The COVID-19 global pandemic has profoundly disrupted the lives of millions of people and communities. With elderly populations especially vulnerable to the damaging effect of social isolation and craving connection, digital media company Silver Screen Studios, in association with the nonprofit Reboot and Paper Crane Productions, announces the premiere of Dispatches from Quarantine and Coming of Age, two online video series that celebrate amazing seniors who embody the resiliency, wit and candor we all need to get through these challenging times.
DISPATCHES FROM QUARANTINE
TV legends Larry King, Carl Reiner, Norman Lear, Ellen Burstyn, Marion Ross, and Tommy Chong kick off this irreverent and inspiring look into the lives of seniors (both in and out of the public eye) as they navigate the new abnormal in these unprecedented times, talking, dancing and social distancing their way through quarantine.
"The problem with the pandemic is everyone is in the same boat," says Larry King. "We like to blame things, who you gonna blame? Republican, Democratic, Independent, Communist. No matter who you are, the Pandemic affects you -- and when you take away complaining from a Jewish Guy, what is there to talk about? We love to complain!"
King continues, "Toughest part of being 86, is friends die. I've also had every known illness to man. I don't know what it is. The Doctor said I have incredible spirit, I don't know where that comes from. I love living, I like being around, I like tuning in on things, opening up my eyes in the morning and being relevant. I've got a lot of blessings. I didn't deserve to be this happy."
Presented as both a celebration of seniors and a call to action, the show's creators are encouraging viewers to regularly check-in on their older loves using video conferencing solutions such as Zoom, Skype or FaceTime, ask prompted questions and record the interactions. User submissions can be uploaded via the company's official website at silverscreenstudios.org for possible inclusion in future episodes. Excerpts from the series will be shared via social networking platforms.
COMING OF AGE
A daring escape from Nazi occupied Austria over 80 years ago. A psychedelic journey with The Grateful Dead. A lifetime of service as one of the country's most admired senators. An epic 400th performance of Othello, 70 years in the making. These are some of the stories in Coming of Age, a series of short documentaries about amazing seniors who continue to thrive in old age. At a time of great uncertainty in our changing world their wisdom, humor and insight are a powerful model for navigating the peaks and valleys of aging. From the loss of friends and loved ones to the impact of ageism, these everyday Silver Screen Stars share personal stories that are more authentic, dramatic and entertaining than any Hollywood movie.
The premiere episode tells the story of 102-year-old Los Angeles resident Risa Igelfeld, who shares her experiences of escaping Nazi occupied Austria as a young girl and outliving her husband, boyfriend and both of her children. Even in the face of unrelenting adversity, Risa remains a force of nature who inspires everyone she meets. In reflecting on her life, she chooses to focus on the positive saying, "You must always follow the blessings -- accept whatever happens and look for blessings -- I wasn't going to go under, I was going to go on living and find the sunny side of life."
Silver Screen Studios Co-Creator Tiffany Woolf set out with a very clear goal when she initially launched the venture with PBS Producer Steve Goldbloom in 2017. "My parents died young and I was looking for senior role models to help me navigate life's milestones as I grew older," said Woolf, a publicist and media strategist based in San Francisco. "I started making short films about seniors I admired and partnered with the Jewish arts and culture non-profit organization Reboot to grow the idea into a multimedia platform creating video on demand programming that targets a largely overlooked community.
"With the launch of Dispatches from Quarantine and Coming of Age, I am thrilled to bring these new collection of stories to our platform and to give seniors a space to be seen and heard as we continue our lives under quarantine and beyond."
The premiere episode of both programs will be available at silverscreenstudios.org and on YouTube with subsequent episodes slated to be released weekly.