HelpAge International recruits Young Lions to engage with ageing

PRESS RELEASE: For immediate use Saturday 22nd June 2013

HelpAge International has challenged contestants in this year's Young Lions Film Competition to inspire today's youth into becoming campaigners to end age discrimination and fight for older people's rights.

The 40 teams from across the world were asked to create a film that would change people's perceptions to help young people understand that older people are fighting for a better older age - not just for themselves but for everyone, including today's young people who will themselves be old in 2050. Anyone now over the age of 23 will be an older person in 2050 - and this includes most of the competitors.

Age discrimination and ageism are tolerated across the world - one of the last forms of discrimination that is still legal. HelpAge wants to involve more young people in campaigning for a new United Nations convention which would make clear governments' responsibilities to protect older people's rights and create a framework that would hold them to account.

Silvia Stefanoni, Interim Chief Executive Officer of HelpAge International, said:
"HelpAge International has been working for 30 years to help improve the lives of older people around the globe. Age discrimination is really happening in the world and the same will happen to today's young people if they don't act now to challenge it. With support and investment we can all live a healthy and dignified old age and continue to contribute to society - but we need to change perceptions now. Young and old depend on each other - our shared future depends on recognising and investing in all our age groups."

Attila Kulcsar, Media Relations Manager at HelpAge, said:
"I am extremely proud that HelpAge International - in this, its 30th anniversary year - has been chosen as the charity for the 2013 Young Lions Film Competition. This has been a unique and valuable opportunity to connect with young people on the issue of the world's ageing population. Today's young people have to realise that older people are fighting for a better older age for all. If young and old do not join forces today to make a better world for people of all ages, what sort of world will today's young people be living in when they are 60?"


Notes to editors

1. Ageing in the 21st Century: HelpAge, in collaboration with the United Nations, last October launched a landmark report, Ageing in the Twenty-First Century: A Celebration and a Challenge, which drew attention to global population ageing and the need for governments to prepare for growing numbers of older people. The report called for a concerted global effort to realign 21st century society to fit the realities of 21st century demographics.

2. Age Demands Action: a global grassroots campaign supported by HelpAge and led by activists who challenge age discrimination and fight for the rights of older people. ADA was launched in 2007 in 27 countries and has rapidly grown to more than 100,000 campaigners, young and old, in more than 60 countries worldwide, with many countries seeing policy changes.

Age Demands Action has created a sustainable environment where older people lead in bringing about tangible changes in their country and globally. The focal day of the campaign is the International Day of Older Persons on 1st October where older people take part in various awareness-raising activities:

3. Campaigning for a new UN convention: older people experience discrimination and violation of their rights at a family, community and institutional level. Older people remain invisible in the implementation and monitoring of existing human rights law. As a result, older people's rights are not being sufficiently protected.

A new UN convention would provide a definitive, universal position that age discrimination is morally and legally unacceptable. A convention would also be a powerful advocacy tool and encourage a shift away from the perception of older people as recipients of welfare to seeing them as rights holders with responsibilities.

HelpAge will use the videos produced in the competition to encourage young people to get involved by signing our petition for a new convention:

4. Young Lions Film Competition
During the Young Lions Film Competition, two creatives aged 28 or under had 48 hours to write, shoot and edit a commercial up to 60 seconds in length. On Wednesday the teams received the creative brief from HelpAge International. The competitors then had a night to think the brief over and worked between 8am and 8pm the following two days day to create their film before it was judged by the Film Lions jury. Gold, Silver and Bronze medals have been awarded to winners, with the Gold-winning team receiving its prize on stage at Awards Ceremony on Saturday night, 22 June 2013.

About HelpAge International
HelpAge International helps older people claim their rights, challenge discrimination and overcome poverty, so that they can lead dignified, secure, active and healthy lives. Our work is strengthened through our global network of like-minded organisations - the only one of its kind in the world.

Contact Attila Kulcsar in Cannes until Sunday 23rd June on mobile: +44 7713567624 (or at HelpAge International's office in London on +44 (0) 20 7148 7623, email

60th Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, 16-22 June 2013, Cannes, France:
The International Festival of Creativity, also known as Cannes Lions, is the world's leading celebration of creativity in communications. Founded in 1954, the Festival takes place every June in Cannes, France.

As the most prestigious international annual advertising and communications awards, over 34,300 entries from all over the world are showcased and judged at the Festival. Winning companies receive the highly coveted Lion trophy, a global benchmark of creative excellence, for Film, Print, Outdoor, Interactive, Radio, Design, Promo & Activation, Film Craft, Mobile, Branded Entertainment and Integrated advertising, as well as the best Media, Direct, PR, Titanium, Creative Effectiveness and Innovation ideas. The Festival is also the only truly global meeting place for advertisers, advertising and communication professionals. More than 11,000 delegates from 95 countries attend a week-long programme of exhibitions, screenings and talks by worldwide thought leaders. As the networking and learning opportunity of the year, Cannes Lions is the must-attend event for anyone involved in brand communications.

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