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Los Angeles Edition


6th Annual

REEL Recovery Film Festival
Los Angeles Edition 2014

Presented by Writers In Treatment

Oct. 24-30, 2014

Laemmle NoHo Cinema

5240 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91601



Call to Sponsor or bring your clients for free:





(Schedule subject to change)



The Struggle Poster

1:00pm — The Struggle


(1931) Before THE LOST WEEKEND. Before ON THE BOWERY. Before DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES, there was THE STRUGGLE. Pioneering filmmaker D.W. Griffith’s final feature depicts, in glorious black & white, the gritty story of a real alcoholic. This unwavering and nonjudgmental view of addiction shows how employers, family members and society dealt with a man and his alcoholism before it was recognized as a disease. The entire audience will qualify for Al-anon after seeing this film. Starring Hal Skelly, Zita Johnson and Evelyn Baldwin. Director: D.W. Griffith. 70 Minutes

Serenity Prayer

3:00pm — Serenity Prayer

(2014) This short film depicts an alcoholic guided by the Serenity Prayer, who embarks on a journey from addiction to sobriety in an effort to save his relationship with his son. Director: Alex Miranda. 4 minutes

New Life

(2014) New Life: Stories of Addiction and Recovery is an animated short in which six people share their journey from addiction to their new lives in recovery. Director: Matthew Roth; Producer: Alex Miranda. 2 minutes

dear albert

Dear Albert


(2014) GREAT BRITAIN A character driven, observational documentary about recovery from addiction. Following the life and work of Recovery Consultant and recovering addict Jon Roberts over a period of three years. Director: Nicholas Hamer. 85 Minutes

Bobs Espresso Bar

6:00pm — Opening Reception

5251 Lankershim Blvd. (across the street from The Laemmle) North Hollywood 91601

Join us for coffee and delectable treats.

Grace Movie StillClick on Image

7:30pm — Grace
(L.A. Premiere)


(2014) Gracie knows hangovers. She’s intimately acquainted with them. This time she woke up, half-undressed, on a Florida beach, 1100 miles from home. Suspicious and distrustful of everyone, including a café owner with a troubled history of her own, Gracie prefers the relief of alcohol – which had always worked for her. But when she’s arrested for public drunkenness, Gracie is given a choice of jail or 90 meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous. Starring Annika Marks, Sharon Lawrence, Cindy Joy Goggins. Director: Heath Jones. 92 minutes

IN PERSON: Sharon Lawrence, Annika Marks
Producer Sylvia Caminer, Creator/Star/Ex.Producer Cindy Joy Goggins

Stories ForlornClick on Image

10:00pm — Stories Forlorn


(2014) HONG KONG “A fresh, eye-opening voice and perspective, rarely, if ever examined in HK cinema,” —HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Struggling to find answers to his brother’s questionable suicide, a 16-year-old aspiring writer is lured into the underground world of Hong Kong. As the Chinese march their way over the border during the last summer under British rule in 1997, this coming of age drama and thriller tells a story about teens, drug addiction, naiveté and love. Starring Angie Palmer, Glen Chin, Jason Tobin and Oliver Williams. Directors: Uri Schwarz and Jason Sankey. 85 minutes

IN PERSON: Special guests



1:00 PM



calebs GiftClick on Image

Caleb’s Gift

(2013) A 50-year-old equine veterinarian and his 18-year-old son have become bitterly estranged. A car accident, triggered by the son’s drug addiction, compels them both to confront their wounded relationship. Starring Kenneth Fedorko, Matt Starr and Josh Henderson-Cox. Director: Robert Bates. 14 Minutes

IN PERSON: Director Robert Bates, Director of Photography Steve Becker,
Actor Joshua Henderson-Cox



(2014) IRAN This inventive and compelling animated short tells the story of an athlete who lost everything to addiction and uses his love of boxing to turn his life around. “Many years ago when I was a kid, my uncle took me to a local boxing club and that made me interested in boxing,” said director Yahya Ghobadi. “Boxing is very attractive, it could release my energy instead of using drugs!” Director: Yahya Ghobadi. 14 minutes

you are not aloneClick on Image

You Are Not Alone

(2013) A young girl is torn between telling the authorities that her mother is a drug addict, but she never knows when an angel just might be guiding her. Written and produced by Kids in the Spotlight, a non-profit organization that provides a safe environment for kids to express themselves while cultivating interest in film industry careers. Starring Claudia Wells, Director: Kids in the Spotlight. 12 Minutes

