THIRD ACTion Film Festival

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Celebrating the beauty of age and experience on the silver screen


It’s no secret that older adults are often short-changed on the silver screen. With a few exceptions, movies usually portray seniors as one-dimensional characters and don’t explore the emotional highs and lows that come with aging.

But with the senior population growing, that’s beginning to change as more and more filmmakers are exploring the interior lives of older adults.

Thanks to a new film festival, Calgarians will get a chance to see some of that work.

The THIRD ACTion Film Festival focuses on the concept of age-positive living—that is, celebrating the beauty of age and experience while also recognizing some of the challenges. Executive director Mitzi Murray says she decided to put together the festival after seeing her own parents go through the aging process and being unable to find entertaining material that dealt with both the practical and emotional impacts of aging.

Murray and her team of film reviewers combed through more than 160 submitted films to find material for the nine screenings that will make up the festival.

The idea was to feature movies that will appeal to viewers who are currently in their so-called “third act” of life, as well as their adult children, who may be seeking some insight on their parents’ experiences with aging.

“The best way to educate is to entertain, and I love film,” Murray says. “I thought the festival would be a great way to showcase the positive aspects of aging. The third act of life can be full of vibrancy and joy, but that’s not how it’s generally portrayed. We want to show people the possibilities.”

The inaugural THIRD ACTion Film Festival takes place in Calgary June 8 through 10 at a fully wheelchair-accessible theatre in the Glenbow Museum. Film buffs who miss this year’s festival can look forward to next year’s run, which Murray plans to expand beyond Calgary. [ ]

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