Joke your way to 100

An Australian documentary about a special club for centenarians has picked up another award – and being funny just might be your ticket to getting into such a club, says the film’s director.

Flickchicks director Mandy Lake and producer Margie Brown with their United Nations Association of Australia Media Peace Award for their documentary The 100+ Club 

By Natasha Egan

Being funny could be the secret to living to 100 and beyond, says the maker of a  documentary about a centenarian social club, which picked up a United Nations Association of Australia Media Peace Award in Melbourne last Friday.

Flickchicks filmmakers Mandy Lake and Margie Brown, and their film The 100+ Club, won in the special category of ‘Promotion of Positive Images of the Older Person’.

Ms Lake, director of Flickchicks and The 100+ Club, said they couldn’t have done it without the fantastic centenarians featured in the film.

“All of our characters had a cracking sense of humour, that’s the thing about centenarians, they’re all funny people. I think that’s the secret to longevity,” Ms Lake said.

The 30-minute film, which aired on ABC television, follows three members of the social club.

There’s 101-year-old athlete Ruth Frith, performer Olive Webber, 103, and outback author Dexter Kruger, 100.

Despite their ages, all are still pursuing their dreams. (Olive Webber has since passed away.)

“We’re obviously just totally over the moon [about the award],” Ms Lake said. “I’d like to dedicate it to our three stars and their families.”

However, Ms Lake said when she called Ruth Frith to say they dedicated the award to her, the star was reluctant to accept the dedication and praised the filmmakers instead.

“They were just so excited. I think it does mean a lot to them. Dex went to church and told everyone. And Ruth told people too,” Ms Lake said.

“They’re not ones to push their opinions on anyone either. [But] I think they’re secretly chuffed that the film could have an impact.”

It’s the second gong for the film, which shared the best TV current affairs program prize at the Older People Speak Out media awards at the beginning of October.  

Ms Lake described the documentary as a genuinely positive film with a strong message that they wanted to get across – that “older Australians have quite a lot to offer and should be given a go.”

Coming up

Up next for Flickchicks in the world of older Australians is another documentary currently in development.

It’s a series looking at homeshare programs, which match older people still living at home with younger people, such as university students, to reside with them.

Homeshare is doing really well in Victoria, extremely well in the UK and getting introduced into Queensland soon, Ms Lake said.

The plan is to follow four or five different homeshare pairs from around Australia for a year including putting cameras in the house and getting participants to do video diaries.

The skills of a Flickchicks cameraman who has worked on Big Brother will come in handy for this project, Ms Lake said. 

Filming is planned to kick off in the next couple of months, she said.

You can watch a preview of The 100+ Club here or buy the film on DVD through Flickchicks here

Tags: 100-club, centenarian, flickchicks, mandy-lake, margie-brown, media-peace-award,

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