2018 Los Angeles RRFF Schedule

Writers In Treatment’s 10th Annual Los Angeles
REEL Recovery Film Festival & Symposium®
presented with the generous support of Addiction Policy Forum
October 24-30, 2018
Laemmle Royal Theatre

11523 Santa Monica Blvd., West Los Angeles, CA 90025


(Schedule subject to change)






Wed., Oct. 24 – 5:00 pm

5:00pm — Cleaner Daze

(2018) Cleaner Daze is a dark comedy series about addiction, written by a recovering drug addict. The story follows a newbie drug counselor while she struggles with a crew of misfit teenage drug addicts and her own secret addiction. Starring Abigail Reno. Directed by Tess Sweet. 55 minutes (ADULT LANGUAGE)Special Appearance by director, Tess Sweet


Wed., Oct. 24 – 6:00 pm

6:00pm — Opening Night Reception
Sponsored by Crossroads Centre Antigua

Safir Mediterranean Cuisine

11500 Santa Monica Blvd., West Los Angeles
(Across the street from Laemmle Royal)

Tickets $35: includes week-long pass to Film Festival and full Mediterranean buffet —

Available at Brown Paper Tickets
or call 818-762-0146

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Wed., Oct. 24 – 8:00 pm

8:00pm — Andy Irons: Kissed by God

(2018) The story of three-time world champion surfer, Andy Irons, who quietly struggled with bipolar disorder and opioid addiction throughout his life.  Revered around the world for his blue-collar rise to success, most of his fans were unaware of the twin demons he battled.  Directors Todd Jones and Steve Jones. 1 hour 40 mins.
Special Guest



Thurs., Oct. 25 – 1:00pm

1:00 — 8 Ways of Well-Being for Recovering People  –
LA Premiere

(2018) Step by step instructions for people in recovery on how to improve their overall health and happiness through diet, mindfulness and other non-medical treatments. Directed by Scotty Avalos. 16 minutesPresented by Windward Way Recovery

SPECIAL APPEARANCE by Producer: Sonnee Weedn, Phd.

Thurs., Oct. 25 – 1:00pm

Fixed Up – LA Premiere

(2018) This short documentary follows two sober women, B. Rae Perryman and Tawny Lara, as they discuss their past issues with substance abuse and mental illness. They both open up to share their personal stories of depression, anxiety, insecurity, and how they overcome these challenges by living a sober lifestyle. Directed by B. Rae. 30 minutes

Thurs., Oct. 25 – 2:00pm

2:00pm — Gentle Mentals – LA Premiere

(2018) One in five people in the US experience mental illness. Gentle Mentals seeks to reduce the stigma around mental health, by lightening up the conversation. A charming, animated film sure to delight all ages and open up a lively debate. Directed by Veronica Padilla. 2 minutes

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Thurs., Oct. 25 – 2:00pm

Wake Up

(2014) An intensely personal film about 3 generations of women artists, told through archival films and photos, by filmmaker Erin Babbin. She examines her role in the family and sheds light on the depression and addiction that has been passed down through the generations. It also shows the relationship between art and addiction, from a very personal perspective.Directed by Erin Babbin, Michael Sullivan. 8 minutes

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Thurs., Oct. 25 – 2:00pm

For Want of a Nail – LA Premiere

(2018) Marty, who suffers from OCD, attempts to live out a “perfect” day. As the story unfolds it becomes apparent that his range of intricate routines have been compounded by a succession deaths in the family. Directed by Lucy Joan Barnes. 18 minutes


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Thurs., Oct. 25 – 3:00pm

3:00 — Peace, Love and Zoo – LA Premiere

(2018) This film explores the colorful world of artist and recovery guru, Zoo Cain, as he uses art to ease his journey into darkness through cancer and a difficult relationship. Directed by Reginald Groff.  1 hour 8 minutes



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Thurs., Oct. 25 – 3:00pm

Are You Listening? A Pathway to Empathy – LA Premiere

(2017) Josie is known as a mental health advocate in her community. As she goes about her life, she comes across a real threat. How will she handle it?  Written and Directed by Wanda Reinholdt. 35 minutes

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Thurs., Oct. 25 – 5:00pm

5:00 — Baby Steps

(2017) Every year on the anniversary of his father’s suicide, Kenny’s battle with depression pushes him in the same direction. Directed and Written by Eric Dyson. 22 minutes