IN PERSON: Claudia Wells, Tige Charity, KITS Executive Director and film director, producer and cast

3:00 PM



The B word ShortClick on Image

The B Word

(2014) The B Word depicts two sisters on conflicting paths, both leading to a destructive cycle of fear, blame and uncertainty. The story centers around the disease of Bulimia Nervosa and it’s debilitating factors that transform a sisterly bond into one of dysfunction and toxicity. This short takes on the growing epidemic in the African-American community that has yet to be addressed on a grand scale. Starring Lamon Archey, Desirae Whitfield, Shema Jones-Alamin and Shayla Hale. Writers: Nakisha Celistan, Nakisha Celistan, Director: Jermaine Spencer. 19 minutes

IN PERSON: Naskisha Celistan and Nichole Celistan, and special guests



(2013) Both dreamy and brutal, magical and true, Sweetness is a window into the world of two lovers—Tore and Arianna—who are torn apart by alcoholism. Starring Veraalba Santa, Carson Lee, Chelsea Vance and Philip Mershon. Director: Joe Lueben. 15 Minutes

The Holding Cell

The Holding Cell

(2014) The story of one teenage girl’s free-fall into the harrowing world of prescription drug abuse and addiction. Based on true stories of teenagers in Sarasota, Florida, the movie begins as Skylar is dragged kicking and screaming into the county jail. She spends the night locked in a holding cell and relives her past and dangerous romance with a drug dealer and tries to untangle the web of her darkest days. Starring Christina Norcia, Tsadok Porter and Jack Polubinski, Jr. Director: KT Curran. 34 minutes

IN PERSON: Director KT Curran, Exec. Producer Lisa Brandy

trilogy filmsClick on Image

5:00pm — Neal Hemphill Trilogy:


Top of the World — (2012) 
Two men, carrying two beers, knock on a stranger’s door. He summoned them to come. Little does he know what he started. 
Starring Neal Hemphill, Pete Bradbury, and Nabil Vinas. Writer: Neal Hemphill. Director: Ela Thier. Producers: Neal Hemphill and Christine Ness. 13 minutes

 — (2014) A wealthy woman makes a phone call. A young man, a world away, answers. The only way they can communicate is by speaking the Language of the Heart. With Pat Nesbit and Nabil Vinas. 
Writer/Director: Neal Hemphill. Producers: Neal Hemphill and Laura Durkay. 7 minutes

 — (2014) Death is not a reason. It’s an excuse. And it’s up to you.
 With Virginia Bryan and Neal Hemphill. Writer/Director: Neal Hemphill. Producers: Neal Hemphill and Laura Durkay. 8 minutes

thinking out loud filmClick on Image

Thinking Out Loud


(2014) Living a comfortable life, Harman (AJ Singh) is slow to realize that he must change, not only to overcome his disorder but to save his marriage. As Harman takes extreme efforts to control all aspects of his life while his wife (Kristin Vivsek), longs to experience their once-blissful marriage while being understanding and loving towards her husband’s obsessive compulsive disorder. Directors James Magedman and AJ Singh. 20 minutes

IN PERSON: Special guests

How to Touch a Hot StoveClick on Image

How to Touch a Hot Stove


(2014) featuring narration by actor John Turturro and exclusive interviews with Nobel Prize laureate Eric Kandel, Oliver Sacks and others. How to Touch a Hot Stove is a film that points to complex variations in human experience and differences in thinking, feeling, and perception; identifies the new civil rights movement that has emerged to combat the marginalization of those with ‘mental disorders.’ It challenges audiences to go ‘beyond the movement’ and make a difference. Director: Sheryll Franko. 23 Minutes

