Alongside with the film One, Two, Three, Bars Media with the support of Bertha Connect Fund had put together The Chosen One Campaign of outreach program, in co-operation with different organizations and NGOs.
The two decades since the fall of the USSR has been a period marked by independence, sovereignty and put simply, existence. But in the midst of celebrating this milestone, a dark reality remains: the transition out of Soviet rule has inevitably produced a lost generation of men and women who are living out the final chapters of their lives in seclusion and abject poverty. In Armenia, pensions for seniors are so low that they do not meet many basic needs for survival. Many elderly depend on family members for both financial and psychological support. However, many of our elderly are left alone because most of their families live abroad as our country faces a mass emigration crisis. Today, many senior citizens are marginalized, neglected, and largely ignored by our society. In light of $70 monthly pensions and scarce access to medical care, lonely elders turn into the most vulnerable people in our society and are dying alone.
Seams nothing can change the hopelessness of the situation, but our campaign proves the eternal truth, that no matter what are the circumstances the attitude can change everything. So by inspiring elders and motivating the youth, we want to achieve a transformation in our society.
The campaign The Chosen Ones has an aim to transform our society, and change the perception that people have about aging. We want to remind everyone about issues arousing with aging, as we are all going to get at the end. The campaign is mostly consisting of screenings and discussions of a documentary film ''One, Two, Three'', sometimes combining it with the small performances by the dance troop The Chosen Ones.
The Chosen Ones campaign is going to bring attention to the oldest citizens, who have been sidelined and largely ignored by society at large. Our goal is to inform the people of Armenia about the issues that most fragile citizens face in our country. So we aim to:
- Remind the government and society that these people exist and it is our responsibility to find appropriate ways to integrate them into society
- Urge NGOs and individuals not to ignore the elders and shift focus towards creating more opportunities for social engagement and activity
- Inspire people of all ages to dig deep and take action to improve lives of elders in ways they never imagined.
Despite all the problems that old people have in our country: financial, social and psychological, their whole world starts transforming when they find hope. The main aim of this campaign and the film is to give hope. Thus the film is one of triumph and inspiration. It is one of optimism and renewed hope and a reminder that it is never too late to find the happiness we’re all looking for.
The campaign has 3 main targets
• Old people – we aim to make them more active in society, as well as to inspire them to involve in dancing
• Young people – we aim to change their attitude towards old ones, so there will be open to connect with old and do more events for them and with them
• Government – we want to raise awareness about the problems that aging people have and cooperating with government and NGOs concerning the issue, bring a better policy for our country.
The campaign is organizing film screenings with free entrance all around the country. We were active in Social Media and always give out information about upcoming events. During the campaign we are planning to have 5 public screenings in Yerevan and 10 screenings in Regions, we are planning to have 2 programs on TV covering the issues and wider Media coverage about the campaign and film. After all the massage will be transferred to many people to inspire and change their perspective about ageing. The campaign is going to be implemented through different national partners: NGOs and cultural organizations.
The film still has not had its world premiere. As the film starts bringing awareness within international level, the word is already spread all over Armenia. Many old people are getting inspired by it and we know that this needs to be continued. New films need to be made, new campaigns need to start rolling and lots of work needs to be done to help our society become better and better. We have done a lot and still continue working with those people who are interested in this issue, to bring transformation we aim to.
This film brings a message about breaking the ossified boundaries and prejudices that the elderly people cannot share love and joy like the youngsters.
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There has been organized more than 25 film screening sine 2015 summer around Armenia. Our work with different organizations helps us keep the fire on and held new screenings in more places by the initiative of the NGOs, cultural or political organizations.
The screenings are aimed for different focus groups: for youth, for elders, for mixed audiences and etc.
There has been several press conferences covering the campaign and/or in the same focus that the campaign aims.
There has been 2 big press conferences during the Golden Apricot Yerevan International Film Festival and one with all the NGO's concerned about needs of old at October 1st.
After most of the screenings there were held Q/A sessions with the audience, which starts from touching the creative themes of the film and then the discussion turns around the issues that old people face in our country and society. The discussions bring better understanding for the current situation and fire people to undertake actions to start changing something. As we see it all starts from the attitude, we inspire people to understand and emotionally bond with elders, they begun to bring to life new programs and ideas for the betterment of old ones.
It's impressing when we talk about active elders or show any material or do a discussion, but what really changes hearts and truly transforms everyone are the performances of The Chosen Ones. When after screening in some events we had the chance to also put small performance with the troupe, the emotional influence on audience was tenfold. When people see them dancing, they feel inspired and thrilled. A normal rout is for everyone to try to talk to dancers, to ask if they can join in or to ask if they can help in any way..