David's testimonial

The premier of the 2017 Recovery Street Film Festival on 1st September is fast approaching, and participants are hard at work bringing their own stories to life. But what if you’re still not convinced that the festival is right for you?

David McCollom, filmmaker of the 2016 winning entry ‘Hope Inside,’ has created a video explaining why individuals should enter their own film into the Recovery Street Film Festival. Using just an iPad, David also shows just how easy making a video can be.

Watch the clip here.

How to make a short film

The Recovery Street Film Festival gives individuals who have a lived experience of recovering from drug or alcohol addiction a platform with which they can tell their own stories through short films. However, for someone who’s never attempted this before, making a film may seem like an almost impossible task. Where do you begin? What equipment should you use? How do you put it all together? Luckily today’s technology makes it easier than ever for anyone to bring their stories to life. Here are three simple steps that will help take you from an idea all the way to a finished film ready to premiere at the Recovery Street Film Festival.

Step 1: Planning

Example of a storyboard

Example of a storyboard

This step makes all the difference when it is time to film. Here is where you brainstorm exactly what the topic of your film will be, and create an initial storyline and script (even if it just an outline). Remember: a good story has a beginning, middle and end. Although it isn’t mandatory, it may be helpful to create a storyboard as well. A storyboard is a panel-by-panel outline of each shot that helps determine the sequence of each scene. This helps you plan out the shots to get when filming in order to save time.

Step 2: Filming

Now you’re ready to go out and shoot your film! You may be thinking that you need a professional camera to do this but maybe what you need is already in your hand. These days it is possible to shoot an entire film using just a mobile phone. As long as there’s a camera on it, you’re ready to shoot. For more tips on how to make the most out of your mobile device, click here. Remember: videos take up a lot of storage space on mobile devices, so make sure there’s plenty of room before you begin.

Step 3: Editing

Once you’ve gathered all the footage you need, it’s time to get creative and edit it all together. Editing is where you can have fun with music and special effects, and even cut out parts you no longer need. This may seem overwhelming, but there are plenty tutorials available online to help at every step. But what program should you use? That all depends on you! There are numerous free programs available to download right onto your mobile device or desktop, including some that come already installed. For Windows devices, Windows Movie Maker is ready and waiting to help finalize your film, and for Apple devices there’s iMovie. Both are very user friendly.

And that’s it! That’s all you need to know to help get started with creating your short film. Need some more tips? There are even more resources waiting on the Recovery Street Film Festival website. Ready to enter the competition? Rules and instructions can be found here.

Recovery Street at ICCAD Conference

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

2017 Judges announced

We are delighted to announce the 2017 Recovery Street Film Festival Judges. Many of whom have supported and volunteered their time since the festival started in 2014. 

The organising committee are extremely grateful for their input, expertise and ongoing support.

This years theme, Making Up for Lost Time, was developed with the help of Emma Wakefield, a RSFF judge. This theme could mean anything to you - things you wish you'd said, regrets, 24 hours you'll never get back. We'd love your creative take on this - in 3 mins. It's about the message and storytelling, not how technical the film is. 

Find out more about how to make your film here

Emma Wakefield, Recovery Street Film Festival Judge

Emma Wakefield, Recovery Street Film Festival Judge