Former Mercy Hospice volunteer and physical therapist Kathy Roselli said she’s thrilled to return to the place she called home for more than 20 years for a special screening of her award-winning film.
“OLD?!” is a documentary on aging that runs 55 minutes and is showing at Mt. Shasta Sisson Museum next Wednesday, Dec. 2, at 7 p.m. All proceeds from the event are going to support Mercy Hospice.
“I want people to see my film but I love that it has the additional purpose of raising funds,” Roselli said.
She said she hopes to see some familiar faces from her days as manager of physical therapy at Mercy Medical Center Mount Shasta and making rounds throughout Siskiyou County for in-home therapy visits.
Roselli has been hard at work in her retirement, making four movies in the past seven years. She took video production classes at College of the Siskiyous in 2008, and says making movies is a creative outlet.
She described her approach to filmmaking as a minimalist, organic process in which ideas appear as flashes in the back of her mind. Armed with a photographer’s digital SLR camera that shoots video and a microphone attachment, Roselli captures all of her footage in natural light.
“It’s rather challenging to shoot video on this camera, but it works for me,” she said. “With all my films that I’ve made I’ve gone out and gathered footage and then go right into the edit bay with my editor so we’re stringing together segments.”
Roselli said she “couldn’t put my films together” without her editor, Claudia Ballard of Storyline Pictures in Ashland, Ore.
On her website, www.k-roseproductions.com, she credits Nathan Johnston for being her first mentor and editor, and refers to Therese Condit as “the key editor” for her first two films, “Portrait of Isabelle” and “Breath In Three Verses.”
“OLD?!” took about 18 months to make and features personal stories from more than 70 people ages 10 days to 101 years.
The idea came to her when she turned 60 years old and was shocked by how quickly that happened, Roselli said. “Aging is something that happens all of a sudden when we aren’t looking or paying attention. You know, we’re constantly asking little kids, ‘How old are you?’ Probably in their teens or twenties, this isn’t asked as often. I started thinking about what the word means to people of all ages.”
She said the title “OLD?!” came to her exactly as it’s written, in all capital letters and with a question mark followed by an exclamation point.
To find subjects for interviews, Roselli relied on her own personal network. Her grandchildren and her editor’s grandchildren are featured in the film, as well as friends of friends. She also approached strangers she thought might fit well into the film.
Roselli joked that she “accosted” one young man in a grocery store who ended up agreeing to be interviewed.
“I really like to showcase individuals,” she said. “In my films, I have shied clear of experts. So the extraordinary people add up to offer a perspective on aging that’s more powerful than going to physicians and experts on aging.”
While the filmmaker doesn’t appear in “OLD?!,” Roselli said her own perspective shines through the finished product. “I worked with my editor to put together the film in a way that reflects my own perspective on aging in that it has its challenges and its joys. There are some excellent role models for what to do and what not to.”
Roselli has spent the past year hopping around the country promoting “OLD?!” at various film festivals.
“Film promotion, when you’re a micro-producer like I am, involves primarily submitting films to film festivals,” she said.
She concentrated on festivals in her home region of Oregon and California, as well as Texas and North Carolina, where her children live.
“OLD?!” won the Best of Fest Award at the Reel to Reel International Film Festival in Kings Mountain, North Carolina, and a Special Storytelling Award at the State of Jefferson Flixx Fest in Fort Jones.
“OLD?!” made the cut for Portland Film Festival this year, which Roselli said was her biggest festival yet. “3,400 films were submitted to that one, and only 200 were selected,” she said.
The film was also screened at San Antonio Film Festival and Legacy Film Festival in San Francisco.
Roselli said she’s not sure what’s next, but thinks she wants to do something that doesn’t involve talking heads. “I’ve been thinking a lot about making a film about sheep,” she said.
For more information on Kathy Roselli, see http://www.k-roseproductions.com/