The Belgian Silvering Screen

Researcher(s) CIMS

Femke De Sutter

Supervisor CIMS

Prof. dr. Daniël Biltereyst

Co-Supervisor CIMS

Prof. dr. Sofie Van Bauwel

Funded by

Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) - Personal PhD Fellowship ('Aspirant') - 2022-2026


Research on mediated representations of age, old age and audience’s experiences around old age is still scarce. Nevertheless, there is a growing number of representations of older adults in media (cf. film, TV shows, advertisements, etc.). 

Existing research on ageism frequently illuminates the topic from a focus on TV series and news articles. Much less research is done on film, despite the medium's wide reach and popularity. Given Belgium's rich film history, this project is specifically interested in the complex relationship between older adults and the representation of ageism in Belgian film throughout history (1945-2022). More specifically, this research will (1) quantitatively investigate longitudinal changes in the representation of older adults in Belgian film history (1945-2022); (2) explore issues of ageist discourses and representations through an in-depth qualitative textual analysis of case studies (key films); and (3) examine the reception of these films among older adults aged 65 and above, as well as their experiences of ageist discourses and representations.