Special Appearance by Eric Dyson and Cast

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Thurs., Oct. 25 – 5:45pm

5:45 — Do No Harm: The Opioid Epidemic

(2018) Today’s opioid epidemic is the worst man-made public health epidemic in American history. Narrated by Golden Globe winning actor, Ed Harris. Directed by Harry Wiland. 90 Minutes

Special Appearance by Director Harry Wiland 

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Thurs., Oct. 25 – 8:00pm

8:00 — Whitney

(2018) Filmmaker Kevin Macdonald examines the life and career of singer Whitney Houston. Gritty, raw look at the rise and fall of a beautifully tragic legend. Directed by Kevin Macdonald. 2 hours




Fri., Oct. 26 – 2:00pm

2:00pm — Stop Breathe Let Go

(2018) Filmmaker Tiffany Bellinger explores the teachings of community healers, educators and mindfulness practitioners who provide a holistic approach to healing from trauma, addiction and stress. Directed by Tiffany Bellinger. 1 hour

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Fri., Oct. 26 – 2:00pm

Brothers: Broken and Alone

(2018) Made with an iPhone 5s, this film documents the life of two brothers, who drank away their inheritance and started a new life together. But after 4 years of living life off the grid in New Jersey, their bond is threatened. Directed by Jack Ballo. 17 minutes

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Fri., Oct. 26 – 4:00pm

4:00pm — Saving Billy

(2018) Homelessness is not a choice. A bad decision, a natural disaster, the loss of a job can result in living on the street. SAVING BILLY is a film that implores us to look behind the cardboard sign to the person holding it. Directed by Vickie Williams. 10 minutes

Fri., Oct. 26 – 4:00pm


(2017) A recovering addict seeks to acquire a legal dispensation from a rehab counselor with whom he shares a complicated past. Directed by Brendan Burke. 4 minutes

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Fri., Oct. 26 – 4:00pm

Off the Streets for Good

(2018) This extraordinary documentary features interviews with remarkable people who detail their journey from addiction and homelessness to having a room of their own.Directed by psychologist and award-winning documentarian, Luciana Lagana. 1 hour 14 minutesPersonal appearance by director Luciana Lagana

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Fri., Oct. 26 – 6:00pm

6:00pm — The Bird Who Could Fly

(2017) Filmed locally in K-Town, the story of Arthur and his brothers, one an addict and the other who is serving a life sentence. He struggles to decode his mother’s traditional ways in a modern setting. Directed by Raphael Sbarge. 20 minutes
Special Appearance by director Raphael Sbarge

Fri., Oct. 26 – 6:00pm


(2018) Quintessential LA story, a past-his-prime actor goes on an audition; but with a surprising and hilarious twist. Starring Zack Norman and Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks. Directed by Jack Impellizzeri and written by Sean McGillivray. 13 minutesSpecial Appearance by director Jack Impellizzeri & writer Sean McGillivray

Fri., Oct. 26 – 6:00pm

Claire’s Day

(2018) Follow Claire as she journeys through a day of job coaching, only to find out she may be the one who needs help. This light-hearted short is sure to make you chuckle. A Propping Up Recovery Production. Directed by Lauren Unger. 7 minutes
Special appearance by director Lauren Unger

Fri., Oct. 26 – 6:00pm

God of Hell — LA Premiere 

(2017) What does the Father of Lies do in his down time? Does Beelzebub get lonely?How does the Prince of Darkness handle boredom? Vibrant music video from two-time festival filmmaker, Dave Perry, song by Chris Shepard. Filmed on Super 8mm. 4 minutes
Special appearance by director Dave Perry

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Fri., Oct. 26 – 8:00pm

8:00 — Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars 

(2017) A look at the life of legendary guitarist, Eric Clapton, as told by those who knew him best, including BB King, Jimi Hendrix and Paul McCartney. With Mick Jagger, Roger Waters and Steve Winwood and other rock luminaries. Directed by Lili Fini Zanuck. 2 hours 13 minutes. Presented by Crossroads Centre Antigua
Special Guests



