Film Festival for Generations, Mumbai

The Film Festival for Generations took place in Mumbai, India from 04th to 05th October 2019 as part of the DAAD- cooperation project "New Directions in 'Active Aging' and 'Age-friendly Culture' in India and Germany" (Heidelberg University and Jawaharlal Nehru University). Following the example of the “European Film Festival for Generations“ and in line with the Film Festival for Generations New Delhi, which has been launched for the first time in India in 2018 and continued in 2019, fiction and documentary films on age-relevant topics have been introduced. Aim of the festival is to build a bridge between academic research and the general public to discuss age-related topics and to transfer images of active ageing and age-friendly culture.

The Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan hosted the Film Festival for Generations and its opening was inaugurated by Mr Peter Kern (German Consulate Mumbai) welcoming the audience and speaking on ageing, population and demographic changes in India and Germany. In the following, Dr Martin Gieselmann (HU) presented the aims and activities of the project "New Directions in 'Active Aging' and 'Age-friendly Culture' in India and Germany" and Dr Pablo Holwitt (HU) outlined the Festivals objectives such a to open up the discourse on age and ageing to a broader audience, to sensitize it for future possibilities and actual limits of demographic change and active ageing, and to clarify and constrast culture-specific perspectives on age and ageing.  

Opening film was the German production “Forget me not“ (2017) - a documentary on dementia by regisseur David Sieveking (2012) portraying the domestic care of his mother, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. The interesting discussion after the screening was moderated by Dr Malte Sieveking, father of the regisseur and main protagonist, who enriched the question-answer session with personal aspects and statements on the film’s topic. The opening closed with a reception.

At the next day films from India and Germany were screened dealing with topics such as activity and creativity in old age, housing, and dementia and care.  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 Hrishikesh Pawar (Centre of Contemporary Dance, Pune). Second film screening was the Hindi film “Rui ka Bojh - the weight of cotton” playing in rural North India. The family drama shows how the relationship between a father and his son worsens as the father settles down with his son and as the father’s health deteriorates increasingly. After the screening Prof. Dr. Nasreen Rustomfram (TATA Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai) engaged with the audience in a lively discussion with the consent that the current situation of the Elderly living in rural India is not to different as the scenario shown in the film. The Film Festival closed with the Indian film “Astu-So be it” (2013) on family care and Alzheimer in presence of the main actor Dr Mohan Agashe, who moderated also the post-screening debate with focus on dementia in India. The Film Festival for Generations in Mumbai was very well attended by young and old alike and fostered not only the public discourse about ageing and demographic change in India but also the intergenerational dialogue. The next Film Festival for Generations in Mumbai will take place in April 2020.

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