A group of film makers are looking at a new way to bring generations together. the team has recently acquired Don Hickey as a marketing person with his huge connections in Ontario. Hickey is a Community Engagement Manager that will reach out into the community for raising funds for the films, secure props and locations. Hickey is also looking to recruit crew and cast for the productions. While holding think-tank sessions with the public sector and in-house with the three production companies a strong theme and message started to shine through.
This group of film makers who make up the Production Team are of all ages. However actors in the films are predominately youth and young adults. In every production youth and young adults are being trained and mentored in the various aspects of the film industry. As the Production Team started to look at the numbers of 18 years of making films, over 300 youth had been partnered with the various team mentors. Marshall has been in the film industry for over 25 years and has been making his own films for over 20 of those years. “I have had a lot of youth and young adults that I have worked with over the years”, Marshall comments, when talking about all the films he has made over the years and the number of people who have been a part of it.
Reviewing the past, Marshall, Hickey and the Production Team saw an opportunity to show case how they helped change youth and young adults lives in helping them break into the film industry. “We are looking at it from the angle of youth, teens and young adults gaining experience, having fun and having opportunities to be a part of films and the film industry through working with us on productions and in doing so gaining experience and credits”, says Marshall.
But something else emerged out of looking at the films and the people that had been involved. It was the “senior citizen” component. A number of the films featured seniors who were helping mentor the youth both in front and behind the camera. This opportunity for inter-generation interaction is what became a key ingredient with the discussions from the Production Team think-tank sessions.
“It hit us that we knew something that the community and world at large has been looking at more and more recently… how our youth have no connection to members of the older generation”, says Hickey
In the recent past, extended families often lived within the same home or very close to each other. This allowed those connections and bonds to be formed within the family environment. More recently, this does not occur as frequently today. Even though people live healthier, longer lives, they expect to be self-sufficient. The trend in recent decades is for older person to live alone. Youth often come home to an empty house because both parents are working. Leaving a huge gap in both the older and younger generations. The Production Team saw an opportunity within those interested in film to build a connection through something that both youth and seniors are passionate about. Benefits of Inter-generational Relationships are huge.
Provide an opportunity for both to learn new skills
Gives the child and the older adult a sense of purpose
Help to alleviate fears children may have of the elderly
Help children to understand and later accept their own aging
Invigorate and energize older adults
Help reduce the likelihood of depression in both the youth and the elderly
Reduce the isolation that both youth and older adults might be feeling
Fill a void for children who do not have grandparents available to them
Help keep family stories and history alive
Aide in cognitive stimulation as well as broaden social circles should a youth introduce technology into the life a senior.
Out of this, Don Hickey’s role as Community Engagement Manager for the films led to include a change and it became “Films made by Young People and Seniors”. Through this, the Production Team is able to present their vision and goals more clearly.
THE GROUP’S PURPOSE & VISION
Multi-generational relationship building and mentoring.
Our vision is to network the different generations of skills and talents as the different generation’s transition the journey of life.
We have a good solid inter-generational program with youth and seniors making award winning films.
Developing life skills that enrich all ages.
Learning and teaching… sharing values between the age generations.
The Production team has set up a website with testimonies from a number of cast members from previous productions as well as crew and parents. Some of the past cast that is included in Helena Rose who has been a part of five productions with the team. She has just been cast in two more to bring the total to seven. Morgan Flanagan who has been a part of four productions. As well as many others included Katie Ostojic, Marley Cabral, Elina Lattanzio, Max Steinberg, Dina Jasim, Anna Faklan, Tiandra Edwards and many others. The website also gives further information about projects the Production Team has done and future productions. A summary of Don Hickey’s connections and fund raising success is also on the website.
The Production Team encourages people to check out the website, read the testimonies and help support the Production Team if you feel moved. The site can be found at https://ifilmgroup.org/