Tuesday, March 18th at 7pm - University of Maine at Orono
Screening: Golden Shorts
Q&A with Len Kaye, Director of the UMaine Center on Aging
Wednesday, March 19th at 7pm - Strand Theatre, Rockland
Screening: First Cousin Once Removed
Saturday, March 22nd at 3:30pm - Colonial Theatre, Belfast
Screening: The Genius of Marian
Wednesday, April 2 at 6pm – Portland Museum of Art, Portland. FREE
Screening: The Genius of Marian
Films screened during the Aging in Maine screening tour include:
THE GENIUS OF MARIAN
Directed by Banker White and Anna Fitch
Synopsis: The Genius of Marian is a visually rich, emotionally complex story about one family’s struggle to come to terms with the changes Alzheimer’s disease brings. After Pam White is diagnosed at age 61 with early onset Alzheimer’s, life begins to change, slowly but irrevocably, for Pam and everyone around her. Pam’s husband grapples with his changing role from primary partner to primary caregiver. Her adult children find ways to show their love and support while mourning the slow loss of their mother.
As she loses the ability to write, Pam’s eldest son, Banker, begins to record their conversations, allowing her to share memories of childhood and of her own mother, the renowned painter Marian Williams Steele who died of Alzheimer’s in 2001. The Genius of Marian paints a powerful contemporary portrait of the impact of Alzheimer’s disease, the power of art and the meaning of family.
Directed by Estephan Wagner
Synopsis: LAST DREAMS follows three women during their last month of life. Through them we get an intimate and honest picture of what it means to be close to death – stories of solitude, reconciliation and love during the process of saying goodbye. We follow their relationship with doctors, nurses, priests and family members. We are present when they discuss their most intimate subjects, when they express their love for their family members and as they go through a fundamental and final transformation.
FIRST COUSIN ONCE REMOVED
Directed by Alan Berliner
Synopsis: Synopsis: A distinguished poet, translator, critic and teacher, Edwin Honig wrote dozens of books and poems that attracted critical praise around the world. His seminal translations awakened English-speaking readers to previously overlooked literary giants, resulting in honorary knighthoods from the king of Spain and the president of Portugal.
In FIRST COUSIN ONCE REMOVED, acclaimed documentary filmmaker Alan Berliner’s paints a deeply personal portrait of his “good friend, cousin and mentor” as Honig journeys through the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss. A stark reminder of the profound role memory plays in everyone’s life, this moving essay on the fragility of being human.
AGE OF CHAMPIONS
Directed by Christopher Rufo
Synopsis: Age of Champions is the award-winning PBS documentary following five competitors who sprint, leap, and swim for gold at the National Senior Olympics. You’ll meet a 100-year-old tennis champion, 86-year-old pole vaulter, and rough-and-tumble basketball grandmothers as they triumph over the limitations of age.
The Washington Post called the film “infectiously inspiring” and theater audiences across the country have fallen in love with its light-hearted take on growing older. It’s a powerful story to share with the whole family and get inspired to be healthier, happier, and more active.
OLD PEOPLE DRIVING
Directed by Shaleece Haas
Synopsis: Old People Driving chronicles the adventures of 96-year-old Milton and 99-year-old Herbert as they confront the end of their driving years. The film follows Herbert as he takes his last drive, hands over his keys and comes to terms with the reality of life without a car. Milton, meanwhile, continues to drive every day and vows to do so until he feels he’s no longer safe on the road. Through their stories, and a review of the latest traffic safety research, the film dispels some of the myths about elderly drivers without shying away from the fact that many will outlive their ability to drive safely.
The Aging in Maine screening tour is sponsored by Camden National Bank. Many screenings will be FREE and Open to the Public. Additional screenings will be announced as the tour continues.
Camden International Film Festival’s Engagement Summit: Aging in Maine program is presented in partnership with Working Films and the University of Maine Center on Aging, with generous support from the Fledgling Fund, the Pen Bay Healthcare Foundation, Camden National Bank, the Bingham Program and the Portland Museum of Art.