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Sat., Oct. 27 – 2:00pm

2:00pm — That Way Madness Lies – LA Premiere

(2018) Filmmaker Sandra Luckow’s scary account of her brother’s dangerous and ever-escalating cycle of arrests, incarcerations and commitment to mental institutions. One of which included a stay in Oregon State Hospital (the setting of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”). Directed by Sandra Luckow. 1 hour 41 minutes
Personal Appearance by director Sandra Luckow

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Sat., Oct. 27 – 4:30pm

4:30pm — Holly’s Girl

(2016) This short film is about breaking down the stereotypical image of an eating disorder and exposing the real story. Holly’s Girl is raw, emotional and unsettling. Directed by Paulina Lagudi. 9 minutesTRIGGER WARNING: GRAPHIC SCENES
Personal appearance by 
director Paulina Lagudi

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Sat., Oct. 27 – 4:30pm

Nervosa – LA Premiere

(2017) Abby starts every day believing today is going to be different. She will not binge, purge or cut herself. She prays that the voice in her head will not win, today is a new day. Directed by Paul Carvelli 9 minutesTRIGGER WARNING: GRAPHIC SCENES OF SELF HARM

Sat., Oct. 27 – 4:30pm

A to B – LA Premiere

(2018) Identical twin sisters examine their shared past experience and how they may affect the future. A genre-defying experimental film. Directed by Bridget McKenna. 14 minutes

Sat., Oct. 27 – 5:00pm

Food Junkie

(2017) What happens in the kitchen stays in the kitchen. FOOD JUNKIE is a light-hearted look at a woman who “eats” her feelings—and all of her roommate’s food, too. Directed by Christina Leonard. 5 minutesSpecial appearance by Christina Leonard

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Sat., Oct. 27 – 5:00pm


(2018) An unnerving peak into the inner life of an eating disorder sufferer, Natalie Dickinson’s film exposes the obsessive thinking and behavior of a classic anorexic. Directed and starring Natalie Dickinson. 9 minutes

Sat., Oct. 27 – 5:00pm

Itty Bitty Committee – LA Premiere

(2018) Brian awakens to have his morning coffee with three women, each who seem to have their own agenda, greet him. A fun, fascinating short film that takes an interesting look at man’s inner dialogue. Directed bb Chuck and Megan Marra. 7 minutes

Special Appearance by star Todd Gadjusek

Sat., Oct. 27 – 6:00pm

6:00pm — Cercle

(2018) Drugs, Sex, but no Rock n’ Roll, this film looks at addiction, the metoo movement and what’s really at the heart of obsession. Directed by Pierre Rvard. 40 minutes


Special Appearance by Pierre Rivard and star Steve Miner

Sat., Oct. 27 – 6:00pm

From Felony to Fitness Free – LA Premiere

(2015) The inspiring story of Doug Bopst, and how he escaped prison…mental prison, even before being released. Doug shares his message of hope through fitness and transformational life coaching. Produced by Sympatico. 4 minutes

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Sat., Oct. 27 – 8:00pm

Barry Diamond’s Comedy Intervention


“You’ll laugh so hard, you’ll spill your popcorn.” 75 minutes




Sun., Oct. 28 – 1:00pm

1:00pm — My Recoverist Family
Free Screening courtesy of – My 12 Step Store

(2017) Join this LGBT+ performance group from Manchester as they journey through recovery from addiction. Their troupe is presided over by avant-garde performance and high-wire artist, David Hoyle. Directed by Amanda Ravetz and Huw Wahl. 40 minutes.
Commissioned by Portraits of Recovery.

Guest Host RJ Holguin

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Sun., Oct. 28 – 2:00pm

2:00pm — SMACKED! Addiction and Recovery in Rural America

(22018) Rural America has been hit hard by the opioid epidemic, but hope is alive and well.  SMACKED! Humanizes the addict and addresses the dangerous stigma.  Directed by Jessica Vecchione.  1 hour 7 minutes

Sun., Oct. 28 – 2:00pm

Bear with Me

(2017) Over the course of an afternoon, a precocious teenage girl tries to help her disowned older brother, home from a stay in rehab, regain the forgiveness of their parents.  Directed by Benjamin Steinberg.  14 minutes

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Sun., Oct. 28 – 2:00pm

Blink of an Eye

(2017) It’s an all too common story … Amazing daughter, big sister, student and dancer, she injures her knee, and when the Vicodin runs out falls prey to heroin. Moving dance sequences soften the harsh reality of this film. Directed by Greg Robbins.  14 minutes

