James Redford Director’s Statement

“The primary goal of PLAYING FOR KEEPS, as with all of our films, is to aid in the health and repair of our social fabric. At first glance, a film about the physical, emotional and social benefits of play might seem a little lightweight, but a deep look at the power of play reveals a uniquely effective way to reduce stress, improve health and bolster community connections.

As it turns out, adults who engage in enjoyable pastimes, hobbies, and various forms of play are effectively inoculating themselves against the dark side of the modern era. The people we met while making this film were a diverse lot, spanning careers from oncology nursing to primetime news-casting. Their play practices – from hula hooping to playing in a rock band, were equally diverse. Nonetheless, all the subjects in PLAYING FOR KEEPS all shared a joie de vivre that was infectious and no doubt good for their overall well-being.

For many of us, however, the pace and complexity of our daily existence has reduced our physical activities as well as community connections, adding fuel to the fire of such problems as depression, suicide, and drug abuse as well as heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Spending time doing something fun that’s self-generated and doesn’t offer external reward can seem frivolous in today’s outcome-driven society. However, it is the very process of engaging fun activities in which the reward is internal that the biggest benefits of wellness can occur.

Our goal in making PLAYING FOR KEEPS is to remind us all of the enjoyable and healthy benefits of having more fun. Rather than embarking on a sharp diatribe about the ways in which the modern world inflicts insidious harm on all of us, the film aims to provide us with helpful tools and inspiring examples of how having more fun can be a powerful weapon in our quest to a better sense of wellness – and well-being.” — James Redford