Film Festival on Aging hits local theaters

A 30-minute documentary about Berkeley-based Jewish sculptor Bella Feldman, with a guest appearance by director Elizabeth Sher, is part of the opening day lineup at the International Film Festival on Aging.

The three-day festival, the first of its kind on the West Coast, will be held in San Francisco (at the AMC Van Ness 14 and the Castro Theatre) and in Emeryville (AMC Bay Street 16) from Feb. 20 to 22.

The festival features 24 films from around the world that celebrate the joys and challenges of aging and address archaic preconceptions about growing older.

Feature-length, documentary, experimental, animated and short films address issues such as mature romance and sex; creativity and activism in aging; images of women;  challenges of aging; quality of life; and gender questions.

Several of the films have Jewish content or themes, such as “Bella Bella,” a 27-minute documentary directed by Sher; “Tillie Olsen: A Heart in Action,” a 66-minute homage to Tillie Lerner Olsen directed by Annie Hershey; “The Self Made Man, “ a 60-minute story about a dying father directed by Susan Stern; “203 Days,” a 23-minute documentary about a mother facing death; and “The Sandwich Generation,” a 28-minute account of two caregivers directed by Julie Winokur.

Opening day events on Feb. 20, will be held at the Castro Theater, and will feature Sher, Hershey and two other filmmakers.

The festival is being presented by AgeSong Senior Communities and the Pacific Institute. For information about the films, show times and ticket prices, visit or call (510) 635-4150.