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Frankfurt am MainGermany
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

12 women in their late 60´s profile their life in the radically different role of a clown stating new aspects of aging and reflecting the change.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

On their way to the stage their families require the services of a traditional grandma, their husbands tend to reject the clown and their spare time is dumped with other social activies! They are blamed by prejudices when it comes to funding and organising themselves for an aimed tour: aren´t they just filling their spare time with an oldagers funprogram?

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Individual decisions are to be made! What´s up and what´s down in my 65+ life? What is important? What may I leave? Our protagonists decide to follow their vision: to make their way back to humour - a missing quality in their life, as they realize for themselves. Will they succeed in their idea to establish a clown-ensemble and going on tour. Up to May 2013 they did! They managed a spectaculos premiere in zurich and enjoyed the audience with their laughter. What benefits will families have and what does society gain by stepping in active aging? The 90minutes documentary sharpens the traditional profile of "grandma" and sets up a new idea of aging. CHANGING ROLES - a 99 minutes documentary- DVD for educational purposes & everyday familly affairs.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Suzan is one of our protagonists. She is a mother and grandmother, equipped with her lifetime experience and many skills - especially in art. But she could not get over a family-tragedy. And since that time in 2010 she was not out in town for a concert or theater. When she decides to follow the one-year clown-workshop, aiming a show and a tour, she regains courage. And social contact - and - what a surprise: she reveals her talents as a singer and band-leader!

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Retirement is traditionally fraught with clichés, which are closer to fairy tales than to modern life. The documentary CHANGING ROLES fills the gap and offers true life aging experience. Up to twelve ladies share their memories about their own grandmothers, open their lifes and perform intense physical work and terrific humour with their clowns! The film will not only reach "multipliers" but further more: everyone from 7 to 109. And carry a new reality to european citizens by means of serious entertainment! The producers are already "on location", a lot of rehearsing and interview sequences are already filmed and even the Premiere. Next step funding should finance the clown-show on tour and the postproduction. We plan to distribute our selves.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

The documentary CHANGING ROLES will be available on the DVD and VideoOnDemand market. And be promoted via european docFilm festivals and platforms, functioning as multiplier. With the project we are able to present a particular solution within public matters in a worldwide debatte. The programm will be available in german & french.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Fortunatly the EU adresses the problem of aging societies. And further on you will find media on this sector, instantly proclaiming latest numbers on population matters. Or aging becomes a blueprint for comedies in TV and entertainment. CHANGING ROLES (ROLLENWECHSEL, german working title) performs with true people in true situations. The documentary presents solutions thought and enacted by the protagonists themselves. Encouraging everyone to change and get active!

Founding Story

It was just a phone-call! One of our friends - a director and clown was asked to manage and direct a clown-workshop for ladies 65plus in Zuerich. She gave us a call and asked: could you imagine to be with us and decide upon filming? When we got there, we were amazed by the ladies, their impact and their kindness. But behind that great club we experienced the power of the framework: the swiss, initiated a seria of events, trying to research and define a new idea of aging for women. This social and political initiative has encouraged us to follow the idea of a documentary and open the curtain for a very specific clown-show, presenting the ladies behind and their clowns onstage.
About You
About You
First Name


Last Name


Implementer(s) and cooperation partners



Private company

Country where main implementer is located
How long has the main implementer been operating?

More than 5 years

Please provide a short description of the main implementer.

XARAS filmproduction is based in Frankfurt am Main/ germany.
Attached to a network of colleagues, we provide all services for film production and develop ideas & programms from the very first idea up to the finishing independently.

Cooperation partner

Please select

How does this cooperation partner support the initiative? What competencies and resources does this partner bring to the initiative?
Cooperation partner

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How does this cooperation partner support the initiative? Which competencies and resources does this partner bring to the initiative?
Cooperation partner

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How does this cooperation partner support the initiative? Which competencies and resources does this partner bring to the initiative?
Cooperation partner

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How does this cooperation partner support the initiative? Which competencies and resources does this partner bring to the initiative?
Problem and solution
Which of these fields of Active and Healthy Ageing are addressed by your initiative?

Independent living solutions, Social inclusion (intergenerational practice, work and volunteering), Age friendly buildings, environments, and communities.

If none of the above, answer here:
Please describe if and how your stakeholders (cooperation partners, funders, users, etc.) have been participating in defining the problem and developing the solution.

