Film launch for rural elderly

A SHORT film called "Over the hill?" aims to raise awareness about the reality of growing old in the countryside.

The film is being launched at the Borderlines Film Festival in Herefordshire on Wednesday (29 February) by Mavis Cheek, a writer and commentator on rural living.

Ms Cheek, who lives in rural Wiltshire, said: "Life in the country is tough, a little bit dangerous and not for wimps. I cannot imagine growing old here."

Starring Doreen Mantle (One Foot in the Grave) and Joan Blackham (Bridget Jones' Diary), the film (apx 15 minutes in length) tells the story of a middle-aged couple from Birmingham who come to view their dream home in rural England. However, the couple soon realise that rural retirement brings with it many difficulties.

A trailer of the film can be viewed at

The launch is part of the national Over the hill? campaign being fronted by the Rural Media Company.

Funded by the Nationwide Foundation until December 2012, the campaign aims to encourage people to think about their retirement and to plan effectively – including lobbying their local MPs and other decision makers for the services they will need and want.

Additional campaign materials include a set of eight films depicting good practice in rural older people's services drawn from across England.

An in-depth report and fact sheet have also been compiled for those wishing to find out more about rural retirement.

All resources will be available from the campaign website after 29 February.

Creative Director, Jane Jackson, says: "For many people, rural retirement is their dream. Although it does undoubtedly offer many benefits, the difficulties, although not insurmountable, are often overlooked."

She added: "As the rate of rural ageing increases at a faster pace than in urban areas, we see our campaign as the antidote to 'Welly Telly'.

"Without wishing to put people off rural retirement, it offers a counterbalance to the 'jolly weekends in the countryside attitude'."


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