Saturday, October 6, 2012

Reel Recovery Film Festival Debuts in NYC

The Reel Recovery Film Festival kicked off last weekend for its first debut in NYC. Reel Recovery features independent films about addiction and recovery – a genre that has been coined “addiction cinema” and growing in popularity. Writers in Treatment put on the festival and are dedicated to featuring honest films about addiction, treatment, behavioral health and recovery and to bringing “recovery out of the closet now and forever.” After New York, the festival will travel to Vancouver, Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale.

The festival started in 2008 in Los Angeles by Leonard Buschel who founded Writers in Treatment. The films this year include classics like Less than Zero and On the Bowery, to new films like Oxy-Morons, a film about the impact of OxyContin in a small Boston community and Behind the Orange Curtain, a film about teenage Rx drug abuse and deaths in the prestigious communities of Orange County, CA. After each screening, moviegoers have the luxury of a Q & A with film producers, clinicians and guests like Bob Forrest and Robert Downey Sr.

Addiction films are reportedly one of the fastest growing genres of film, as the demand for such films is evidenced by the thousands in attendance at the festival last week. The audience is often diverse, including those in recovery, those with loved ones in recovery, those that work in the field and those that have a general curiosity about addiction or passion for recovery. Addiction is so widespread that it touches nearly everyone’s life in some capacity or another, be in one’s own struggle, a friend’s addiction or a friend of a friend. The “degrees of separation” between one person and addiction are quite small.

Film goers get to watch the reality of their own personal experiences unfold on the screen with most films offering a glimmer of hope and solution to one's struggles. The films offer a much more in depth depiction of addiction and recovery than what is shown in the controversial shows like Addicted and Intervention. The festival is called “Reel Recovery" not “Reel Addiction” because the films go beyond the exploitative depiction of someone's personal addiction by looking into the many facets of recovery and what real recovery entails.

According to Buschel, the festival may even help people who question their own addictive tendencies, as he told the Huff Post, “the festival could turn out to be somebody's unplanned self-intervention! I have no doubt that some drug addict will wander into one of these screenings and hang out with 100 sober people who are doing well and think, ‘Wow, these people are glowing.’” In retrospect, he thinks about his past when he wasn’t sober and says, “back when I was using, I didn't even know those people existed; I didn't know anybody who was sober. But if I had wandered into this festival, I might have thought, "Hey, look at all these people! They look like me. They're creative and smart... and they're sober. Who knew it was possible?"

The films and the attendees show that recovery is indeed possible. Passport to Recovery was founded on the premise that recovery is possible and it’s mission, like that of Writers in Treatment, is to promote recovery.

If you or a loved one is interested in recovery from addiction and mental health disorders, Passport to Recovery can help you begin your journey. For those who have seen any of the movies at this year’s Reel Recovery Festival, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the movies in the comment section below.
Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment