PBS Documentary 'Stella & Co' offers a joyful look at aging

Premiere Date: Saturday, July 25 at 4:30 p.m. ET

"If it isn't happening, I make it happen"
Estelle Craig
103 years old

Director Robin Baker Leacock with her mother Estelle Craig. (CNW Group/Stella & Co)
Director Robin Baker Leacock with her mother Estelle Craig. (CNW Group/Stella & Co)

TORONTO , July 13, 2020 /CNW/ - Estelle wrote five books after she turned 100.

She wrote seven books between the ages of 95 and 99.

A CBC journalist, playwright, founder of the World Adventure Tours travelogue series, founder of Cinema 16 Festival, and publisher of a children's magazine, Small Types, Estelle lived an extraordinary life.

Estelle was the president of the Variety Club and the Toronto Women's Press Club.

Stella & Co. is a documentary by filmmaker Robin Baker Leacock on her mother Estelle 'Stella' Craig and eight friends aged 75 to 105 living in a seniors residence.

How do you grow old?

What do you do when you're old?

Is age just a number? These are some of the questions Leacock explores in the 50-minute film that can be viewed in Toronto on PBS WNED-TV, Saturday, July 25 at 4:30 p.m. ET . The film airs nationally on PBS this summer.

Click here to view the trailer.

Click here to view the documentary.

Click here to view high-resolution images.

With moving personal stories and candid interviews tackling a range of thought-provoking issues, the film delivers an inspiring and optimistic look at what it means to age in these uncertain times, through humour, music and storytelling. Upon spending time with Estelle and her friends at a dynamic seniors residence in Florida , Baker Leacock wanted to show what can be gleaned from some of the residents more joyful life experiences, and for people to realize they are capable of great things - at any age. After all, Estelle wrote seven books after the age of 95 and five books after the age of 100 years young. Estelle passed away on February 11, 2019 just before her 104th birthday.

Says Baker Leacock, "My hope is that this film will encourage people to remember the great treasure we have in our older generation. We are living in extraordinary times, where our aging population is vulnerable as never before. The goal is to offer viewers a much-needed forward-thinking shift in perspective. Aging is a subject that affects all of us. There is so much to do in terms of caring for our older population."

When speaking about her mother, Estelle, Leacock says, "She never met a microphone she didn't like," Estelle was a maverick and constantly lived and proved the phrase that age is just a number through her never-ending ideas, a sense of humor, and projects.

About Robin Baker Leacock
Toronto -born Robin Baker Leacock is a documentary filmmaker who directed It Girls, A Passion For Giving, Stella Is 95, and I'll Take Manhattan. It Girls is a documentary film about fashion that aired nationally in the U.S. in 2002. A Passion For Giving is a documentary film about philanthropy, focusing on various charities and the simple gesture of helping others. It aired in the fall of 2009 on PBS. I'll Take Manhattan is a comedy about Native Americans and Wall Street. Her films have been shown at the Berlin , Hamptons, and Montreal Film Festivals. Robin is married to filmmaker Robert Leacock , who shot Madonna's Truth or Dare documentary. His father, the late Richard Leacock , was a pioneer in cinema verité documentaries.

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