The public filmfunding in Hessia/Germany provided the development of the treatment after reading our basic idea in an exposé in 2012. The need for a discussion about new aspects of aging was evident and forces media to come in as multipliers.

Has your solution been tested in trials, experimentations, or pilot projects? If yes, please describe the process and outcome.

Strong research took place to develop the film-idea. For developping and writing the treatment for our documentary we spent 2 weeks with our protagonists. That time was more than useful to step inside the dynamics of a 65+ aged group, consisting of 12 women and the directrice. What was the effect? A class 1 script (treatment) and an even better teaser. (see youtube).
In addition we got true positive feedback from big swiss sponsor MIGROS Kulturprozente. They opened already their doors for the postprocessing funding; we bring in a swiss production company with late 2013 to stay conform for swiss funding!

How long has your solution been in operation?

for less than a year

Please select the relationship between your solution and related solutions currently established in our society. Is your solution…

adaptive (your solution builds on existing solutions and is improving them without radically changing them)

What barriers might hinder the success of your initiative? How do you plan to overcome them?

We experienced further filmfunding and TV-stations in germany to refuse with the argument, that they do not want to risk the attendances: elder women on stage and costumed as clowns are not a save investment.
Our plan to overcome is, to produce independently and to follow the invitation for final funding in swiss.
This reflects the theme: aging between traditional roles and modern societies!

Organization and funding
Regularly paid employees






External advisers and experts


Others (please specify)

XARAS consists of two holders. Additionally colleagues come in as independent specialists.

What are the specific professional backgrounds and competencies your team brings to the initiative?

Bahman Kormi, born in 1963, holds a diploma in arts and filmmaking and teaching cinematography.
Britta Kastern, born in 1963, is the second holder of XARAS and is an experienced editor for feature film and documentaries. Both are authors and directors. With this experience and the idea of constantly growing older, we have personal input and interest to reflect on aging with our means.

Please describe your management or coordination structure in the initiative.

Britta Kastern, directrice and author, germany
Bahman Kormi, co-director, co-author and cinematographer;
Steffi Giaracuni, assistant to Britta Kastern and swiss-producer

Please provide the total yearly budget in Euro that your initiative spends on implementing the solution.

12000 €

National public funding


European Union public funding


Economic return from own products/services


Foundations and philanthropy capital


Single donations from private individuals


Donations from private companies


Crowdfunding platforms


Participation fees


Other (please specify)


Target group, scale and impact
Which target group(s) do you want to reach with your solution?

Cultural, educational & social institutions can benefit from the documentary.
It is all about a new point of view: aging sets free creativity, aging forces to redefine your live, aging enables you to bring in your time to social activities outside the traditional grandma status.
But the documentary is in a way selfsufficient: the main target group is the family, entertaining the youth and elder people with a challenging real-life theme!

Please estimate the number of persons within your target group (users, clients, etc.) that you currently reach directly with your solution.

7000 - 20000

In which local/regional/national area(s) is the solution currently implemented?

swiss, germany, france

What is the impact on your target group (users, clients) you want to generate?

Entertaining and information is no longer to be separated. The european TV-stations have prooved this for a decade. Film is of big impact as it models life!
Our project even enhances impact by presenting a stand alone solution in the field of active aging. Instead of looking in the miserable backyards of a pooring society we present tough ladies, who brake the rules with humor.
This is a powerful proposal to change one´s own role!

What is the wider impact on society you want to generate?

Mass communication is a generator! Quality-driven feature film and documentaries cause the audience to reflect on modern ideas and changing conditions. Art breaks the rule an invokes a new view on old matters!

What are the impacts on your target group you already achieved?

With the project we were able to budget the idea up to the script, the very first filming of interviews, the multicamera-premiere-recording and some rehearsel scenes. Everything is related to our protagonist and their families, supporting the documentation of the ladies, finding and educating their clowns.
Last but not least: the colleagues, empowering us to go on, even with a small budget!
And not to forget: the funding by the filmfunding of Hessia.

How has the impact of your initiative been assessed?

Feedback-based self-assessment (you assessed the impacts based on feedback from the target group without using specific methods).

Public information and strategy
What information on your initiative is publicly available?

Mission and strategy, Organisational structure, Information on team members, Working method and 'theory of change'.

Please indicate webpage or contact for obtaining the respective information.
What are your milestones for further developing, implementing, and establishing your initiative in the next three years? Please describe 1-3 milestones.

June 2014: finishing filming
November 2014: finishing the editing
1/2015: sending the film to european docFilm-festivals and distributing the dvd