IN PERSON: Exec. Prods. Lois Oppenheim, Alice Maher; and very special guests


Wisdom to Know DifferenceClick on Image

Presented by Community Recovery Los Angeles with Candy Finnigan

7:30pm — The Wisdom to Know the Difference


(2014) Best Picture Jury Award and Best Picture Audience Award at the San Antonio Film Festival, and Best Picture, Best Editing, Best Original Song and Best Supporting Actress at the Long Beach International Film Festival. WISDOM is a story about a man’s journey to bring his sobriety full circle and help a young, Latino girl lick a serious drug problem in an unorthodox manner. In this quest, Bob disregards the tremendous dangers he encounters and puts his own life at risk at the request of old friend. Starring Daniel Baldwin, Lou Diamond Phillips, Mayra Leal. Writer/Director: Daniel Baldwin. 114 minutes

IN PERSON: Writer/Director Daniel Baldwin and special guests

Meth HeadClick on Image

10:00pm — Meth Head


(2013) In his 30’s, stuck in a dead end job, engaged to a lover who is more successful than he, Kyle Peoples is also saddled with a family that doesn’t get him. When an innocent night of partying leads to a new family of friends and debauchery, Kyle sees an opportunity to escape from his reality. But Kyle’s new friendship and his love of crystal meth eventually costs him everything. Starring Lukas Haas, Necar Zadegan, Blake Berris. Director: Jane Clark. 108 minutes
TRIGGER WARNING: Graphic scenes of sex, and drug use

IN PERSON: Director Jane Clark



Philip Seymour Hoffman
Tribute Day
Including Robin Williams and Philip Seymour Hoffman in Patch Adams

Hoffman Boogie NightsClick on Image

1:00pm — Boogie Nights


(1997) A young man working in a nightclub is discovered by porn director Jack Horner, and is renamed Dirk Diggler. His awesome “talent” propels him to the top of the porno industry. But when the 1980s arrive, Dirk and his colleagues must cope with a new era of sex, cocaine and overdoses. Starring Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore, Heather Graham and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Director: Paul Thomas Anderson. 155 Minutes

3:45pm — Special Presentation


Owning MahownyClick on Image

4:00pm — Owning Mahowny


(2003) Philip Seymour Hoffman stars as a bank manager with a very serious gambling problem and access to a multi-million dollar bank account. Based on the true story of the largest, one-man bank fraud cases in Canadian history, Mahowny takes an unflinching gaze in to a window of addiction, the sort not often portrayed honestly in films. Also starring Minnie Driver and John Hurt. Director: Richard Kwientniowski. 104 Minutes

Capote HoffmanClick on Image

6:00pm — Capote


(2005) Philip Seymour Hoffman won the Oscar for his extraordinary portrayal of Truman Capote. While covering a murder story, Capote, drink perpetually in hand, finds he is troubled and fascinated by the event. The problem is that the story he wants to tell will suffer unless he can learn the truth of the circumstances surrounding the crime. Over another martini, he also struggles with the unanswerable question of what compels him to be so intrigued by it all. If you have never seen this film in a theater, you are in for a rare treat. Also starring Clifton Collins, Jr., Catherine Keener and Chris Cooper. Director: Bennett Miller. 114 Minutes

Patch Adams WilliamsClick on Image

8:30pm — Patch Adams


(1998) Hunter Adams (Robin Williams) was a troubled man who voluntarily commits himself to a mental institution, and finds that helping his fellow inmates gives him a purpose. Inspired, he leaves the asylum and vows to become a doctor. What he finds at med school is a sickeningly callous philosophy that advocates an arms-length attitude to patients without addressing their emotional needs. “Patch” Adams is determined to find a better way to help them, although the consequences of his defiance of rules and authority are severe. Also starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Monica Potter. Director: Tom Shadyac. 115 Minutes



1:00pm — If Only Tonight


(2014) Music video by David Rosen

Cave MovieClick on Image



(2104) A loose adaptation of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave examines the story through the lens of drug addiction and recovery. We follow two codependent drug addicts through an average day of petty theft and grifting to support their habit. Fueled by addiction, their desperate attempt to score eventually leads them to a home invasion, the result of which decisively leads them in different directions. Director: Vipassi Calabro. 24 minutes

