Set for Life‘s premiere:
The first screening of Set for Life at the 2012 Massachusetts Independent Film Festival in Somerville, Mass. was fully sold out! The documentary follows three unemployed Baby Boomers who lost their jobs during the Great Recession as they struggle to get back to work.
Among the audience members were Harvard undergraduates, educators and laid-off older workers, including Joel Nitzberg, a Somerville resident. Joel appears in Set for Life, and he participated in the online multimedia project, Over 50 and Out of Work. Joel lost his full-time position in 2010 when his employer, a local community college, experienced budget cutbacks and closed the lifelong learning department he headed.
While job-hunting, Joel wrote grant applications for towns and organizations, consulted part-time and volunteered in his community. In September 2011, Joe’s intensive job search paid off, and he went to work full-time for a non-profit organization serving Latinos. However, at the premiere, he said that state fiscal constraints threaten his current job, and he is facing the prospect of being laid off again.
Joel’s employment roller coaster ride reflects the current job market reality that workers face in today’s economy.
To read the rest of this column in StayThirsty.com, click here.
Audience reaction from the Oct. 6 screening at Louisville’s International Festival of Film:
“We all know this [unemployment] exists and people who are in this predicament, but this film shows how widespread it is.”
“I am experiencing this [unemployment] in my life. It’s comforting and discouraging to know so many others are as well. Your film is well done. Provoking and compelling.”