15. European Film Festival for Generations - 01.10. til 30.11.2024

The European Film Festival for Generations is a nationwide series of events organized by the Catholic University of Applied Sciences Freiburg and the Institute of Gerontology at the Heidelberg University that presents the public with current films on the topics of age, demographic change and future issues such as migration, inclusion, social cohesion and climate change. Moderated film discussions are intended to promote dialogue between citizens as well as between generations and cultures. The festival was founded in 2010 in Frankfurt/Main and Heidelberg and received the German Ageing Award [Deutscher Alterspreis] of the Robert Bosch Stiftung in 2013 due to its convincing concept. In 2022, more than 100 cities and communities participated in the film festival. More than 12,000 viewers came to the 400 events. The festival enjoys great popularity, with the low-threshold community- and district-oriented accessibility and the combination of stimulating film entertainment and constructive social exchange being particularly appreciated.

What is special about the European Film Festival of Generations is the festival concept. It can be summarized in four points:

European: Films from the European cultural area are predominantly shown. For this purpose, the festival management compiles a list of about 30 films each year, from which the organizers can choose. The focus of the films is on age-related topics, which can also have a current local political reference: for example, housing in old age, social and digital participation in old age, care and health care, sports and activity, music and creativity, but also topics such as integration and migration, social cohesion and climate change.

Decentralized: The film festival is a decentralized social-cultural event series that aims to promote civic exchange even in "cinema-free" communities and neighborhoods. Priority is given to non-commercial (no admission) events at the community level; commercial cinema events are nevertheless also possible. Barrier-free: It is desired that the events be offered at a low threshold (barrier-free, close to the neighborhood, free of charge).

Dialog: A moderated audience discussion following the film screening is a fixed component of a festival event. The local organizers are encouraged to invite experts from practice or science, from the community or politics, who will discuss and deepen the film topic in dialogue with the audience. For some topics, there are also handouts and materials that enable medium- and long-term processing of topics.

Municipalities can benefit

The film festival offers an innovative and at the same time low-threshold instrument especially for municipalities to exchange ideas with citizens on current and future-relevant topics. The specific festival concept can promote community-relevant aspects such as encounters and exchanges between generations and cultures, and thus also civic participation, social participation, inclusion and social cohesion. In addition to the classic cinema as a venue, non-commercial, free film events can also be held in the neighborhood or in the residential area. In this way, people with impaired mobility, the elderly and socially disadvantaged groups can be reached. Examples of venues that have proven their worth over the years include: Community centers, multigenerational houses, libraries, senior citizen and youth centers, retirement homes, schools, churches, or even care support centers. Selected films are used that are relevant to the community or neighborhood and have a promising future. This socio-cultural offering in the local area can also be used to strengthen the social participation and inclusion of disadvantaged groups. In addition, such events can promote neighborly structures, community networks and cooperation.