IN PERSON: Director Vipassi Calabro

Roar MovieClick on Image



(2014) “It is the privilege of a lifetime,” said Carl Jung, “to become who you truly are.” This emotionally provocative film chronicles the steps and missteps of a young man who loves art, music, and poetry but who, due to familial and societal expectations, gives up his dreams to pursue “success” as others see it. Director: Monish Gangwani. 8 minutes

a ravaged soulClick on Image

A Ravaged Soul


(2013) CANADA An intimate and emotional biographical account of the “four souls.” Brad, a broadcaster who begins stepping out to Vancouver’s skid row on his lunches to meet up with his drug dealer. He continually comes close to death, but denial is a convincing friend. Director: Brian MacDonald. 56 Minutes

IN PERSON: Director Brian MacDonald

3:00pm — Brainwashed


(2014) Music video by Ana Robles.

kids are dyingClick on Image

Kids Are Dying


(2014) The drug overdose epidemic in New Jersey is worse than it has ever been. More state residents have died from drug overdoses than in car accidents. New Jersey has the purest heroin in the country. In setting out to tell this story, the filmmakers quickly learned that this problem not only exists in New Jersey, but the entire country. Director: Michael DeLeon. 46 Minutes

IN PERSON: Michael DeLeon and guests

dispossessedClick on Image

4:30pm — Dispossessed


(2013) After being brutally raped and losing herself in a series of reckless relationships, and excessive drinking, Jill takes her video camera on a road trip in an attempt to capture her thoughts, feelings and voice. Based on true events. Starring Cheyanne Kane, Jeffrey Wm. Laham, Dr. Judi Bloom and Elias Cecil. Director: Cheyanne Kane. 13 Minutes

IN PERSON: Director Cheyanne Kane

From Me PosterClick on Image

5:00pm — From Me


(2014) A drama about love, passion and unstoppable hope. How can we let go the ones we love? Where is the line between love and obsession? How can exhilarating desire become a force of destruction? Director: Kristel Elling. 14 Minutes

IN PERSON: Director Kristel Elling and special guests

Keys to the Kingdom

6:00pm — Keys to the Kingdom


(2014) What “Easy Rider” did for a low budget motorcycle film, Keys to the Kingdom delivers for pro-surfing but with a darker look at drugs, fame and worldly temptations. Inspired by a true story, champion surfer Reef Sullivan tailspins into a vortex of self-destruction and disappears. But his self-imposed exile catches up with him; Reef is forced to face his demons when his daughter calls for help. Director Paige DePonte. 7.5 minutes

IN PERSON: Director/Screenwriter Paige DePonte, an avid surfer.

 a royal hangover

7:30pm — A Royal Hangover
(L.A. Premiere)


(2014) UNITED KINGDOM A relevant portrait of a nation and its love of the drink. Critically acclaimed independent filmmaker and accomplished non-drinker, Arthur Cauty, serves up a documentary fireball, in equal parts shocking, hilarious, sympathetic and thought provoking; a film we can all toast to. Featuring Russell Brand. Director: Arthur Cauty. 101 Minutes



blackoutClick on Image

1:00pm — Blackout


(2014) Taylor, a 27-year-old alcoholic musician, falls into a momentous downward spiral by getting arrested, being forced to attend AA with her now sober mother Sarah, and dealing with the return of her ex-boyfriend Chris. With nowhere to run, Taylor is faced with the choice of continuing her life on a self-destructive path or taking a step towards recovery. Starring: Lindsey Lantz, Mackenzie Phillips, Don Jeanes. Director: Alana Waksman. 15 Minutes

IN PERSON: Director Alana Waksman, Mackenzie Phillips and special guests

Trainwrecks and Pink CloudsClick on Image

Trainwrecks and Pink Clouds


(2014) This film is not just about addiction and recovery; it’s a blueprint for the damaged, a road map for the broken on where to go with the pieces, Mitzi Dawn candidly documents her struggle with substance abuse and holds back no punches, stating “If you’ve never taken a drug, had a broken heart, made a mistake, or cried yourself to sleep, then you may have a hard time relating, for the rest of the world, this film is for you.” Sponsored by New Directions for Woman. 60 minutes

IN PERSON: Tania Bhattacharyya Director of Development and Public Relations for New Directions and special guests.

