The Los Angeles-based nonprofit recovery organization for writers affected by alcoholism or substance abuse, Writers In Treatment (WIT), will be hosting its second annual Reel Recovery Film Festival from October 27–30 in Hollywood, California, and November 11–14 in Nashville, Tennessee. After its successful debut in 2009, the Reel Recovery Film Festival is continuing to celebrate prevention, intervention, and recovery from life-debilitating substance addictions and the preservation of natural creativity.
Last year’s event included screenings of such addiction-themed films that involved struggling writers and artists such as “Permanent Midnight,” “Barfly,” “The Lost Weekend,” “Sid and Nancy,” “Leaving Las Vegas,” “Less Than Zero,” “Days of Wine and Roses,” and “Ivansxtc.” Each screening was preceded by an introduction from the actors or contributors of the film, including Ben Stiller, Jerry Stahl, Roberta Bassin, Danny Huston, and Bernard Rose. The screenings were followed by mini-process group discussions with psychologists, audience members, and the actors and directors themselves.
This year, WIT is accepting submissions of original shorts, documentaries, music videos, and features for the four-day film festival. Film video submissions that deal with substance abuse issues, recovery, and artistic creativity can be entered by professional, amateur, and student filmmakers from the U.S. and abroad. Also, WIT will be screening four different New York bio-pic classics throughout the event, including “Pollack,” “Basquiat,” “Basketball Diaries,” and “Ciao Manhattan.” The festival will include several panels from well-known writers and performers discussing how writers can reinvigorate their craft and their careers by living healthy, sober lifestyles. Also playing will be a free screening of “When Love Is Not Enough: The Lois Wilson Story,” starring Winona Ryder as Alcoholics Anonymous co-founder Bill Wilson’s wife who eventually established the sister organization Al-Anon in 1951.
The film festival is for the general public, individuals enrolled in recovery treatment, as well as professionals from mental health and addiction medicine, including social workers, psychologists, family therapists, marriage counselors, and addiction counselors. Media representation and members of the entertainment industry will be in attendance as well. The much anticipated networking event is intended to help anyone struggling with addiction or affected by a loved one’s mental health or substance abuse disorder to cope with these difficult challenges and to become informed.
WIT’s Reel Recovery Film Festival can bring people from the creative industry who may be affected by substance abuse disorders or mental health issues together, and to share their stories and desire to overcome their obstacles in an open forum. Many writers tend to work in isolated environments in which addictive behavior can take root and continue to grow unsupervised. Some addictions can become so bad that a writer’s talent and dependencies become intertwined. Writers in particular can become engulfed in this dangerous lifestyle without attracting much notice or reaching out for support. WIT can help these writers realize their true talent by guiding them through recovery treatment and supporting the writing endeavors.
WIT’s 2010 Reel Recovery Film Festival is sponsored by Twin Town Treatment Centers, Recovery Now TV, Malibu Horizon, and several other co-sponsors from local recovery services. For more information on submissions for the film festival, contact Dustin Conrad at (310) 770-9309. Deadline is September 17. To learn more about Writers In Treatment, visit www.writersintreatment.org.