Film Festival for older citizens launched in Delhi

NEW DELHI: As a pilot project, Helpage India has launched a special film festival of feature films

and documentaries on senior citizens. The festival will travel to various parts of the country over the next year.

The i?mage HelpAge India International Film Festival 2009 coincided with the International Day of Older Persons on October 1. The Festival has received about 30 feature films and documentaries from Israel, Nepal and the United States besides India.

The festival was launched by Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Mukul Wasnik who gave details of various schemes of the Government for the welfare of senior citizens.

HelpAge India has been involved in protecting the rights of India?s 90 million elderly citizens since 1978, said Mathew Cherian, a member of the NGO. It was also directly involved with about 10 per cent of this ?grey? population, facilitation and mobilising resources to make the society aware of the concerns of the elderly and about ageing issues and help the elderly in understanding their rights and make them play an active role in the society.

Cherian explained that the name i?mage was derived from the word ?image?, signifying reflection that motion pictures are of ourselves, while the apostrophe breaks the word into ?I am age?, unraveling the world of the elderly.

The i?mage emblem also incorporates a principal philosophy of HelpAge India?s activities ? inter-generation participation. It was conceptualised by a six-year-old.

Speaking on the occasion, festival coordinator Satish Kapoor said that this was the first festival of its kind on elderly people and would travel to various cities of India like Pune, Chandigarh etc.

The films will also be shown to students of Mass Communication, Journalism and filmmaking institutes of various cities. It would be an opportunity to all the students to develop their understanding and perspective relating to elderly issues. This will help the students when they will plan to make a short film/documentary on elderly people, he added.

Asian Academy of Film and Television (AAFT) founder-director Sandeep Marwah offered his services to Helpage India to make features or documentaries on the elderly people through his institution.

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