Sweet Dreams Short filmClick on Image

3:00pm — Sweet Dreams


(2013) IRELAND Based on the one-woman hit play, this true story portrays a day in the life of Paula Richards who works as a prostitute in order to feed her drug addiction. She battles between the love for her daughter and the harsh reality of her tragic circumstances. Starring: Suzanne Lakes; Director: Rachel Sian O’Connor. 29 minutes
TRIGGER WARNING – Graphic scenes of drug use.
Overtaken 2Click on Image

Overtaken 2 – Where Are they Now?


(2014) The second documentary in the Overtaken series deals with addiction, sobriety and recovery and features many of the young adults who appeared in the first installment and all who have remained sober! Overtaken 2 promises to be an insightful and inspiring look at addiction and sobriety. Director/Producer Jodi Barber. 32 minutes

IN PERSON: Director Jodi Barber and special guests

Do you think im prettyClick on Image

5:00pm — Do You Think I’m Pretty?


(2014) Winner at the Accolade Competition, and The INDIE Gathering; Nominated Best First Feature, Best Long Island Feature and Special Award/ Actress in a Feature (Marion Elaine) at the 17th Annual Long Island International Film Expo. We see a young woman curled up on a metal chair with her face buried in her arm; a man asks: “Do you know why you’re here?” Angel Stone’s story begins with a turbulent relationship with a stranger who rescued her from an alley, and ends with her imprisoned in this room. Starring: Marian Elaine, Amy Bettina and Darryl Sorrentino. Director: David Wasson. 102 Minutes

IN PERSON: Director David Wasson and Actor Marian Elaine

thanks for sharing

7:30pm — Thanks for Sharing


(2013) Adam has just reached the 5-year mark in his sex addiction sobriety when he meets Phoebe who might be perfect for him. But Phoebe doesn’t date addicts. Adam must now honestly embrace romance the way he did abstinence. Starring Mark Ruffalo, Gwyneth Paltrow and Tim Robbins. Director: Stuart Blumberg. 113 Minutes

IN PERSON: Screenwriter Matt Winston

Chasing BeautyClick on Image

9:30pm — Chasing Beauty


(2013) An in-depth and honest look at the world of fashion models and age, plastic surgery, photo shopping, eating disorders and drug use. Chasing Beauty is a collection of intertwined stories of models’ pursuits of success in the fashion and beauty business and the collateral damage that sometimes occurs. Featuring Kelly Anderson, Jo Baker, William Barney and Traci Bingham. Director: Brent Huff. 85 Minutes

IN PERSON: Director Brent Huff



on lifes termsClick on Image

1:00pm — On Life’s Terms: Mothers in Recovery


(2014) This film follows five mothers struggling with substance abuse in a unique residential treatment program in San Rafael, CA, as told through the eyes and candid scenes with their children. The women learn responsibility and integrity as they strive to overcome addiction, domestic violence, prostitution and incarceration to make life better for their family. Director: Sheila Ganz. 57 Minutes

IN PERSON: Director Sheila Ganz

without a homeClick on Image

Without a Home


(2012) Growing up in Los Angeles, a city whose homeless population exceeds 90,000, filmmaker Rachel Fleischer always felt a deep connection to the homeless. Her desire to understand that connection takes twenty-three year old Fleischer on an extraordinary, four year journey into the lives of six homeless individuals and families as they struggle to find homes, get clean, and survive. Director: Rachel Fleischer. 74 Minutes

IN PERSON: Director Rachel Fleischer

Easy SilenceClick on Image

3:00pm — Easy Silence


(2014) Scene: backwoods of the American South. As her addictions and demons threaten the future of both herself and her baby, Jade must decide whether she can overcome temptation in order to become the mother her child deserves. Starring, Ashley Reign, Michelle Bernard, James Haven. John Henry Whitaker and Max Randleman. Director: Stephen Anthony Baile. 28 minutes

IN PERSON: Dir. Stephen Anthony Bailey and Writer/Actress Ashley Reign

Diary of CrackheadClick on Image

5:00pm — Diary of a Crackhead


(2012) Diary of a Crackhead is a poignant and very funny one-man show about addiction and recovery. How can one rise from the ashes of a family riddled with crime, pimps, pushers, drug/alcohol addiction, gangster ethics, prison life and mental institutions? This story is about overcoming adversity against all odds through laughter. A funny story about a very serious problem. Directed by and starring Stevie Mack.

