Creating an award-winning documentary
In this case study, you’ll learn how we won the Best Director awards in London and Nice with The Fit Generation.
Last year, we were honoured to receive several international awards with The Fit Generation, a 43-minute documentary that invites us to rethink our concept of aging and inspires us to take action for a healthier future.
The film is a passion project created by Eyes Multimedia’s founder and avid storyteller Elton Hubner. It started with the curiosity to find out what drives the senior population of British Columbia to stay fit and the impact of continuing to exercise in their later years.
Finding the right people to feature in the film was part of a long journey. Hundreds of active seniors involved in a wide range of sports had incredible stories to tell, but we could only pick a few for the film. George Tjelios-Nicholas was one of them.
George is 86 years old and lives in Whistler. He has arthritis, has overcome prostate cancer, has had two knee replacements and suffers from constant back pain. Nevertheless, he’s a ski instructor at the biggest ski resort in North America. He’s basically a super hero and he’s not the only one.
Gwen McFarlan, also 86, broke the world record in marathons many times and she had only started running in her 60s, after being diagnosed with breast cancer. All the seniors featured in the film face similar obstacles. Yet, they choose to stay incredibly active and to have the most fun they’ve ever had in their lives.
During production, we also discovered that being part of a group that exercises is also very important. A great example is ‘The Fit Fellas’ from the West Vancouver Community Centre. They’re more than 100 guys with an average age of 78 who work out every morning led by a few instructors also in their 70s, including Barrie Chapman. After their workout, most of them stay another hour talking and laughing while having a coffee with the best cinnamon buns in the world.
After 3.5 years in production and post-production, The Fit Generation was ready to inspire people worldwide and to bring back home several international awards:
Best Director of a Short Documentary – by The Nice International Film Festival (2019)
Best Director of a Feature Documentary - by The London International Filmmaker Festival (2019)
Excellent Short Documentary - by San Francisco International New Concept Film Festival (2018)
Award of Excellence - by Impact DOCS Award (2018)
Award of Merit - by IndieFEST Film Awards (2018)
"I want as many people as possible to watch this documentary and hopefully change their lives for the better," says Elton, who spent hundreds of hours to produce and edit the film himself. “The message of the film is very clear: Whatever you’re facing, there’s no excuse. If you want to live a better life, you should go ahead and do it.”
The film was premiered in Vancouver last year and in Whistler earlier this year, and it’s now available for anyone to watch it for free at thefitgeneration.ca.
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