In an effort to break down stereotypes, two generations came together to share stories, get to know each other and make a film about it.
The Revera and Reel Youth Age is More film project connects older people with younger people to make a film that celebrates the seniors’ lives.
The program runs across Canada, and this past weekend it came to Victoria’s Kensington retirement residence for the Women’s Wisdom edition.
A group of 12 young women were chosen to work with 10 senior women from the Kensington. The younger women spent last weekend interviewing the older women and filming them talk about their lives.
“Many of them were reluctant,” said Amber Reis, executive director of the Kensington. “But by the end, there were embraces and tears.”
This weekend, the women will be editing and putting together the films.
Mark Vonesch, director of Reel Youth, said this program creates valuable intergenerational connections that break stereotypes.
“We’re seeing the benefits for young people to spend time with older people, and for older people to spend time with younger people,” said Vonesch.
The 10, three-minute films produced by the women will premiere on March 5, just before International Women’s Day on March 8.
“Because we’re doing the Women’s Wisdom edition, there was a lot of questions about what feminism means to these older women, and what has changed with the status of women in their lifetime,” said Reis. “For many of these women, they were proud of their accomplishments, and proud to be a woman, proud to have seen the changes and proud to show young people you can still live an active and full life well into your 80s and 90s.”
Shae-Linn Davies, 14, one of the young women in the program, was thrilled to have been a part of it.
“It was an absolutely amazing experience,” she said. “The people at the Kensington were all so welcoming, so sweet and filled with laughter.”
Spending time with the older women as well as other young women was also a learning experience for Davies.
“The thing I learned most from the residents, was to enjoy life; and whatever it throws at you, you don’t back down and just keep trying and push forward until you’re happy with the result,” she said. “And then from the youth, I learned that no matter who you are or where you come from, there are going to be some things that people don’t agree with, but
you have to stay true to your beliefs.”