Sun., Oct. 28 – 4:00pm

4:00pm — The Girl Next Door

(2018) Ocean County makes up less than 7% of New Jersey’s population. Yet, it is home to the second most drug overdose deaths in the state.  This  documentary explores these issues from a personal perspective as the victim was the director’s best friend.  Directed by Mark Clauburg.  22 minutes

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Sun., Oct. 28 – 4:00pm

Methadone: Painted into a Corner – LA Premiere

(2018) The film follows the stories of two individuals and their experiences, both positive and negative, with Methadone. Compelling examination of the debate about the efficacy of medication assisted treatment. Directed by Chris Norman.  10 minutes

Sun., Oct. 28 – 4:00pm

No Limits No Boundaries

(2018) A recovering addict, an addict’s daughter and a city police officer in Lycoming County (Pennsylvania) exemplify the effects of addiction in everyday life through their diverse perspectives.  Directed by Kaitlin Lunger. 13 minutes

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Sun., Oct. 28 – 5:00pm

5:00pm — Erasing Eden

(2016) A young woman sabotages her own wedding to reclaim her identity. When Eden caves into pressures to marry Chris, she drinks herself into a blackout the night before the wedding and faces the ultimate soul searching.  Directed by Beth Dewey. Starring Breeda Wool and Ben Rovner. 1 hour 10 minutes
Special appearance by director Beth Dewey and members of cast

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Sun., Oct. 28 – 7:00pm

7:00pm — The Bird Who Could Fly

(2017) Filmed locally in K-Town, the story of Arthur and his brothers, one an addict and the other who is serving a life sentence. He struggles to decode his mother’s traditional ways in a modern setting. Directed by Raphael Sbarge.  20 minutesSpecial appearance by director Raphael Sbarge and producer Richard Rice

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Sun., Oct. 28 – 8:00pm

8:00pm — The Cadillac Tramps: Life on the Edge 

(2017) Personal look at the OC punk band, whose founders Jonny “2 bags” (need we say more) Wickersham and “Gabby” Gaborno who met in rehab and with other recovering addicts became one of the most popular live acts on the West Coast.  Directed by Jamie Sims Coakley. 1 hour 23 minutess

Special appearance by Jamie Sims Coakley and guitarist Brian Coakley



Mon., Oct. 29 – 2:00pm

2:00pm — Thank God It’s Friday – LA Premiere

(2018) From Athens, Greece, TGIF provides a glimpse into the lives of five friends with intellectual disabilities. Every year they go on a week-long vacation to work on their long-term goal of living together, semi-autonomously. Directed by Isi Charbili. 15 minutes


Mon., Oct. 29 – 2:00pm

Kaleidoscope – LA Premiere

(2018) This visual poem explores mental health through the eyes of a young woman, struggling to make it from one birthday to the next. Vivid experimental film. Directed by Gabriela Williams. 15 minutes

Mon., Oct. 29 – 2:00pm

Echoes – LA Premiere

(2018) “The present is the past is the future” What began, as an ordinary family outing becomes a waking nightmare for a young mother searching for her children. Directed by Mark Kerins and Elliot Mayen. 12 minutes


Mon., Oct. 29 – 2:00pm


(2018) Affecting commentary on how our failures, self-doubt and depression can often manifest as separate and very vocal personalities, forcing one to ask themselves the question; “Who am I”? Directed by Ramazan Nanayev. 4 minutes


Mon., Oct. 29 – 2:00pm


(2017) In this award-winning short from Australia, Doris is haunted by the death of her husband and the re-emergence of her sinister alter-ego, Ruth. Directed by Chris Pender. 16 minutes

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Mon., Oct. 29 – 3:30pm

3:30p — Clean and Sober – 30th Anniversary

FREE SCREENING – We promise there won’t be lines!

