"A Father to Dye For,” a touching film that follows the transformation of a sage senior as he goes through the process of getting his hair colored--and his spirits lifted, has been named the runner up in ALFA’s 2014 Short Film Competition on Ageism. ALFA, or The Assisted Living Federation of America, sponsored the national competition which features short films that focus on prejudicial attitudes toward the aging process.
“A Father to Dye For” will premiere to thousands of senior living care professionals, from around the world, during ALFA’s 2014 Conference & Exposition, May 19-22, in Phoenix, AZ.“Coloring my father’s hair became part of my responsibilities when I began looking after him. Mind you, at first he did not think I could handle the job. I had to earn his trust,” says director Lena Nozizwe.
“It was not until I sat down for this film and asked him why it is so important for him to maintain the hair color of his youth did I realize just how significant it is to the quality of his life. Now I am clear. My father wants to spend his golden years with black hair.”The responses of South African-born retired university history professor, Hulme Thamsanqa Siwundhla, Ph.D, were unexpected, poignant and humorous.
“My father is very excited about the honor from ALFA. He clapped when I told him,” says Nozizwe.“I applaud ALFA as well and thank the organization for the opportunity to share a film that promotes understanding, while respecting the elders among us.”Following the premiere screening at ALFA’s convention, "A Father to Dye For" will be available online via www.alfa.org.
In addition to directing “A Father to Dye For,” Nozizwe wrote, photographed, edited and created the soundtrack for the short. She is an Emmy-award winning broadcast journalist, professional speaker and author of the motivational book, “Starring in Your Own Life,” published by Simon & Schuster.
Her assignments have taken her everywhere from France to Zimbabwe, from England to Sweden and from South Central to Palm Beach. She has been an on-air correspondent and producer for numerous media outlets, including CBS San Diego, SKY News and the FOX program, “America’s Most Wanted.”She says that “A Father To Dye For” is just the beginning of a series of segments she will direct that will focus on aging. The pieces will feature her father and other seniors.
Over the course of her career Nozizwe has produced a number of stories focusing on causes dear to her heart, including hunger, homelessness and runaways. The experiences her father has faced as a senior prompted her to focus her lens and pen on issues relating to aging. She is writing two soon-to-be released books that bring insight and humor to the experience of aging. The first book, which focuses on their stranger than fiction backstory, will be available early 2015. The second one, a guidebook for caregiving, will be published mid 2015.