“Age of Champions”

Splendido to host screenings and reception with Director Chris Rufo of “Age of Champions” documentary about Senior Olympics. Pictured from the movie, The Tigers womens’ basketball team, aged 65 and better. Splendido will host this special event on May 17.

Courtesy photo

“Age of Champions” is the inspiring story of a group of athletes—a 100-year-old tennis champion, 86-year-old pole vaulter, team of basketball grandmothers, and the two swimming brothers— all chasing gold at the National Senior Games. The film captures the triumphant spirit of these competitors as they tackle the challenges of old age with grace, humor, and optimism. Win or lose, they inspire us all to follow our dreams and find purpose at any stage of life. 

And now, it is coming to Tucson. Splendido is pleased to present Age of Champions as part of the Documentary Foundation’s outreach campaign, a grassroots screening initiative in partnership with the AARP, National Council on Aging, and National Senior Games Association.

“We celebrate ways to age well,” says Beth Ernst, Life Enrichment Manager at Splendido. “No matter what you love to do, we encourage you to live your best life -- this film exemplifies that ideal.”

“Age of Champions” is the second film by the Documentary Foundation, a Sacramento, California-based non-profit organization dedicated to documentary production, education, and outreach. Twenty-eight-year-old filmmaking partners Keith Ochwat (producer) and Christopher Rufo (director) released this documentary on the Senior Olympics, which they made for PBS. Their first film, “Roughing It: Mongolia,” aired nationally on PBS and was featured in the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and National Geographic Adventure. The Foundation also administers the Doc School, a documentary filmmaking program for high school students in Northern California.

“When we started making this movie in 2009, the trend of seniors and senior issues in leading roles had not taken off,” Ochwat says. One of the appeals of making “Age of Champions” was filling that void, he says. “There were not that many films about older people in a positive light. They were in a stereotypical role: the wise person, or they’re dying.” 

Now he says the older person being the star is becoming more common.“It reflects the changing demographics in America, and the movie industry is a reflection of the culture of the country,” he says. 

Since his film came out last year, Ochwat has been traversing the country showing it at film festivals and senior communities, with more than 1,000 screenings already. The response? “Phenomenal.” 

The film is also slated for a national PBS broadcast in August 2013 in tandem with the National Senior Olympic Games. But Tucsonans don’t have to wait! On May 17th Splendido will host two screenings of the film at 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. There will be a lunch following the 10:00 a.m. screening and a dessert reception following the 6:30 p.m. with the film’s Director Chris Rufo. 

The public is invited to attend these free events, but space is limited and guests must RSVP by Monday, May 13 to 878-2612.


Screening of “Age of champions”

What: “Age of Champions” screening at Splendido.

When: May 17, at 10 a.m. and again at 6:30 p.m.

Where: Splendido, 13500 N. Rancho Vistoso Blvd.

Information: The public is invited to attend these free events, but space is limited and guests must RSVP by Monday, May 13.

To RSVP, call 878-2612.

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