This past March, Missy Hargraves, Katie Carpenter and I co-hosted a screening to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Documentary Filmmaker Robin Leacock’s PBS Film, A Passion for Giving, at the historic La Coquille Club in Manalapan.
Now, Robin has released her latest film, “Stella & Co.: A Romantic Musical Comedy Documentary About Aging,” on PBS nationwide.
Stella & Co is inspired by Robin’s 103-year-old mother, Estelle “Stella” Craig, who lived at an independent living senior residence in Palm Beach and the documentary follows the lives of eight residents, ranging in age from late 70s to early 100s. The film provides an introspective, nostalgic and uplifting peek into the lives of these vibrant seniors, who continue to celebrate life, laugh hard and tell wonderful stories with humor and grace well into their golden years.
The beginning of the film kicks off with a quote from Robin, “In earth-keeping cultures, each elder that dies is a library that burns,” who spent over two years, beginning in 2018 with the seniors in the assisted living facility, documenting their lives. She hopes “the film will encourage people to remember the great treasure we have in our older generation. They have accomplished extraordinary things and have much to teach us, far past their retirement years. We are living in extraordinary times, where our aged population is vulnerable as never before.”
All proceeds from Robin’s films on Amazon, including Stella & Co: A Romantic Musical Comedy Documentary About Aging, will go to Doctors Without Borders to support COVID-19 treatment funding.
This is Robin’s fifth film, having directed It Girls, PBS film, A Passion for Giving, Stella is 95, and I’ll Take Manhattan. She is the daughter-in-law of cinema verité pioneer Richard Leacock, by way of her marriage to the director and cinematographer Robert Leacock.
Below are more photos from our screening in March …
Photographs by Mike Jachles/AnnieWatt.com