Recovery Street Film Festival:
Last month, in partnership with Recovery Street Film Festival, Angelus Foundation helped to launch ‘My Story.’ The event toured the length and breadth of the UK to showcase filmmakers who are in recovery or, have overcome addiction. A mobile pop-up cinema appeared on the streets of London, Blyth, Manchester, Glasgow, and Sheffield in solidarity of the bumpy road to recovery.
The winning film entry ‘Understanding Mum’ narrates the story of a victim of addiction – “I couldn’t be a child anymore.” As a lost child of an alcoholic – and sadly left bereaved, she said “she did love me, but the alcohol took over.” Often a topic that is shut behind the closed door of an addict’s home, the filmmaker raised awareness of substance misuse and parenting. The public learnt of the grave subject of child neglect a topic often, not tackled in the media.
A recovering alcoholic who visited Recovery Street Film Festival told organisers: “It was essential that I come down and support this event, as the stories are inspiring. I recognise the little bits that are relevant to my own story.”
‘Martin’s Story’ describes how his “creativity left” after taking heroin for the first time at the Glasgow School of Arts, just three months before his final degree exhibition – in his film this fellow embraces his talent for music and art. After his diagnoses of Hepatitis C, which has affected 215,000 heroin users in the UK in 2015, Martin said: “I wasn’t going to die the way I was living.”
Martin’s message – “I don’t know where I’m going to end up but I’m going to have a hell of a good-time doing it!” The message is loud and clear to all those who grapple with addiction or, are fighting the struggle – there is always a different way of living.
Addiction is often a ‘taboo’ subject; the festival readdressed the identity of the ‘addict’ by humanising events to unpick the stigma associated with substance misuse. Instead of the ‘addict’ being attributed with negative connotations, the festival instead celebrated abstinence.
We thank all this year’s participants who entered the competition – you impacted the lives of others. The competition and festival will open next year, keep updated on the competition by visiting: http://www.recoverystreetfilmfestival.co.uk/