Download Festival Program

Friday, May 13, 2011

6:30 PM – Welcome and Opening Film

Ruth Asawa: Roots of an Artist (37 min)

Directed by Bob Toy

Ruth Asawa: Roots of an Artist directed by Bob Toy

An absorbing documentary portraying world-famous American artist Ruth Asawa, age 85, a beloved San Francisco icon of art and mentorship. Ruth's fountains dot the San Francisco landscape, and her wire sculptures hang in museums worldwide. Learn the story of how Ruth's kitchen table, where friends, artists, and students gathered, was donated to the Bethany Center in the Mission District, where Ruth's Table is now the arts and creativity center for people over 50 living independent lives.

Post-screening Q&A with director Bob Toy; Ruth's son and daughter Paul Lanier and Aiko Cuneo; Lola Fraknoi, of Ruth's Table at the Bethany Center.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

1:00 PM

Advanced Style (3 min)

Directed by Lina Plioplyte

Advanced Style directed by Lina Plioplyte

Meet the stars of NY photographer Ari Seth Cohen's Advanced Style, a blog devoted “to capturing the sartorial savvy of the senior set, ... people who live life to the fullest, age gracefully and continue to grow and challenge themselves.”
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A mosaic of elders from other cultures (5 min)

Directed by HelpAge International (HAI)

Mosaic of Elders directed by HelpAge International

HAI helps older people claim their rights, so that they can lead dignified, secure, active and healthy lives. Last year they changed the lives of 1.5 million older people across the world.
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An Old Hand (3 min)

Directed by Amy Dickson

An Old Hand directed by Amy Dickson

“A portrait of my grandmother: Life continues to challenge us right into old age. Her greatest legacy to me is her tenacity.”

Leslie Day, City Naturalist (9 min)

Directed by Tina Flemmerer

Leslie Day City Naturalist directed by Tina Flemmerer

A woman who lives on a houseboat in New York City becomes excited by the natural world around her, and changes her life in important ways.

Beautifully Esther (23 min)

Directed by Ricardo Korda

Beautifully Esther directed by Ricardo Korda

A drama about Esther and Joszi who live a quiet, sheltered life in Venice Beach, CA. Their stagnant daily routine comes to an end when Joszi suddenly collapses, and Esther finds out her husband was hiding a secret. Confronted by her husband's reluctance to change, Esther must decide how she wants to spend the rest of her days.
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Seniors Rocking (28 min)

Directed by Ruedi Gerber

Seniors Rocking directed by Ruedi Gerber

A delightful documentary that unveils the artistic process and captures the communal energy behind the unique performance created by American dance pioneer Anna Halprin with senior citizens from the Redwoods Community of Seniors in Marin County, CA.
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Saturday, May 14, 2011

3:15 PM

Old People Driving (24 min)

Directed by Shaleece Haas

Old People Driving directed by Shaleece Haas

Director Shaleece Haas asks: “Can a person be simply too old to drive?” The film chronicles the adventures of Milton (age 96) and Herbert (age 99) as they confront a grim milestone: the end of their driving years. Crucial issues of safety and independence come to the forefront.

Post-screening Q&A with director Shaleece Haas.
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Nobody's Business (60 min)

Directed by Alan Berliner

Nobody's Business directed by Alan Berliner

Alan Berliner takes on his reclusive father as the reluctant subject of this film from 1996. A uniquely cinematic biography that finds both humor and pathos in the swirl of conflicts and affections that bind father and son. A memorable essay about the nature of family relationships.

Who better to introduce and then lead a Q&A about a movie concerned with career dilemmas (and other conflicts) than well-known career coach Marty Nemko, who is in his 24th year as host of KALW-FM's Work with Marty Nemko.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

5:30 PM

The First Grader (100 min)

Directed by Justin Chadwick

The First Grader directed by Justin Chadwick

In a small, remote, primary school in the Kenyan bush, hundreds of children are jostling for a chance at free education newly promised by the Kenyan government in 2002. One applicant creates a stir: Maruge, an old Mau Mau veteran in his eighties. Having fought for the liberation of his country, Maruge is desperate to learn how to read at this late stage of his life — even if it means sitting in a classroom alongside six-year-olds. The film is a triumphant testimony to the transforming force of education. An enchanting true-life story, made more so by the fact Maruge would later address the United Nations about the need for education in Africa.
PG-13 for some disturbing violent content and very brief nudity.
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Sunday, May 15, 2011

1:00 PM

HAPPY TO BE SO ... (48 min)

Directed by Yelena Demikovsky

HAPPY TO BE SO directed by Yelena Demikovsky

An affectionate and candid chronicle told with humor and irony by the principals themselves: two renowned ballet stars and current ballet masters Mireille Briane and Oleg Briansky, who have been married 50 years. They offer the viewer their shared days of glory, shining hours, and tragic reversals of fortune.

“An affectionate and often funny portrait celebrating 50 years of a wonderful yin and yang partnership in classic ballet and married life.” Clive Barnes, dance and theater critic.
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Ida's Dance Club (60 min)

Directed by Dalit Kimor

Ida's Dance Club directed by Dalit Kimor

A ballroom dancing competition in a retirement community in Israel is the setting for this moving documentary portrait of individuals dancing against all odds. The participants are past retirement age, but that doesn't stop them from dancing and singing, from falling in love — or not. The magical atmosphere of the club and the dancing gives them the strength to overcome the wear and tear of time, health problems and difficult memories. In Hebrew, with English subtitles.
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Film website

Sunday, May 15, 2011

3:45 PM

Over 90 & Loving It (60 min)

Directed by Susan Polis Schutz

Over 90 & Loving It directed by Susan Polis Schutz

Is it ‘good genes,’ exercise and nutrition, caring for others, or just good luck that makes the subjects of this film so long-lived and passionate about life? The filmmaker interviews engaging characters living life to the fullest. Both their philosophies and actions should inspire intergenerational audiences to pick up the pace.
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Sunday, May 15 2011

5:30 PM

Another Harvest Moon (90 min)

Directed by Greg W. Swartz

Another Harvest Moon directed by Greg W. Swartz

A sensitive drama of four elderly residents coping with life in a nursing home. When Frank, played by 93-year old Ernest Borgnine, suffers a second stroke, his friends and family, including his 15-year-old grandson, must confront their feelings about faith, dignity and obligations to loved ones.

The cast includes: Academy-Award winner Ernest Borgnine, and award-winning veteran stars Doris Roberts, Ann Meara, Piper Laurie and Cybill Shepherd.

The film won Audience awards at the Rhode Island and Louisville Film Festivals, and was chosen to open the Hollywood Film Festival.

Dr. Amy Hittner, an Emerita Professor at SFSU, is a member of the Board of Directors of Compassion & Choices, an advocacy organization committed to helping individuals and families deal with end-of-life issues.
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Ticket Price per Program: $11



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