Little One Productions' Light Years Documentary Kick-Starting Stories of Later Life Reinvention

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Funding Sought to Complete Doc Film That Inspires Creative Aging for All

Director and Producer Claire Panke, working with the nonprofit Center for Independent Documentary, is wrapping up a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise completion funding for Light Years, a documentary film on positive, creative aging and reinvention at any age. The campaign has attracted over 400 backers, raising over $47,000 to date, and will end on June 9, 2014 at 9pm ET, 6pm PT. Ms. Panke will continue to raise tax-deductible donations over the next few months while moving forward with final editing.

Light Years follows Dee, a writer and professor who savors her life-long passion for African dance; Anita, whose work as an actress, dancer, playwright and poet spans eight decades and a host of adventures; and Paul, who started painting at 51 and helps to redefine “retirement.”

This is the heartbeat of Light Years: the choice to stay engaged, curious and compassionate, whether you’re 18 or 88. Dee, Anita and Paul reveal that the second half of life can actually be an exciting time of rediscovery and renewal, tapping into the ways Baby Boomers will continue to reframe what our later years can look like.

“By 2030 the 65+ population in the U.S. will nearly double in size and baby boomers want to know the good news about getting older,” notes Ms. Panke. “And there is good news! As Dee, Anita and Paul discover new findings about the tangible benefits of purpose and meaning in later life, Light Years organically provides a positive model of aging – and living - for both younger and older viewers.”

Dee, now 91, states that “I was inclined to think that I never did anything of value in my life, but I’ve gotten a different view from being in the film, and when I see myself dancing I think, Hey, she’s kind of fun! You know at 18, 30, 50 years old, we’re making decisions in our lives that will affect how we will age. Claire’s film helps shed light on how to keep creating meaning no matter what challenges come up.”

The final stages of filmmaking are the most expensive, and with Dee now 91 and Anita 98 (Paul is in his late 70’s), Ms. Panke is anxious to finish this decade-long project. With adequate post-production funds Ms. Panke anticipates finishing the film by the end of 2014.

To view Light Years Kickstarter campaign, please visit

YouTube Channel:

Official Website:


A graduate of Georgetown University, Claire studied film at New York University, including documentary directing and producing, earning a Certificate in Film. Light Years is her second feature documentary.

Her first documentary, A Chance to Grow (2000) had its broadcast premiere on The Discovery Channel, and also aired on National Geographic Television and other international venues on several continents. A Chance to Grow was shown at festivals and won several awards, including a CINE Golden Eagle. Claire has also directed three short documentaries, Liberty Street, Christina, and Glacé.

Claire is also a neonatal intensive care nurse, and has worked as a writer, editor, photographer, and medical/nursing consultant for films, television & print ads.

In front of the camera, Claire has served as the spokesperson for a national campaign to raise awareness of health care issues, appearing in nationally broadcast commercials, print & radio ads, and Congressional publications.

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Claire Panke

Claire Panke
since: 05/2011
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Little One Productions Inc.

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