2018 New York RRFF Schedule

TICKETS AT THE DOORWriters In Treatment’s 6th Annual New York
REEL Recovery Film Festival & Symposium®
presented with the generous support of Addiction Policy Forum
November 2-8, 2018
Village East Cinema

181 2nd Ave. at 12th St., New York, NY 10003


(Schedule subject to change)





Fri., Nov. 2 – 6:00 pm

6:00pm — Opening Night Reception
Sponsored by Writers In Treatment

Numero 28 Pizzeria

176 Second Ave., New York, NY 10003
(Across the street from Village East Cinema)

Invitation only – info@reelrecoveryfilmfestival.org

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Fri., Nov. 2 – 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.FREE SCREENING courtesy of Crossroads Centre Antigua
Special Invited Guests



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Sat., Nov. 3 – 1:00pm

1:00 — Coach Jake

(2017) At 70 years old, Martin “Coach Jake” Jacobson is the winningest high school coach in NYC history. But this year, both on and off the field, may be the most challenging yet. Directed by Ian Phillips. 1 hour 22 minutes

SPECIAL APPEARANCE by Coach Jake and director Ian Phillips

Sat., Nov. 3 – 3:00pm

3:00pm — Time’s Up

(2012) A film by Lance Juracka about two generations of a family dealing with alcohol addiction, it was made when Lance was a film student at NYU, Tisch. 12 years later he died from alcohol addiction. Directed by Lance Juracka. 17 minutes

Sat., Nov. 3 – 3:00pm


(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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Sat., Nov. 3 – 3:00pm

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

Sat., Nov. 3 – 3:00pm

Adventures of the Depressive Mind

(2017) Join our brave protagonist as he embarks on an adventure through the trials and tribulations of living with mental health issues. Directed by Brian Higgins. 8 minutes

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Sat., Nov. 3 – 3:00pm

Baby Steps 

(2017) Every year on the anniversary of his father’s suicide, Kenny’s battle with depression pushes him in the same direction. Baby Steps, shows the push and pull a man can experience between the darkness of depression and addiction and the light of recovery. Directed and Written by Eric Dyson. 22 minutes 

Sat., Nov. 3 – 3:00pm


(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.

Sat., Nov. 3 – 3:00pm


(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

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Sat., Nov. 3 – 5:00pm

5:00 — Peace, Love and Zoo

(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

Special Appearance by Director Reginald Groff and star Zoo Cain

Sat., Nov. 3 – 6:15pm

6:15pm — From Felony to Fitness to Free

(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

Special Appearance by Doug Bopst

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Sat., Nov. 3 – 7:00pm

7:00pm — Animals

(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

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Sat., Nov. 3 – 9:00pm

9:00pm — 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 Katie Mackey





Sun., Nov. 4 – 1:00pm

1:00pm — A to B

(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

Sun., Nov. 4 – 1:00pm

Bar Fights

(2017) Nick is an alcoholic who tries to get sober. This first-time film is a portrayal of a hard core alcoholic; a taste of modern day boredom, loneliness, and desire for “connection.” Directed by Michael Nitkowski. 1 hour 18 minutes

Special Appearance by director Michael Nitkowski

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Sun., Nov. 4 – 3:00pm

3:00pm — Bill W: A Documentary About the Co-Founder of
Alcoholics Anonymous

Community Free Screening
(2012) Bill W. tells the story of William G. Wilson, the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. Through interviews, recreations and rare archival material the audience sees how Bill W. went from a hopeless drunk to the co-founder of one of the important social/spiritual movements of the 20th century. Directed by Kevin Hanlon and Dan Carracinos. 1 hour 43 minutes

Special Appearance by director Kevin Hanlon

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Sun., Nov. 4 – 5:30pm

5:30pm — 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

Special Appearance by director Jack Ballo

Sun., Nov. 4 – 6:00pm

6:00pm — 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

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Sun., Nov. 4 – 7:00pm

7:00pm — When Love is Not Enough – The Lois Wilson Story

(2010) Based on the true story of the enduring love story between Lois Wilson and Bill W. and the transformational social movements they founded. DIrected by John Kent Harrison. Starring Winona Ryder. 1 hour 32 minutes

Sun., Nov. 4 – 9:00pm

9:00pm — The Tenth Step

(2017) Filmed on location in the Himalayas. After 4,000 miles and 108 days on the road revisiting the places and people that shaped his life, while experiencing personal tragedy and Nepal’s devastating journey. Directed by Gerry Moffatt. 1 hour 3 minutes




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Mon., Nov. 5 – 1:00pm

1:00pm — 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

Mon., Nov. 5 – 1:00pm

8 Ways to Well-Being for Recovering People

(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. Starring Sonnee Weedn. Directed by Scotty Avalos. 16 minutes

Mon., Nov. 5 – 3:00pm

3:00 — Second Hand – US 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


Mon., Nov. 5 – 3:00pm

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

Mon., Nov. 5 – 3:00pm

My Recoverist Family (UK)

(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. 40 minutes

Mon., Nov. 5 – 5:30pm

5:30 — 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

Mon., Nov. 5 – 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., Nov. 5 – 7:00pm

7:00pm — Fixed Up

(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
Special appearance by B. Rae Perryman and Tawny Lara

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Mon., Nov. 5 – 8:00pm

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.



