The underserving of the over-60 moviegoer has become a film industry truism.
And yet — it's an audience largely responsible for keeping indie film alive. (Just ask Tom Bernard and Michael Barker at Sony Pictures Classics.) It's a growing audience: According to a Motion Picture Association of America report, the 60+ age group bought more tickets in 2011 — 170.2 million — than they did in 2010. And we're in the Academy season, which means the over-60s wield tremendous power: After all, they comprise the majority of Academy voters.
And yet, there's always shock, shock! expressed when a movie customized to those audiences make massive bank, like this year's "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" ($10 million budget, $134 million box office).
So we were interested when Heineken approached us with the idea of exploring the 60+ generation. Over the next 10 weeks Steve Greene, Criticwire's assistant editor, will take a closer look at how the over-60 audience is served by the movies made for them as well as profiling the actors and filmmakers who are their peers.
And starting today, Heineken is sponsoring an Open Innovation Challenge, "Capture the 60+ Generation," which reaches out to creative communities who want to film, photograph or write their observations on the lifestyles and preferences of the 60+ age group. And there’s a total of $10,000 in cash prizes, with $5,000 as the top prize.
Full details are available here, but here’s the basics:
Start filming, photographing or writing your observations on what makes the 60+ generation tick. What do they love to eat and drink? When and where do they socialize? How is this different to 20 years ago? And the big question: What could this mean for beer?
"Grumpy Old Men" director Donald Petrie will oversee a jury of filmmakers and photographers, along with two reps from Heineken, in judging the entries. Submission deadline is February 28; the winners will be announced March 29.
For more information, click on the videos below and log on to Ideas Brewery.