(1988) A hustling drug addict checks himself into rehab to escape trouble with the law, and realizes that it’s exactly what he needs. Take a sober-ing trip back in time to the coke-fueled 80’s. Directed by Glenn Gordon Caron.  2 hours 4 minutes

Mon., Oct. 29 – 6:00pm

6:00pm — Addiction Policy Forum

Animated series on the warning signs of addiction. 30 minutes

Special Presentation by Emmy-winning journalist Kimberly Clapp

Mon., Oct. 29 – 6:45pm

6:45pm — Two films from Kids In The Spotlight


(2017) A mysterious new girl stirs up trouble and questions when she mysteriously arrives at the group home. 9 minutes

Children of the Sun

(2017) Two teenage girls looking for a different way of life, get caught up in a cult-but is it? 8 minutes
Special Appearance by Kids in the Spotlight

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Mon., Oct. 29 – 8:00pm

8:00pm — Animals – SPECIAL LIVE Q&A
with Star and Screenwriter, David Dastmalchian (Ant-Man & The Wasp) and director Collin Schiffli

(2014) The story of Jude and Bobby, a young couple who exist between homelessness and the fantasy of their imaginations, they con and steal to support their drug habit. Directed by Collin Schiffli. Written by and Starring David Dastmalchian. 1 hour 30 minutes




Tues., Oct. 30 – 2:00pm

2:00pm — Camp Susan

(2017) Susan Rowan talks about her life and her decision not to have a liver transplant after being diagnosed with cirrhosis. You will be forever touched by Susan’s honesty and courage. Directed by Dick Kendall. 38 minutes

Tues., Oct. 30 – 2:00pm


(2018) Leif grapples with emotional instability when his brother goes missing in the woods, but an encounter with a girl named Hallie leads him to find healing and acceptance. Directed by Scott Naar. 19 minutes.

Tues., Oct. 30 – 2:00pm


(2018) Director Joy Cheriel Brown’s narrative short based on her hospitalization with Schizoaffective disorder at 18. Directed by Joy Cheriel Brown. 21 minutes

Tues., Oct. 30 – 2:00pm

Haven – LA Premiere

(2018)From the Netherlands-a father who has lost faith in his son gives him one last chance to kick drugs for good. Directed by Reinout Hellenthal. 6 minutes

Tues., Oct. 30 – 2:00pm

Red Vette October

(2018) Coming of age story about a man heading down a dark path while standing in the shadows of his All-American younger brother. Directed by Paul Marra. 16 minutes

Special Appearance by director Paul Marra

Tues., Oct. 30 – 2:00pm

Second Hand – LA Premiere

(2018) A young boy makes a deal to help save his father, and changes both their lives forever. Directed by Armen Poladian. 7 minutes

Special Appearance by director Armen Poladian

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Tues., Oct. 30 – 4:00pm

4:00pm — The Last High – LA Premiere

(2017) This documentary explores the dangers of synthetic cannabinoids (Kush, Spice, Etc.) through first hand accounts and interviews. Directed by Amber Buras. 58 minutes

Click to Listen

Tues., Oct. 30 – 4:00pm

High on You

(2018) Let’s talk about, drugs, baby…and mental health, in this short film/music video that doesn’t dance around these important subjects.  Produced by Erez Safar. Original song by h2the feat. Melinda Ortner. 3 minutes

Special Appearance by Erez Safar and director Jonty Fine

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Tues., Oct. 30 – 4:00pm

Son to Son

(2017) A late-night meeting between a father and son reveals an unexpected secret. What began as an innocent habit could lead to a dangerous and deadly conclusion. Directed by Taron Lexton. 9 minutes

Special Appearance by director Taron Lexton

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Tues., Oct. 30 – 6:00pm

6:00pm — Up to Snuff

(2018) Millions have been touched by Snuffy Walden’s music, yet few know how he became one of America’s most beloved TV composers. Music and commentary by friends and colleagues including Martin Sheen, Aaron Sorkin, Eric Burdon, and others. Directed by Mark Maxey. 1 hour 20 minutes

Special Appearance by Mark Maxey

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8:00pm — Permanent Midnight – 20th Anniversary

FREE SCREENING-Don’t nod out and miss it!

LIVE Q&A with author, screenwriter JERRY STAHL

(1998) Author, husband, father-to-be, junkie … even when you have it all, some habits can be hard to break. Screened at the 1st Reel Recovery Film Festival PERMANENT MIDNIGHT is back for our 10th year. Directed by David Veloz. Starring Ben Stiller and Elizabeth Hurley. 1 hour 28 minutes


Los Angeles Edition 2018 Schedule

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