Lights. Camera. Action.
Whilst hanging out at 5 Ways last week, I bumped into a camera crew. Literally.
The Mezzanine floor was full of recording equipment, cameras and microphones. Eager operators buzzed around making sure everything was “just so” in preparation for their filming.
It struck me there and then how cool it would be if we could produce some kind of film about R3C0VRY.WRX… that could involve the community and be something to show, with pride to a wider audience.
Later that same day I came across a venture that would be the ideal platform. Would you believe it, there IS a Recovery Street Film Festival!? It’s real, it’s happening and it has it’s own website! Or you might want to follow them on Twitter.
I got in touch with Chris, one of the organisers, to find out a little bit more and he was fab… this is what he had to say:
So, a “Recovery Street Film Festival”… what’s that all about?
The Recovery Street Film Festival focuses on filmmakers who have a lived experience of recovering from drug or alcohol addiction, whether it is themselves or a loved one.
We want 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.
Wow… we’ve talked about the positive role of creativity in recovery on the site a few times. How do you think film, and the Festival in particular, plays a part in this?
The aim 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. We want the films to highlight 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.
We want the films to show a different side to the story of addiction: one that shows a true picture of the determination, commitment and courage that is required to start life afresh. It can be an uphill struggle and one that is not without its pitfalls and disappointments and we want the films to explore all the challenges that people face.
What’s it like for people entering? I imagine it’s a bit daunting?
Not at all, anyone can submit a film, whether it’s made on a smartphone, with a portable camera or even a full film crew!
The main thing that is important is the story being told, we want the film to connect with people, to inspire them. You can be as creative as you like, make it animated, add music, effects, anything that helps you tell your story of recovery.
Ceri, who won in 2015, talks about her experience of entering:
“I entered the Recovery Street Festival competition after seeing it on Addaction’s Facebook page. I felt like it was a good opportunity to try and show others the impact of alcoholism on the children involved, both as a child and an adult.
My mum was an alcoholic, and my childhood was very chaotic and unstable. I always thought I could fix my mum and kept the alcoholism a secret from everyone. I still meet a lot of challenges with self-esteem and anxiety due to this. My mum died when I was 21 so I feel a huge gap in my life now.
I really didn’t think I’d be able to speak in front of the camera, but decided to just give it a try, with no expectations, but love writing and being creative so tried to just enjoy the process. It was difficult to make at times, some days I could only manage to do it for a few minutes but other days I spent hours editing it. It started at 20 minutes long, so it took a while to edit down to 3 minutes!
I didn’t realise at first, but the main benefit to making the film was that after having my son I was again processing the grief of losing my mum. The film helped me remind myself that mum was controlled by alcoholism and it wasn’t my fault, and has really helped me move on.
I’ve now started helping the charity NACOA (National Association for Children of Alcoholics) and they have been able to use my film and story to raise awareness during Children of Alcoholics week.
I think that in the future the Recovery Street Festival could be a great way for people to work through their own stories and celebrate their recovery. It’s also a great creative output and really improved my confidence.
These films could help all the charities involved educate others of the impact drugs and alcohol have, and show others they aren’t alone in their journey and motivate them to make changes to their lives.”
You can see watch Ceri’s winning film below:
How can people get involved?
The competition is open to anyone regardless of their skill in film making. We want people to tell their story.
Entry for the 2018 festival will be opening later in the year and we will post updates of the deadline for submissions on the website.
Where should people go to find out more about the Festival and entering?
The best place to go is our website – everything you could possibly want to know is on there, including the theme for this year (My Lightbulb Moment), screening packs and hints and tips for making your own short film.
So there you have it! Who knew? If this post has inspired you to get involved, here are a few quick links to point you in the right direction:
P.S. If you would like to make a film for R3C0VRY.WRX, tell us more…