90-year-old returns to the director’s chair with film about aged care
Having once worked alongside Hollywood screen icons Ava Gardner and Fred Astaire, the storytelling veteran has donned his director’s cap for a new passion project – a documentary about life at Feros Village Byron Bay, the residential aged care centre he calls home.
Village Life provides an insider’s perspective of the bold, beautiful and vibrant community of Feros Village Byron Bay, with many of Alan’s fellow residents and carers having starring roles in the film.
Shot on location in early 2020, the documentary’s premiere was put on hold due to the unfolding COVID pandemic but Alan finally got his moment in the sun when Feros Village Byron Bay hosted a much anticipated screening for residents, staff, family
and friends on Thursday, February 25.
Alan, who moved into the Marvell Street residential care village two years ago, said he was motivated to get back “behind the camera” to help break down stereotypes around aged care.
“I want to show that aged care doesn’t have to be all long corridors and small rooms,” he said.
“I’ve met some really interesting people here – there’s a lady who has taken up drumming, another who knits enormous, colourful blankets, some whom I’ve done ballet classes with and a man who works on these huge jigsaw puzzles.
“Another resident is a talented artist with an impressive display of paintings in her room.
“There are a lot of different backgrounds and talents here – and stories to share.
“And the whole design of this space – with separate cottages, dining areas and smaller groups – makes it intimate and easy to get to know people.
“The layout means we’re surrounded by nature – and being close to nature really inspires creativity.
“I wanted to capture all this in the short film and portray to outsiders how colourful and engaging ‘village life’ can be.”
Watch the film
Feros Care CEO Jennene Buckley said Village Life was another achievement to add to Alan’s long list of career highlights.
“It’s so important to us that our residents have a sense of purpose – staying strong, healthy, active and socially connected and having a reason to jump out of bed each day and live life” she said.
“The ability to maintain a sense of ‘self-worth’ through passions and hobbies is vital to our residents’ wellbeing and allows them to truly engage in community living and, when possible, contribute to the wider community.
“Sometimes it might mean connecting them with someone with similar interest or activities and pursuits that simply keeps them involved in the things they love.”