cybeR- Q: senioRs: caPtuRing the Real senioR MoMent INTERVIEW WITH saffRon cassaDay AND bRenDa RusnaK, THE DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKERS BEHIND THE “CYBER-SENIORS” FILM THAT’S BREAKING DOWN STEREOTYPES ABOUT SENIORS, AND NARRATES THE CONNECTIONS BETWEEN GENERATIONS.
NTEN: CHANGE | MARCH 2015
Congratulations on the film! As Cyber-Seniors is now on a nation-wide tour, can you share some of the feedback that you’ve received from viewers? Thanks! The most common feedback we get is how relatable the film is for all ages. People are reminded of experiences with their older family member interacting with technology. Others relate to the tech challenges in their own lives and laugh along with the frustrating, but funny, learning moments. We also hear how it has inspired people to get involved, which encouraged us to create the Cyber-Seniors: Connecting Generations campaign. From young people wanting to volunteer and start a Cyber-Seniors program in their community, to older people wanting to find tech lessons – we are always so excited to hear when the film has sparked an interest to help bridge the digital divide.
Do you think that this film helps to defy stereotypes of seniors? Definitely. Outside of family, young people and older adults don’t have a lot of opportunities to interact and spend time together. Because of that, I think the teen mentors started the program thinking the participants would be afraid of change and scared of new technology. We quickly learned, and you see in the film, that the seniors do not fit into any typical molds society has created – they are active, curious, and living very fulfilling lives. I think the film also breaks down stereotypes of teens as well. The teen mentors are patient, kind, and the type of people who really care about making a difference in their communities. I think that is representative of a lot of young people.
After shooting this film, what are some key takeaways or surprises that you’ve learned?