SET FOR LIFE premieres on public television in November 2013


Puts a Human Face on America’s Unemployment Crisis

Award-Winning Doc Premieres on Public Television in November 2013


(Boston, MA) – Although four years removed from the official end of the Great Recession, the statistics surrounding U.S. unemployment still appear grim. Almost 12 million Americans remain out of work — 4.1 million more than when recession began in 2007.

This crisis has hit the Baby Boom generation particularly hard.

Baby Boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, came of age during an era of prosperity and optimism. By and large, they grew up feeling confident and secure about their futures, believing hard work and following the rules would leave them “set for life.”  Those expectations seemed justified until the economic downturn prompted massive lay-offs and government budget cutbacks. As a result, the Boomers, now in their 50s and 60s, suddenly found themselves out of a job — some for long periods of time — and trying to cope with their rapidly eroding American Dream.

In response to the ongoing unemployment crisis in the United States, American Public Television (APT) proudly announces the November 2013 (check local listings) release of Set for Life, a timely and thought-provoking one-hour documentary produced by Tree of Life Productions, LLC about three Baby Boomers struggling to recover from the Great Recession.

The Set for Life public television broadcast is funded in part by AARP Foundation, working with struggling Americans 50 plus to help them win back opportunity. In addition, hundreds of individual Kickstarter donations also helped fund the production.

Thrust into a quest they never anticipated, the film’s three main characters deal with the economic, financial and psychological impact of losing their jobs. Joe Price, a third-generation steelworker from Weirton, W. Va.; Deborah Salim, a 15-year community college employee from Conway, S.C., and George Ross, a Vietnam veteran and an information technology project manager from Livermore, Calif. suffer financial woes, self-doubt and health problems as they endure the daunting job-hunt process. Their poignant and, at times, heart-wrenching stories put a human face behind the statistics.

Prior to its national broadcast, Set for Life made the rounds on the film festival circuit, earning acclaim from both judges and critics alike. It won “Best Documentary Feature” at the Spring 2013 New Jersey Film Festival, the 2013 Northern California Film International Film Festival and the 2012 Massachusetts Independent Film Festival. It also served as an official selection of the Madrid International Film Festival.

Set for Life grew out of, a two-year online multimedia project. The producers traveled across the country and conducted video interviews with 100 Americans, 50 and older, who lost their jobs during the Great Recession. The online project received considerable recognition, including features in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal Digital Network, Smart,,, The Huffington Post and

Over 50 and Out of Work

The Over 50 and Out of Work website includes 100 video interviews with Americans 50 and older, and 18 video interviews with experts who discuss unemployment among older workers from different perspectives. The website connects to an active social-media community on  FacebookTwitter and related blog.  The Over 50 and Out of Work/Set for Life network includes: AARP Foundation, AARP, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, Harvard Business School, John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, Next Avenue, Northeastern University, Platform to Employment , Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College, The Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, NYU/Wagner and Urban Institute.


Tree of Life Productions, LLC

Tree of Life Productions is a full-service video production company for both commercial and independent projects.


American Public Television

American Public Television (APT) has been a leading distributor of high-quality, top-rated programming to America’s public television stations since 1961. Since 2004, APT has distributed approximately half of the top 100 highest-rated public television titles. Among its 300 new program titles per year are prominent documentaries, news and current affairs programs, dramatic series, how-to programs, children’s series and classic movies, including For Love of Liberty: The Story of America’s Black Patriots, A Ripple of Hope, Rick Steves’ Europe, Newsline, Globe Trekker, Simply Ming, Joseph Rosendo’s Travelscope, America’s Test Kitchen From Cook’s Illustrated, Lidia’s Italy, P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home, Midsomer Murders, Moyers & Company, Doc Martin, Rosemary & Thyme, BBC World News, The Rat Pack: Live and Swingin’, Johnny Mathis: Wonderful, Wonderful! and Nightly Business Report. APT also licenses programs internationally through its APT Worldwide service. In 2006, APT launched and nationally distributed Create® – the TV channel featuring the best of public television’s lifestyle programming. APT is also a partner in the WORLD™ channel, public television’s premier news and documentary channel.

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Max said:

50 is a turning point for our working careers. Especially for those including myself who have been an employee for those years. I need to be more selective in our job search because let's face it I am not 25 years old anymore. I am 50 and in my youth I have worked hard physical labor and over the years I have moved my way up to a supervising role. Now the children are grown and on their own, I provided and did very well but I find myself without a job. My hearing has always been poor but now it has affected my work. I have severe loss and having a conversation can be a challenge. I have hearing aids and yes in a controlled environment you can use receivers and microphones to adapt to ones hearing loss but the real world is not quite that simple. I find myself looking for work at 50 years old with a disadvantage. It's a tough market. I have skills computer, managing, mechanical and people skills just to name a few. As soon as I mention my hearing loss along with my age the young managers tend to shy away. There is work but I am more selective. In my case and I believe for others also I want a job that will provide for the bills, savings and have enough free time to enjoy life. It is an uphill battle. Our bodies are wearing out and we tend to have more maintenance than the younger employees. I find there is always a deadline of some kind and one must work under constant disarray to achieve a quota that never ends. So yeah my attitude is changing also. I just want more out of life and I had better act quickly before my savings run out. One more deadline. I have questions about life because I am no longer invincible and know I have limited time. I want to find my calling. - posted on May 17, 2015

Sandeep poddar said:

I am 53 and had a good stint as a business man for 24 years.Dabbled in publishing and selling text books to computer hardware to building and selling real estate doing it jointly with my two brothers who are of my age also.Suddenly they decided to dump me. I had never thought of a life with out them. I live with my wife who is also not working.I have a shop where I go and pass my time without anything to sell. Sometimes I make 100-200 $ a month sometimes nothing. I still daydream of doing big business but demands of education of my growing adult sons pull me back .With no worthwhile work or income my friends and relatives have cast me aside.Everyday I go out with a resolve that I will get home with some job in hand or little money that I earned but nothing worth my earlier times. I am now starting to break. Self-help websites stories and articles are loosing their meaning to me slowly.Drinking and smoking are slowly engulfing me. Nights have stopped giving me a restful sleep...and blah blah...but still if there isa God some where I try to show my gratitude for giving me another day of living. - posted May 8, 2015

Albert said:

MY business failed and used all my resources. Unsympothatic bank really caused my current situation by not allowing me to me pay at what i could afford. Instead they used their full might to help me go down further. I was a client of theirs for over 40 years. I am 75 very active physically and mentally. I have spent all my life in retail and am very good at what i did. I have just finished writting a manual on inventory control. I see myself as a mentor/trainer and even a relief manager I managed several stores and was gen manager fo a big departmental store. had twenty managers and 600 staff members. I still have a lot to offer. I am not looking for a hand out but WORK My tel No is 0790159818 Cape Town - posted March 18, 2015

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