2nd Film Festival for Generations, New Delhi

The 2nd Film Festival for Generations took place in New Delhi from 29th to 30th September 2019 in context of the DAAD- cooperation project "New Directions in 'Active Aging' and 'Age-friendly Culture' in India and Germany" (Heidelberg University and Jawaharlal Nehru University). As continuation of the 1st Film Festival for Generations, which was launched in New Delhi in 2018, a number of films with particular focus on age and ageing have been introduced followed by discussions on the topic with experts of the respective field. The festival‘s concept is based on the European Film Festival for Generations, which was held for the tenth time in October 2019 in more than hundred communities all over Germany and is being organized at the Institute of Gerontology (HU). Aim of the festival is to transfer images of active ageing and age-friendly culture and to build a bridge between academic research and the general public to discuss age-related topics.

The official opening of the festival at the India Habitat Centre was inaugurated by Phillip von Ritter (German Embassy New Delhi) speaking on ageing and demographic change in India and by Dr Martin Gieselmann (HU) and Suboor Bakht (HU) delineating the festival’s concept and aims such as to foster the intergenerational dialogue, to disseminate images of active and healthy ageing, and to increase knowledge and awareness amongst those directly or indirectly involved with the respective topics. Opening film was the American documentary “Alive Inside“ (2014) by filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett, who observed the astonishing experiences how individuals with dementia have been revitalized through the simple experience of listening to music. Second film screening was the Hindi drama “Rui ka Bojh - the weight of cotton” based on the novel “Gawah Ghair Hazir”. Playing in rural North India the film shows how the relationship between a father, suffering from age-related health problems, and his son deteriorates increasingly as the father settles down with his son. Both film screenings evoked interesting discussions on age-related topics between the audience and the discussants Dr Martin Gieselmann (HU) and Prof. Dr Shohini Ghosh (Jamia Millia Islamia University).  

The interactive workshop “Fifty ways to organize an Intergenerational Film Festival” led by Matthias Roos (Public Health Authority Frankfurt am Main) took place at the India International Centre at the Film Festival’s second day. Persons from different professional fields and academic backgrounds discussed and collected together ideas and experiences for the creation of an own intergenerational film festival for older and younger audiences in New Delhi or in other parts of India. The brainstorming and round table discussion was followed and concluded by a networking lunch amongst the participants.

In the afternoon the documentary “Alive Inside” on dementia and music was screened at the Kamala Nehru College (University of Delhi) and was visited by a large number of students, project members and Matthias Roos, who provided the question and answer session after the film screening.  The closing event of the Film Festival was hosted in cooperation with Samvedna Senior Care Foundation at their senior care centre in Gurugram. Members, staff and DAAD-project participants watched the German production “Sputnik Moment – 30 years gained“, which shows how senior citizens in Germany and the US were taking up second careers to fill their time and to improve their financial situation through an additional income. Filmmaker Barbara Wackernagel-Jacobs questions in her documentary hereby stereotypes of age and ageing by arguing for a new positive narrative for the process of ageing.  The post-screening debate with focus on the Indian scenario was moderated by Archana Sharma (founder and managing director of Samvedna).

Overall the 2nd Film Festival for Generations New Delhi attracted a large number of visitors and offered a comprehensive opportunity for a fruitful exchange on age and ageing in India. The 3rd Film Festival for Generations in New Delhi and an extension to other locations in India is planned for April 2020.

Here you can download the program of the Film Festival for Generations.