An international documentary about the epidemic of loneliness will have its United Kingdom premiere on Sunday 18th September 2022 at the Old Market Hall Cinema in Shrewsbury. Much of the film was shot in Shropshire over the past four years as crews followed individuals and families that overcame loneliness with the help of innovations by local organisations.
The event will be hosted by Age UK Shropshire & Wrekin which has worked closely with the Californian film-makers from the film’s inception. Chief Executive, Heather Osborne, said: “It has been a privilege to work with renowned film-makers to shine a light on the enduring problem of isolation & loneliness in our society – and to have so much of the film shot in Shropshire has been a real thrill. We’re all very excited to see the film in its entirety’.
The ‘invite-only’ event will be attended by producers Joseph Applebaum and Stu Maddux, along with staff, volunteers & clients of Age UK STW and partner organisations that are providing resources to ease loneliness and social isolation in our area. Some of the cast who feature in the film will be special guests at the premiere.
Shropshire came to the attention of documentary filmmaker Applebaum through Age UK STW and Shropshire Council.
“We felt Shropshire had people from many different walks of life challenged by this hidden pandemic but also many organisations that are discovering solutions,” says Applebaum. “We are discovering that many audiences around the world see this unique area as similar to their own in many ways.”
Applebaum’s social impact organisation, The Clowder Group, is screening the film at “reconnection events” around the world. He hopes to bring attention to the personal impact of loneliness and how communities can ease it.
Researchers believe the effects of loneliness on our health are as bad as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. The added stress of feeling alone increases heart disease and even earlier onset of dementia. A short trailer of the film along with media resources about the work of the Clowder Group can be found below: