1. How these films change the attitudes towards older people
  2. How and if the festival creates opportunities for social interaction for older people from a range of backgrounds and settings
  3. If and How the festival creates opportunities for old and young people to meet and talk to each other
  4. Explore the cost and sustainability of the event & replicability within other parts and setting within the UK


In 2006 to Frankfurt Council funded a survey on older peoples issues, their inclusion and (potential) participation in activities in Frankfurt.

The findings from this resulted in the creation of a new small public health and prevention department in the GESUNDHEIT APT . In this department the innovative cinema festival, the Silver Screen Film Festival was designed in 2009 and had its first showings in 2010.

It was developed in a partnership, which continues between Heidelberg University and the Gesundheit apt in Frankfurt am Main. Matthias Roos from the Public Health Department of the City of Frankfurt am Main and Dr. Michael Doha of the University of Heidelberg who founded the festival remain the directors of the programme and the contact between that university and Frankfurt Department of Health continues to underpin the festival. The Gesundheit apt changed its name in 2014 to “Gesundheitsamt”.

The patron of the festival, former German federal minister and head of the biggest German umbrella organisation for seniors (BAGSO) Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Ursula Lehr held the first Chair for Gerontology at a German University, The University of Heidelberg.

Prof. Ursula Lehr is   has been a leading spokesperson on older peoples issues in Germany. She is now the BAGSO president and opens the festival in Frankfurt every year.

Chronology and take up

In its first year there were two Cinemas involved with the festival. One in Heidelberg and one in Frankfurt. At the first festival there were 500 guests at the festival.

Between 2010 and 2013, five cities became engaged with the Festival and the numbers of guests attending rose to about 4.000.

In 2014 30 cities were involved and there were over 10.000 guests.

In 2014 the festival won a national award, the “German senior citizens’ award” presented by one of the biggest and most renowned German foundations, the Robert Bosch Foundation.

At the presentation of the award by the patron Ursula Schwesig, German Federal Minster, the festival was praised for drawing ” … attention to excellent examples of life in old age and demonstrate how committed older people are to leading an active life, but also how people can make concerted efforts to effect change with and on behalf of senior citizens.”

The Minister went on to say, “ I believe it is important to make evident the ways in which commitment can serve to bolster intergenerational cohesion.”

Read more about the award here

This year, 2015, the organisers of the Silver Screen-Festival of Generations, in cooperation with the International Relations Office of the City of Frankfurt is planning to build an exchange platform for representatives from different European countries and Frankfurt’s partner cities. From Generation to Generation is delighted to be part of that exchange platform and pilot a small version of the festival in London.

A new development has been the adoption of the Festival by Mercateo. They have adopted it as their corporate social responsibility project. They founded a new association “Mitteldeutsche Filmfreunde” to help spread the festival far and wide in Germany.


Matthias Roos
Silver Screen Festival Coordinator

Email: matthias.roos@stadt-frankfurt.de
Tel.: + 49 – 69 212-34 502