DDN Conference 2018

By Chris Franks

I recently attended the 9th annual, service user Involvement conference held by DDN (my first one) and had the opportunity to talk to many people who had no idea what the Recovery Street Film Festival (RSFF) is!

The DDN conference is held in Birmingham and brings together representatives from a variety of social care and health charities, mutual aid groups, treatment centres and companies who provide services to the sector. The conference also did something else, it gave us a very welcome platform to promote the film festival.

I have a tendency to assume that everyone must be aware of the RSFF, it’s been running for 4 years now and is an amazing opportunity to celebrate recovery. However, as proven to me at the conference, not everyone knows what it’s all about and that’s great, I got to tell them (and you) all about it!

The RSFF had a stall as part of the market area at the conference and we were showing all ten shortlisted films from last year on a big screen (sadly no popcorn, sorry). We invited people to come sit and watch the films (each one no more than 3 minutes long) and sign up to find out about all the new developments for 2018.

I got to speak to a variety of different people, including professionals, people in recovery, people new to treatment services and companies interested in sponsoring our work. I also handed out a lot of RSFF flyers (and I didn’t see any screwed up and thrown away, so that’s a result).

The film festival is held across the country (and online) throughout September as part of Recovery Month, a perfect platform for showing inspiring stories about recovery and life beyond treatment. The best thing is, anyone can make and submit a film...you can use a smart phone, a professional camera or even a full-on film crew if you have one!

We have a panel of fantastic judges who give their expert opinion on each of the shortlisted films and then they choose a first, second and third place winner. Kelly’s Story won last year and Kelly has now joined the judging panel for 2018 to use her experience to help us crown the next winner (with so many amazing films submitted, that’s not an easy task).

The festival launches on 1st September, where we announce the winners. We hold a launch event in London, with other launch events taking place in Birmingham, Cardiff and Scotland. Services across the country can then host the film festival locally, helping to celebrate Recovery Month up and down the UK.

All the films are available on our website and uploaded to our YouTube channel for the world to see!

So, what are you waiting for? Take a look at the films from last year, sign up to know all the latest news about this years’ festival and start working on your storyboard for your own film!