The Film Festival for Generations has been launched for the first time in India, New Delhi from 24th to 26th September 2018 in frame of the DAAD-funded cooperation project "New Directions in 'Active Aging' and 'Age-friendly Culture' in India and Germany" (Heidelberg University and Jawaharlal Nehru University).
Based on the concept of the “European Film Festival for Generations“, the Festival introduced fiction and documentary films with a particular focus on age and ageing followed by discussions about the topic to build a bridge between academic research and the general public. The Film Festival‘s aim is to transfer images of active ageing and age-friendly culture, to promote the intergenerational dialogue and discourse, and to increase knowledge and awareness amongst those directly or indirectly involved with the respective fields, eg. doctors, social workers or policy makers. By screening a number of films from both India and Germany, the Film Festival also intended to clarify and contrast culture-specific perspectives on age and ageing.
The official opening of the festival at the India International Centre (IIC) was inaugurated by Prof. Dr. Andreas Kruse (Institute of Gerontology), Dr. Stephan Lanzinger (German Embassy), T.P. Madhukumar (The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment) and Venkatesh Srinivasan (United Nations Population Fund). Opening film was the German production “Forget me not“ - a documentary on dementia by regisseur David Sieveking (2012) portraying the domestic care of his mother, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. The opening continued with a discussion moderated by Prof. Kruse and Mohan Agashe (Psychiatrist and Actor) followed by a reception. At the next two days German and Indian films were screened at the IIC dealing with topics such as activity and creativity in old age, housing, and dementia and care.
The Indian film “Astu - So be it“ (2013) by the directors Sumitra Bhave‘s and Sunil Sukthankar’s is about a Sanskrit scholar (Dr. Chakrapani Shastri) who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease being played by Mohan Agashe, who also chaired the following discussion. “Mukhti Bhawan“ (“Hotel Salvation“, 2016), an Indian production by the director Shubhashish Bhutiani, deals with a son who is forced to set his job aside to accompany his elderly father to the holy city of Varanasi, where his father believes he will breathe his last and attain salvation. Biography therapy with music in old age was explored in the German Film “The song of life“ (2013) by director Irene Langmann and discussed by students of Heidelberg University (SAI, HCTS, IOG). The Film Festival closed in presence of film producer Barbara Wackernagel-Jacobs with the screening of the documentary “Sputnik Moment – 30 years gained“, which questions stereotypes of age and argues for a new, positive narrative for the process of aging. Further screenings took place at a primary school in New Delhi (Springdales school), at Maitri College (Delhi University) and at JNU. The Film Festival was very well attended and stimulated and contributed to the public discourse about ageing and demographic change in India. The 2nd Filmfestival for Generations will take place in New Delhi in September 2019.