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Life in the Slow Lane: Welcome


Documentary Short

Lois is 83. Gettin’ old sucks, but she’s rolling with it. When age slows her down, what does she do in her spare time? She bowls. Satisfying Lois’ competitive spirit, bowling keeps her active and out of social isolation many older Montanans are facing at a rapid rate.

Life in the Slow Lane: Skills


Producer/Director: Kelly Bouma
Director of Photography: Mike Steinberg
Location Sound: Ryan Graham-Laughlin

Life in the Slow Lane: Text
Life in the Slow Lane: Pro Gallery
Life in the Slow Lane: Image




A Third Space production in association with Tribeca Film Institute. Winner of the 2019 American West If/Then Shorts Competition.

Directed by Kelly Bouma

Produced by Kelly Bouma and Mike Steinberg


Release Date: November 15, 2020

Run Time: 17 minutes

Language: English

Distribution & Publicity Contact:

Kelly Bouma



Lois is 83. Gettin’ old sucks, but she’s rolling with it. When age slows her down, what does she do in her spare time? She bowls. Satisfying Lois’ competitive spirit, bowling keeps her active and out of social isolation many older Montanans are facing at a rapid rate.


Lois Chinadle is 83 years old, has only been living in Missoula MT for two years. Leaving a more rural area of Montana, where neighbors gathered and knew each other’s names, histories and struggles, Lois finds herself in a new environment with less friends and more need for social services. 

Lois finds companionship at the local bowling center and Missoula’s Senior Center. Her Wednesday Senior League meets for a few hours each week, where Lois lights up in her social element and playing a sport she’s found refuge in since she was in her 30s. After a long break from bowling, she returns with a lower average and more physical ailments and pains, but she tells herself “It’s fun” despite losing her competitive edge.  

Lois doesn’t realize how important these daily routines are—coffee and reading the paper at the lanes’ diner, small bets at the casino, daily lunches and the Senior Center and bowling with her league until it’s all gone. COVID-19 precautions close all gathering spaces in Montana, and Lois finds herself home alone most of the time struggling with even more isolation. 

Life in the Slow Lane offers a glimpse into an older adult’s life during the time of COVID, reflecting the social isolation seniors now face at an ever-increasing rate. Lois, down to earth and witty, reveals an intimate portrait of a woman who has been and always will be, a survivor.

Life in the Slow Lane: CV


I met Lois at the Missoula Senior Center where I worked as a Coordinator. One of my daily tasks was checking seniors in for lunch. They’d all line up 10 to 15 minutes prior to the lunch bell ringing, chatting or waiting patiently. Lois was always in line and when she’d hand over her ticket, I’d comment on her wig choice of the day, ask about her morning and other pleasantries. One day I confessed I thought she’d be great in a film. Did she know I made movies with my partner in our spare time? Would she like to act in one? She laughed it off, but she never said, ‘no.’

Lois had something about her. Maybe it was the lines on her face or her deep set hazel eyes magnified by her glasses. She was sharp, witty and very popular with the other members at the Center. I wanted to know more about her, and continued to wonder what she’d look like on camera. It wasn’t until I heard she bowled once a week at the local bowling lanes as part of a Senior League that I realized the film had to be about her--it would be a documentary. 

Lois was a natural on camera. She welcomed us in her home, let us follow her at the bowling alley, she told us stories I’m still not sure I believe because they are so vivid, terrifying and beautiful. She hardly ever looked at the camera and effortlessly went about her day and interactions as if we weren’t there. We set out to make a film about Lois’ weekly bowling league and a reunion with her longtime bowling gal pals she hadn’t seen in over 25 years. And then COVID happened. 

Mike, my co-producer and DP on the film is also my life partner. We were home and very aware of what was happening in other places--the virus was spreading, shut downs were looming. Montana only had six cases, none in Missoula. Up to this point, we had only filmed Lois at the lanes early in December and an interview at her home in February. Now it was early March and we knew we had to capture as much as possible in the next week before our own Governor put mandates into place. 

We took three days to shoot at the bowling alley, the senior center and Lois at home again. A week later, the Montana Governor issued a stay-at-home order with all essential businesses closing. The bowling alley, senior center and other places Lois gathered to play cards and other activities all closed immediately--and to this day of writing this director’s statement nine months later, the Missoula Senior Center remains closed. 

The film certainly took a turn and yet, the original intention of showing the contrast between Lois’ social-self and her isolation became even more immediate with COVID as a backdrop. Instead of a quirky profile piece, it became a document of a significant event in history through the lens of a group of people underrepresented in film and by the media in general. 

Lois charms us and shows a resilience many will recognize in their own grandmother, older family member or neighbor. Instead of sadness or pity, you recognize Lois’ strength and groundedness. This is another day, another event in her life she bears with no more certainty or clarity than what any other life experience has provided. But this time, an audience is with her.


KELLY BOUMA - Director & Producer 

Kelly Bouma is a director and producer of film, theater, and dance based in Missoula, MT. Other credits include FOGHORN TRILOGY, a narrative short film currently in festivals. Kelly also works as a program coordinator at the Missoula Senior Center, where she met Lois, the subject of LIFE IN THE SLOW LANE.

MIKE STEINBERG - Cinematographer, Editor & Producer

Mike Steinberg has 30 years of experience in filmmaking as a producer, writer-director, cinematographer, and editor. He has worked with numerous film festivals as a programmer and consultant. His own films have earned placement in national film festivals including AFI/Discoveryʼs Silverdocs (now AFIDOCS), The Independent Film Festival, Hardacre Film Festival, Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, Big Muddy Film Festival, and St Louis International. His most recent films include LESTER LEAPS IN and THE FOGHORN TRILOGY now playing film festivals. Steinberg lives in Missoula, MT where he is the Executive Director of The Roxy Theater, a non-profit community cinema.


Marshall Granger is currently an Editing fellow in the class of 2022 at AFI. While living in Missoula studying Film and Creative Writing at University of Montana, I worked for The Roxy Theater, a non-profit community cinema, creating print and video content and helping to establish a brand. Recent credits include the feature, WE BURN LIKE THIS (co-producer, editor) and the short narrative film FOGHORN TRILOGY.


Third Space serves the Missoula and greater Montana arts community as a live and media arts platform, supporting the creative process, education and performance of artistic work from emerging and established artists. Third Space is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization based in Missoula, MT.


Third Space Productions Presents:


Directed by 

Kelly Bouma 


Lois Chinadle 


Kelly Bouma and Mike Steinberg

Director of Photography

Mike Steinberg


Mike Steinberg 

Marshall Granger


Kier Atherton

Location Sound 

Ryan Graham-Laughlin 

Post Production Sound 


Rerecording Mixer 

Bijan Sharifi 

Sound Supervisor 

Jacob Bloomfield-Misrach 

Sound Designer 

William Sammons 

Dialogue Editor

Bijan Sharifi

Produced in association with 

Tribeca Film Institute & IF/Then Shorts


For Tribeca Film Institute:

 Executive Producer 

Amy Hobby 

Supervising Producers

Chloe Gbai 

Caitlin Mae Burke

This film was produced by Third Space, which is solely responsible for its content.

Life in the Slow Lane: CV
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