Action on Addiction hosted the first international recovery film event of its kind at the ICAAD conference (International Conferences on Addiction and Associated Disorders) on Monday 1st May.
The event entitled, ‘Street and REEL Recovery International Film Festival’ showcased films about recovery from addiction, made by amateur film makers in both the UK and USA – showing winning films from Recovery Street Film Festival, as well as short films by Leonard Lee Buschel, a former California substance abuse practitioner and founder and director of the eight year old REEL recovery film festival.
Participants from treatment centres all over the world attended the conference which was held in the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, London, and many participated in the evening event. This was also opened up to members of the public.
The ‘independent cinema’ experience, which offered comfortable seats and free popcorn hoped to demonstrate through the medium of film the diverse issues that are faced by people overcoming addiction and how those around them can be affected.
After watching the short films from both sides of the Atlantic, the audience participated in a Q & A session, chaired by David Charkham, a long time recovery coach. He facilitated the panel which comprised Leonard Buschel, Lisa Bryer (Producer of the Last King of Scotland and RSFF judge), James Cohen (ITV documentary maker) and Zachary Adler (Writer/Producer).
The aim of both annual festivals is to empower people affected by addiction by giving them a voice, providing a platform for them to tell their own stories of the ‘ups and downs’ and how they reached recovery. The films highlighted the problems that are confronted when someone is attempting to regain their place in society: to gain new friends, to revive links with family, secure a home and get a job.
This was the first time both festivals have come together to showcase their organisations.
Film submissions for this year’s Recovery Street Film Festival competition are open until Friday 4th August 2017.
For more information on REEL Recovery Festival, please visit: www.reelrecoveryfilmfestival.org