Inspiration for the film “All These Moments” came from the desire to do something different. Film director Allie Kilpatrick, the resident program coordinator at The Solana Vintage Park, wanted “All These Moments” to be a story that was told and the movement to match. Kilpatrick collaborated with Isis Issa, district director of clinical services, who has written several poems. The one she wrote for the film was inspired by her grandmother, who taught her how to write poetry.
“All These Moments” offers a reflection of a woman’s life, contrasting who she is with the challenges of aging. Labeth Kester, a 95-year-old resident, plays the lead role and delivers a touching, honest performance. We talked to Kilpatrick about the film and what went into making it.
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What were you trying to say with this film?
Kilpatrick: Last year’s film was fighting the stigma of a nursing home. The route I went this year was to really tell a story about seniors who have so much to say. It’s like every wrinkle on their faces tells a story. If someone sat down and talked with them, they could hear so much.
Why was that topic important to you?
Kilpatrick: Because as we talk about aging, younger generations don’t understand what it’s like to age. We wanted to enlighten the younger generations about what our residents are thinking and how they are still people who get up every day and want to experience life. They still put on lipstick. They still have desires. They remember who they are and they are the same person inside, even if their bodies don’t function like they want them to.
How many people participated in making this film?
Kilpatrick: We had auditions for the part and five people auditioned, but after we chose Labeth it was the three of us.
What was the most challenging part of the film-making process?
Kilpatrick: The most challenging part was getting Labeth to really do what I was trying to capture for the screen. There’s a hearing barrier there. We spent a lot of time trying to get one shot, but it was still a lot of fun.
How did this project help connect residents and associations at your community?
Kilpatrick: It really started with the film we made last year. I don’t think we expected something as grand as the festival was. No one thought we’d get this kind of attention. This year everyone is excited and willing to be on the same page as me. We had a lot of advocates. Before, there were people saying we can’t do it, even from the perspective of getting on a plane and flying to the festival, but we’ve broken the barrier.
What did you like best about creating this film?
Kilpatrick: What I liked best was talking to Labeth and telling her this was happening. She told me a story about how she tried out for a play at a much younger age. She practiced and practiced and went to the audition but didn’t get the part. She said that she never forgot that. She’d always wanted to be in the limelight and be an actress. How cool is it that she gets to be an actor now and really live it that dream?
Is there anything else you want to tell us about your film or your crew?
Kilpatrick: When we found out that we were nominated, Isis was in the building. We got to share that with her and she was very emotional about it. It impacted all of us. Overall, this was just a great opportunity and I’m excited about it. I know some people don’t participate or submit films to the festival but I hope maybe our story will show them they can do it.