South African Recovery Film Festival 2016
“Every one knows someone who is negatively effected by substance abuse, whether alcohol or drugs. Process addictions such as sex, gambling, eating problems, gaming and technology are seemingly increasing. The problems are all too evident, and the impacts on every level of society all too obvious. However, the solutions are too seldom celebrated.”
So says Dougie Dudgeon, organiser of The South African Recovery Film Festival 2016, which, in partnership with SACAP, presents a four-day film exposé of addiction, alcoholism, mental health issues and, most importantly, recovery.
Part of the International Recovery Month initiative, the festival, which takes place from 22 to 25 September at the Labia and the Bioscope theatres in Cape Town and Johannesburg respectively, aims to educate, entertain, inform and promote solutions and successes of recovery from addiction. The lineup of screenings, which features productions both local and international, offers a riveting journey through and beyond addiction as well as an exclusive anthology of documentary cinematography at its ground-breaking best.
Festival films, which will all premiere in South Africa for the first time, include, among many others, the award-winning “Stones”, a true-life account of the experiences of alcohol-blighted British singer-songwriter Alexander McKay; “Kingdom Of Shadows”, an unflinching investigation into the destructive consequences of the US-Mexican “drug war”; and “Generation Found”, a powerful story about the coming together of an American community in an effort to ignite a youth addiction recovery revolution in their hometown. The Festival opening night on Thursday 22 September will feature a first local screening of (DIS) Honesty – The Truth About Lies, a fascinating examination of the psychology of how and why people lie and our ambivalent culture of truth, itself so crucial to the recovery process. The film will be followed by a Q&A session that will explore the issues it raises in a distinctly South African context.
“Importantly,” says Lance Katz, Chief Executive at SACAP, “The Festival highlights the heroic path to recovery that many have chosen – a pathway that was only faintly visible to them from within the darkness of their dependency. These are not the actions of super-human Olympians but rather ordinary men and women who courageously chose life instead of death. This is the most empowering message of the Festival: That recovery is not the preserve of a few elite but a possibility for all addiction sufferers.”
Dudgeon adds: “The South African Recovery Film Festival encourages those in recovery to come together as active members of their communities, as role models and credible messengers of hope. We believe recovery needs to be celebrated, and addiction needs to be understood, so we welcome those in recovery, family, friends, healthcare professionals, carers of all types, policy makers, law enforcement, and most of all anyone who likes good films!”