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AARP Studios has announced its first feature project, documentary Care to Laugh.
The doc follows Jesus Trejo, a stand-up comedian that has appeared on and at the Comedy Store, as he navigates his career in Los Angeles while caring for his aging parents at his home in Long Beach.
"So much of caregiving tilts toward the end of life, and caregiving is just life," says Jeffrey Eagle, vp and exec producer at AARP Studios, who points out that 10 million caregivers in the U.S. are millennials. Eagle and his team came across Trejo when they put together a comedy show at The Improv, later finding out that Trejo was the primary caretaker for his mother and father. "We wanted to explore that moment in his life, where he is deciding whether he is going to lean out or lean in to comedy."
Care to Laugh will make its debut at the Heartland International Film Festival before going on to other fests like DOC NYC and Austin Film Festival. AARP has plans to distribute the feature in 2019.
While the doc marks the studio's first feature, officially launched in 2017 with digital series Dinner With Don, which stars the legendary Don Rickles and more than a dozen celebrity guests from Snoop Dogg to Robert De Niro.
“AARP has long celebrated and supported movies with unique appeal to people age 50 and up. But our new focus is to embrace important films earlier in the process, working with production houses or producing films ourselves,” said AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins. “Boomers and Gen-Xers are big box office patrons, so it’s natural for AARP to help bring them great, relevant films.”