IN PERSON: Director/Writer Stevie Mack

Bathroom DiariesClick on Image

7:00pm — Bathroom Diaries


(2014) A gritty, sensual, dark comedic slice of life into the downfall of a Los Angeles Probation Office, Ray Peratta. A drug dealing sex addict who is struggling to take care of his dying father, pay the bills and uphold the law. Ray is caught in a web of self destruction, his fragile world built upon lies becomes unhinged as a decade of ill planted seeds come to harvest in one cold winter. Director: Jake Barsha. 60 minutes

IN PERSON: Writer Robert Paul Taylor, Dir. Jake Barsha, Prod. David Lachapelle and award-winning Editor Terry Kelly

gridlockdClick on Image

9:00pm — Gridlock’d


(1997) Starring Tupac Shakur and Tim Roth. After a friend overdoses, Spoon and Stretch decide to kick their drug habits and attempt to enroll in a government detox program. Their efforts are hampered by seemingly endless red tape, as they are shuffled from one office to another while being chased by drug dealers and the police. Director: Vondie Curtis-Hall. 91 minutes



dear albertClick on Image

1:00pm — Dear Albert


(2014) GREAT BRITAIN A character driven, observational documentary about recovery from addiction. Following the life and work of Recovery Consultant and recovering addict Jon Roberts over a period of three years. Director: Nicholas Hamer. 85 Minutes

lake indiansClick on Image

3:00pm — The Honour of All:
The Story of Alkali Lake


(1985) This is the true story of how a few people took control of their lives and generated a new atmosphere of dignity and hope for all. The Honour of All re-creates the events that took place in the small northern B.C. Indian community of Alkali Lake between 1940-1945. With the level of alcoholism at virtually 100%, a few brave individuals transform their community 360-degrees into a culture of sobriety. Starring Andy Chelsea, Phyllis Chelsea and Fred Johnson. Director: Phil Lucas. 60 Minutes

radical resistance tourClick on Image

4:15pm — Radical Resistance Tour: Pine Ridge, South Dakota (L.A. Premiere)


(2014) The Radical Resistance Tour is an autonomous project by a group of media makers and organizers. We want to show people who aren’t on the ground how people are being directly affected by decisions being made by corporations and governments that put profits over people and the environment. And the rampant alcoholism among the Native America tribes in Pine Ridge, South Dakota is one of those stories. 25 minutes

Sponsored by Alcohol Justice


Moderator: Shawn Imitates Dog, Director of Human Resources, House of Blues

Jorge Castillo, Advocacy Director from Alcohol Justice; Evelyn Nieves, journalist and Oglala Sioux President; Bryan Brewer Oglala Sioux President; Sonny Skyhawk, Founder and CEO at American Indians in Film and Television.

american addict twoClick on Image

7:30pm — American Addict
(Special Presentation)


(2012) American Addict 1 unveils how America has gone from the land of the free to the land of the addicted. America represents 5% of the world’s population but consumes 50% of the world’s prescription pills and over 80% of the world’s prescription narcotics. This film reveals the relationships between the FDA, big Pharma, physicians and the media that ensure medical problems are treated with pills and not ethics. Voiced by Producer Dr. Gregory Smith. Director: Sasha Knezev. 89 Minutes

IN PERSON: Creator Dr. Gregory Smith will present exclusive footage from American Addict 2 with Director Sasha Knezev


Friends of Recovery and the Arts – Mr. Sonny Flor –
Ms. Shelley Marshall – Mr. Leonard Wayne

Schedule subject to change


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KLEAN Treatment Center


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community RecoveryReflections Hollywood Detox800 No Cuffs Authentic Recovery Center


New Directions for WomenEngage Treatment ProgramsMorningside Recovery Logo

Balboa Horizons

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Social Model Recovery SystemsArmani Wells

Able To Change RecoveryHis HousePine GroveCaron LogoCasa de las Amigas Cri Help alcoholjustice200


Los Angeles Edition 2014 Schedule

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