Blog: 2018 Recovery Street Film Festival

September is a busy month, we had World Suicide Prevention Day on 10th, my birthday (maybe not as important to everyone else but I think it’s worth mentioning) and we have Recovery Month, a month-long celebration of the work being done across the UK to support people to recover from drug and alcohol dependence.

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As part of Recovery Month we also have the Recovery Street Film Festival (RSFF), an annual competition which aims to empower people affected by drug and alcohol dependence to tell their story of recovery and help tackle the stigma associated with addiction. The festival is delivered in partnership with six health and social care charities - Action on Addiction, Blenheim, Change Grow Live (CGL), Phoenix Futures, Steps 2 Recovery and Turning Point. Additional organisations and businesses also support the festival.

Each year the festival invites people from all sorts of backgrounds (people in treatment, people in recovery, people affected by the drug or alcohol use of a loved one, or even professionals) to make and submit a 3 minutes film about their experience. There is a different theme each year and participants are asked to link this theme to their film. For 2018 the theme was ‘my lightbulb moment’ and filmmakers were invited to share that moment, or those moments, that inspired them to make a change to their lives.

A launch event is held at the beginning of September and the ten shortlisted films are screened, with the three winning films announced and awarded prizes. It’s a great opportunity to showcase the efforts of participants and seeing the films on the big screen really does add to their impact. The shortlisted films are also made available via the RSFF Youtube channel, which enables anyone to hold their own screening and enjoy the films all year round!

Why is the festival important?

So why a film festival? What’s the benefit of telling these stories on camera? It’s pretty simple really, films tell a story that words or pictures on their own can’t.

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How many times have you sat and watched a sad film and found yourself crying? How about a comedy where you can’t help but laugh along? Film communicates with us, it allows our sight and hearing to connect with our emotions and engages us to pay attention to the story. As a medium, film is highly effective at taking us on a journey and keeping our interest...even more so when the films are only three minutes long!

Recovery is often seen and recognised by people within the health and social care field, we work with it daily, see the struggles and successes of service users and get to celebrate the achievements as they happen. More widely, the public don’t see this, they are shown the negative side of addiction, the crime, the anti-social behaviour, the damage it does to families. This negative side is important, don’t get me wrong, as it can motivate others not to start down that path or help to recognise when it’s time to change. But for someone in the grip of addiction or seeing a loved one affected by drug and alcohol abuse, there’s a need for hope, to understand that there is a way out and to break down the stigma surrounding addiction.

The film festival shines a light on these stories, it recognises the struggles people have had but ultimately demonstrates that change is possible and recovery can be achieved by anyone with the right support.

So what does it do and what’s next?

We aim for the film festival to tell honest, open accounts of recovery (the bad stuff is still there too) and hope that the stories inspire others to seek help or know that they can make a change to their lives.

We hope that the films also challenge the stigma surrounding this topic, that they show a more holistic picture of this world and ultimately provide the audience with an opportunity to understand what recovery is and why it is important.

You can help spread this message, in a really easy way. Simply watch the films and share them with your community.

Hold a screening in your service, office or community and invite discussions about the topic. Show the films in your reception area, grab a laptop or smartphone, download our app and watch them in your living room, or just watch them online yourself and learn more about the importance of recovery.

The film festival is live and touring throughout September as part of Recovery Month but you can watch them all year round and start planning your entry to the 2019 Recovery Street Film Festival.

For more information, visit our website, follow us on Twitter (@RecoveryFilms) and Instagram (@RecoveryStreetFilmFest) and like us on Facebook.

And the winners are...

We are very pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 Recovery Street Film Festival -

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Huge congratulations to everyone who took part in this years festival, you made judging the winners very tough as there were some amazing films! The ten shortlisted films, including the three winning films are available to watch on our YouTube channel and we will be uploading the 2018 long list shortly too so you can watch all the films submitted to the festival.

First-time Filmmaking Training

Thanks to funding from the Big Lottery Fund we are excited to be offering free training for twenty first-time film makers. The training will be provided over four dates and include support to write your storyboard, tips on how to get the best shots, how to film and edit your 3 minute film. In addition of the training you will also have a dedicated mentor that will be on hand throughout the process to provide support for those tricky technical questions.

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If you want to share your lightbulb moment and improve your digital skills then this training is for you! The training is being delivered by Creative Colony, an award winning social enterprise that have a wealth of storytelling experience and a passion for using their skills to help drive change.

The four training dates will be held in Central London at Blenheim Central Office, 210 Wandsworth Road, London SW8 2JU.

Day 1 - 19th June, 10am-4pm

Pre-production: We will develop ideas and enable everyone to be creative, start thinking outside the box and ways to do things differently.

Day 2 – 25th June, 10am-4pm

Production: In this session we will be defining ideas and then move on to the more technical aspects of film making. We will look at your equipment, logistically think about how you will make your film, framing and set a time table for filming.

Day 3 and 4 – 23rd July and 27th July, 10am-4pm

Post-production: We will review your footage, training you in how to use editing tools plus look at how to boost colour, add music/graphics and support with any technical issues. 

To be eligible for this training you need to be:

  • Interested in submitting a film to this years festival
  • Able to attend all four training dates in London (we will reimburse all travel expenses from across the UK)
  • Have access to a device that you can record films on (this can be a smartphone or camera)

If you are part of a group wanting to make a film please nominate one person to attend the training who can then share what they have learnt.

For more information and to register your interest please email rsfilmfest@gmail.com.

 

A warm welcome to Pipe Down Magazine!

We are proud to announce that Pipe Down Magazine are the latest partner of the Recovery Street Film Festival.

Araminta Jonsson, Founder of Pipe Down Magazine tells us all about it:
"For years Pipe Down was a Pipe Dream. I did a masters in creative writing and journalism whilst in active addiction. However, it wasn’t until my last relapse in Bristol that I formulated the idea of this particular magazine.”

Recovery Recruitment are the latest supporters of the Festival

We are excited to welcome on board Recovery Recruitment to our commercial partners who will kindly be using their contacts to help us reach more people. 

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Recovery Recruitment bring together many years of experience in commercial recruitment and the addiction treatment sectors to provide highly personalised recruitment services to organisations and professionals operating in the addiction treatment sector.

Find out more about more about them on their website