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Tue., Nov. 6 – 1:00pm

1:00pm — That Way Madness Lies – NY 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

Tue., Nov. 6 – 3:00pm

3:00pm — Kaleidoscope

(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

Tue., Nov. 6 – 3:00pm


(2018) Director Joy Cheriel Brown’s narrative short based on her hospitalization with Schizoaffective disorder at 18. A deeply personal dramatization of a woman dealing with the conflict between her perception of reality, and the rest of world’s. Directed by Joy Cheriel Brown. 21 minutes

Tue., Nov. 6 – 3:00pm

Thank God It’s Friday – NY 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

Tue., Nov. 6 – 3:00pm

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

Tue., Nov. 6 – 3:00pm

Itty Bitty Committee – NY 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 byChuck and Megan Marra. 7 minutes

Tue., Nov. 6 – 3:00pm

Gentle Mentals

(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

Tue., Nov. 6 – 3:00pm


(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

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Tue., Nov. 6 – 4:00pm

4:00pm — For Want of a Nail – NY 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

Tue., Nov. 6 – 4:00pm


(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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Tue., Nov. 6 – 4:00pm

Risk (UK)

(2018) As Sara de Lacy intensively trains for the biggest MMA bout of her life, she faces stiff resistance from friends and family. The reason will shock you. Directed by Luke Bradford. Starring Joanne Bradford. 11 minutes

Tue., Nov. 6 – 5:00pm

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

Tue., Nov. 6 – 6:00pm

6:00pm — Recovering Lives

(2017) This documentary, produced by Beacon Health Options share three powerful recovery stories related to autism, childhood trauma/mental illness and addiction. Directed by Jeff Bemiss. 26 minutesSpecial appearance – Q&A following film

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Tue., Nov. 6 – 6:00pm

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

Tue., Nov. 6 – 6:00pm

God of Hell — NY 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

Tue., Nov. 6 – 7:45pm

7:45pm — 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





(Films made by women, starring women, about women—for everyone)
Discussion is encouraged after each film.

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Wed., Nov. 7 – 1:00pm

1:00pm — 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

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Wed., Nov. 7 – 1:00pm

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: DISTURBING SCENES

Wed., Nov. 7 – 1:00pm

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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Wed., Nov. 7 – 1:00pm


(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

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Wed., Nov. 7 – 1:00pm


(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

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Wed., Nov. 7 – 1:00pm

Wake Up

(2014) An intensely personal film about 3 generations of women artists, told through archival films and photos, by filmmaker Erin Babbin.. It shows the relationship between art, artists and addiction, from a very personal perspective. Directed by Erin Babbin, Michael Sullivan. 8 minutes

Wed., Nov. 7 – 2:00pm

2:00pm — Recovering

(2017) In this hour-long pilot, Cally Claremont, the adult child of an alcoholic (and so naturally, a recovering perfectionist), must seek help from her estranged sister and a famously sober rock star in order to save her unique treatment center from closing its doors. Directed by Carly Keyes. 46 minutes

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Wed., Nov. 7 – 3:30pm

3:30pm — 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

Wed., Nov. 7 – 6:00pm

6:00pm — 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)

Wed., Nov. 7 – 7:00pm

7:00pm — Traveling with Ani

(2017) Homeless junkie, Ani, and her friend use time travel to escape the insanity and desperation of addiction and disconnection. Directed by John McNulty.  35 minutes

Special appearance by by star Elexa Poropudas and director John McNulty

Wed., Nov. 7 – 8:00pm

8:00pm — Ciao Manhattan

(1972) Essential viewing for anyone intrigued by 60’s pop culture, the New York art scene and the Summer of Love. “CIAO”, is a thinly disguised biopic of the last days of “tragic muse” and Andy Warhol superstar, Edie Sedgwick, who died two weeks after the film was released. Directed by David Weisman and John Palmer. 1 hour 24 minutes




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Thurs., Nov. 8 – 1:00pm

1:00 — Do No Harm: The Opioid Epidemic

(2018) Today’s opioid epidemic is the worst man-made public health epidemic in American history. Every year, we lose more people to opioid deaths that were killed in the entire Vietnam War. Narrated by Golden Globe winning actor, Ed Harris. Directed by Harry Wiland. 90 minutes


Thurs., Nov. 8 – 2:30pm

2:30pm — 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

Special appearance by Director Kaitlin Lunger

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Thurs., Nov. 8 – 3:00pm

3:00pm — 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


Thurs., Nov. 8 – 3:00pm

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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Thurs., Nov. 8 – 3:00pm

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 TRIGGER WARNING


Thurs., Nov. 8 – 5:00pm

5:00pm — 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

Thurs., Nov. 8 – 5:00pm


(2018) Horace is a mess; Horace Jr. is taking care of business. Directed by, written and starring Neal Hemphill. 6 minutes  Special appearance by Director Neal Hemphill

Thurs., Nov. 8 – 6:00pm

6:00pm — LIVE IN PERSON: Tian Dayton, PhD

Presents her Videos:

EMOTIONAL SOBRIETY and  RELEASING SHAME-Experiential Letter-Writing. 15 minutes

Q&A Following: Discussion and discourse encouraged

Thurs., Nov. 8 – 7:00pm

7:00pm — LIVE IN PERSON: Leonard Lee Buschel

(Editor/Publisher, Addiction/Recovery eBulletin®)                “addiction survivor”



Bring your argument and debating skills, no need to pull punches; Leonard is no “Busch-over”

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Thurs., Nov. 8 – 8:00pm

8:00pm — Gridlock’d – 21st Anniversary Screening

Final Night FREE Screening
(1997) After a friend overdoses, Spoon (Tupac Shakur) and Stretch (Tim Roth) decide to get clean and enroll in a government detox program, what happens next is outrageous. Written and Directed by Vondie Curtis-Hall. 1 hour 31 minutes


New York Edition 2018 Schedule

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