Silver Screens Film Fest dispels myths of seniors in their golden years

    In celebration of Seniors' Month, The Chang School's 2nd Annual film
    festival brings award-winning independent films to Toronto that deal with
    concepts of aging and maturity

    TORONTO, June 5 /CNW/ - This weekend, the Silver Screens Film Fest will
give audiences a rare chance to see internationally acclaimed films that
dispel the stereotypes associated with aging. In conjunction with Seniors'
Month, the festival's theme, 'An Age of Change,' demonstrates changing
perceptions of seniors and how it's never too late to learn.
    "We live in an environment where being productive is highly valued,"
explains Judith Levkoe, who at age 66, is a member of The G. Raymond Chang
School of Continuing Education Seniors' Education Program and helped launch
the Silver Screens Film Fest last year. "Being productive is equated with
'being at work.' So if you're no longer working because you have retired from
the workforce, you may feel a little left out."
    Created by The Chang School's Seniors' Education Program at Ryerson
University, the festival will feature award-winning independent films from
around the world, all of which explore the theme of aging - and how, as the
Baby Boom generation enters retirement, the concept of aging is changing.
    Each film screening will be followed by a panel discussion and audience
Q&A led by moderator Kevin Courrier, writer, broadcaster, and film critic who
currently teaches film studies in the Seniors' Education Programs at The Chang
    "We're extremely proud and excited by the calibre of films selected this
year - many of which are making their Canadian debut at this festival," says
Sandra Kerr, Director of Seniors' Education Programs at The Chang School. "For
example, our headliner film, The Cats of Mirikitani - which follows the story
of an 80-year old Japanese-American artist living on the streets of New York -
was the winner of the Audience Award at the Tribeca Film Festival. And we're
privileged to have on our panel, Sid Ikeda, Special Ambassador for the
Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, who will share his own experiences spent at
internment camps during and after the Second World War."
    "For our screening of the internationally acclaimed Ballets Russes, we
are fortunate to have Joysanne Sidimus, who danced under the choreographer of
the legendary troupe, for our panel discussion."
    Other films screened during the Silver Screens Film Festival include
Boynton Beach Club (USA), Her Name is Zelda (USA), and Son of the Bride
(Argentina), which deals with issues of the growing 'sandwich' generation. All
span a variety of topics including sex, activism, and relationships.
    "Although the Silver Screens Film Festival is organized by seniors and
the films are selected by seniors, the diverse topics we explore are relevant
and interesting for everyone," says Kerr. "Modern society's definition of
aging is changing dramatically and the notion of who is 'old' is very much a
state-of-mind. So whether you're 65, 55, or 25, you're sure to find something
personally interesting in these world-renowned films."
    The Silver Screens Film Fest was launched last year through The Chang
School's Seniors' Education Program, which provides a variety of educational
programming for adults 50 plus who are interested in continuing to learn with
their peers.
    "The Chang School's commitment to creating education programming that
engages older adults is a priority I share personally," says Anita Shilton,
Dean of The Chang School. "As people live longer, healthier lives, their
demand for intellectual stimulation increases. Through our Seniors' Education
Programs, we create learning opportunities that enable seniors to learn, grow,
and thrive."
    For tickets, visit or contact Linda Nightingale, The Chang
School, 416.979.5103.

    WHEN:        June 8 - June 10

    WHERE:       The Eaton Theatre
                 (Located within the Rogers Communications Centre)
                 80 Gould Street


    Friday, June 8, 6:30p.m. - The Cats of Mirikitani (USA)
    Saturday, June 9, 2:00 p.m. - Son of the Bride (Argentina)
    Saturday, June 9, 7:00 p.m. - Her Name is Zelda (USA)
    Sunday, June 10, 11:00 a.m. - Ballets Russes (USA)
    Sunday, June 10, 2:30 p.m. - Boynton Beach Club (USA)

    With more than 64,000 registrations annually, The G. Raymond Chang School
of Continuing Education ( is Canada's leading provider of
university-based adult education and offers a wide variety of educational
programming that expands opportunities for adults who are 50 plus and who are
interested in continuing to learn with their peers.

For further information:

For further information: For media, to RSVP, or for more information,
contact BlueSky Communications - Sarah Hall, (416) 929-7740,; or Kevin Morrison, (416) 856-9807,

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Ryerson University's The Chang School

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