CLBR Segment 1: Bridging the Other Digital Divide
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‘Cyber-Seniors: Connecting Generations’ is a North America-wide campaign that encourages older adults to tackle the digital divide and provides tech savvy youth with a way to give back to their community. The original Cyber-Seniors Program was founded by two sisters, Kascha and Macaulee Cassaday, as a high school community service project and piloted in two Toronto seniors’ homes from 2009-2011.
This was the inspiration behind the campaign and a feature documentary film called ‘Cyber-Seniors’ directed by Saffron Cassaday and produced by Brenda Rusnak of The Best Part Inc. The film premiered in Los Angeles, New York and Toronto in May 2014 to critical and audience acclaim. The film has become the primary communication tool for engaging individuals and organizations working with youth and seniors to get involved.
‘Cyber-Seniors’ is fun look at seniors bridging digital divide.
Los Angeles Times
The campaign organizers’ intention is to build a strong team of community partners across Canada and the US to achieve their goal of sparking a conversation about tech literacy and intergenerational collaboration on a widespread scale. To support this conversation, the Cyber-Seniors website provides a comprehensive guideline and free downloadable handbooks for building similar programs within one’s own community.
Brenda Rusnak is an entrepreneur with 35 years of business experience. She is the founder and president of Best Part Productions Inc., which seeks out innovative, creative film projects to invest in and produce.
Prior to her career as a film producer, Brenda acted as the CEO and President for a multi-million dollar healthcare company that she had controlling interest in. In 2009, she sold her business and has since partnered with several experienced and talented financiers, researchers, filmmakers, and field experts to create, produce and distribute compelling content for cinema, television and the internet.
Saffron Cassaday was born and raised in Toronto, Saffron Cassaday traveled to New York City immediately after completing high school to study acting at the prestigious Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. Upon returning to Toronto, she continued to develop her craft both in front of and behind the camera. Saffron starred in the award-winning web series Pete Winning and the Pirates and co-produced and starred in the Global TV series, In the Key of Z.
Saffron’s directorial debut of the documentary film, Cyber-Seniors has screened in well over 80 cities in North America to audience and critical acclaim. As this film prepares for its digital, DVD and broadcast launch, Saffron is keeping busy researching her next film project, which will document the journey of men and women who were incarcerated before the Internet existed, as they return to a tech-dependent society. She is also slated to star in a feature-length upcoming comedy titled, “Jake Joins A Cult”, filming this Fall.