Following the success of last year’s inaugural Cape Town Recovery Film Festival, 2014 sees the addition of feature films and locally produced short films as well as critically acclaimed international documentaries. This year’s event will include Q&A sessions with film makers and facilitated audience discussions around addiction and recovery issues.
The Cape Town Recovery Film Festival sets out to entertain as well as inform and educate, which is why we are delighted to add some live music, poetry readings and DJ’s to this year’s mix.
Twitter: @WYWS_SA #RecoveryFilmFest
The Festival Opening Night (Thursday 25 September) will see the South African premiere of Russell Brand’s inspiring film From Addiction To Recovery. Brand is internationally recognised as a positive voice for addiction treatment and recovery, and this film aims to carry that positive message to as wide an audience as possible. Also part of Opening Night is the world premiere for a Cape Town shot and produced short film, Through The Smoke, and the film-maker Dylan Williams and producer Lyle Kane will be in attendance to discuss issues raised with the audience after the screenings.
On Day 2 (Friday 26 September), continuing with the local theme, we are proud to present another Cape Town story, From The Basement, as a curtain raiser to the biting satire How To Make Money Selling Drugs. Featuring Susan Sarandon, Russell Sims and David Simon, this is an exposé of the failed “War on Drugs” and the part it plays in frustrating recovery efforts. The Director of From The Basement, will be present to discuss his story following the screenings.
On Day 3 (Saturday 27 September), the Labia Theatre becomes Cape Town’s Recovery Hub! Starting at 2pm with a free screening of last year’s sold-out film – The Anonymous People, presented in association with Hope House (please call the Labia box office on 021 424 5927 to reserve your free tickets; first come first served basis; maximum two tickets per caller).
The day continues with a second free screening, Addiction, Recovery and Yoga hosted by Retief Sevenster of BodyMind Vinyasa (again free tickets must be booked in advance with the Labia box office). The transition from day to evening will be facilitated by the deep grooves of Future Deep, featuring Elton Edwards, in the Labia foyer.
At 6pm in the main theatre Tombstone Pete plays a short acoustic set as an introduction to Bob and The Monster. Featuring interviews with rock ’n roll royalty Guns & Roses, Flea, Courtney Love, Anthony Kiedis and more, this award winning documentary, presented in SA for the first time, charts the fall (to addiction) and the rise (in recovery) of Bob Forrest. Most recently seen as Dr Drew’s main man on Celebrity Rehab, Bob has emerged from his troubled past to a position of trust and respect among his peers whenever they need some help.
Saturday night closes with a Special Tribute Screening of Owning Mahowny starring the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. On the 2nd of February this year, he was found dead in an apartment in Greenwich Village, New York. Investigators found Hoffman with a syringe in his arm and two open envelopes of heroin next to him. Hoffman was long known to have struggled with addiction. In 2006, he said in an interview with “60 Minutes” that he had given up drugs and alcohol many years earlier, when he was 22 years old. In 2013, he checked into a rehabilitation program for about 10 days after a reliance on prescription pills resulted in his briefly turning again to heroin. This screening is dedicated to all those who have lost out to the disease of addiction, addicts, family and friends.
Day 4 (Sunday 28 September): At 12pm on Sunday, courtesy of Danish Documentary, we are proud to offer a free screening of another of last year’s Festival highlights, Free The Mind. Featuring the work of Prof. Richard Davidson, this film explores and explains the science behind, and personal stories of, those benefitting from mindfulness practices. There will be a conversation after the film with members of the South African Institute for Mindfulness. At 2pm we present Hollywood’s classic take on alcoholism, Days Of Wine And Roses as the Sunday Afternoon Matinee, starring Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick and featuring Henry Mancini’s Oscar winning title song.
May I Be Frank screens at 4pm. Entertaining and moving this is not only a film about transformation, it is a case study in an amazing change in an amazing man in an amazing space of time! Frank Ferrante is a 54 year old Sicilian from Brooklyn living in San Francisco. A lover of life, great food, beautiful women and a good laugh, Frank is also a drug addict, morbidly obese, pre-diabetic and fighting Hepatitis C. He’s estranged from his daughter, single and struggling with depression. Frank knows that life can be better than this, and is looking for a way out. Join us to see how it happens, and for a live Skype conversation with Frank following the screening!
At 6pm Tombstone Pete kindly “opens” for Alice Cooper! Super Duper Alice Cooper, a highly acclaimed new documentary film which charts the tortured and tumultuous relationship between Detroit performer Vincent Furnier and his alter-ego Alice Cooper, a association that encompassed alcoholism, sobriety, success and failure, cocaine, crack and heartbreak… and finally resolution, acceptance and recovery!
Day 5 (Monday 29 September): Of course we all know that smoking is unhealthy but just how far have the big tobacco companies gone to push their wares on many millions of addicted consumers? Addiction Inc. reveals the truth behind the story. Also screening this evening is the third of our local offerings, Umdovolo (The Gamble) directed by Siphokazi Mbuti. There will be a chance to talk to Siphokazi about her story following the screening.
On Day 6 (Tuesday 30 September) festival goers have a second chance to see our opening short film Through The Smoke, followed by The Hungry Heart, which examines the controversial, but evidently successful practice of harm reduction. For some people, taking Suboxone is a crucial stepping stone to long term recovery, for others it is a crutch and for yet others, Suboxone is abused and diverted onto the street. The film examines all of these aspects through the eyes and experience of a caring Vermont GP, Fred Holmes. The relationship that he creates with each patient shines a light on the healing power of conversation and the need for connection that many of these young addicts yearn for, but do not have in their lives. Dr Holmes provides a kind of treatment that goes beyond harm reduction. There will be a facilitated audience discussion following the screenings.
Day 7 (Wednesday 1 October) features Dear Albert, a moving British film, which has its World Premiere at the renowned Calgary International Film Festival in September. A character driven feature documentary about recovery from addiction, it follows the life and work of recovery consultant Jon Roberts over a period of three years. A recovering addict himself, he believes that if he can get well so can those he tries to help. It’s “Get well or die trying”. As well as a second chance to see From The Basement, the evening will commence with a short poetry reading from Georgie Lyttleton. Georgie’s poetry was featured in the widely acclaimed “I Am Dance” by Afrika Ablaze at the Baxter Theatre in 2012 and she’ll be sharing her poems Addiction, Something and Shedding from that show.
Day 8 (Thursday 2 October), the final night of this year’s Festival, offers the chance to consider both a fascinating film and the shared problems and consequences of alcoholism. Sober Indian / Dangerous Indian explores the harmful effects of alcohol abuse on tribal reservations in the USA, including high rates of fetal alcohol syndrome, cirrhosis, teen suicide and high-risk sexual behaviour. Attributed to Lakota Sioux activist, Debra White Plume, the phrase that gives this film its name is used in the film by another activist to describe deliberate efforts to control Native Americans by encouraging them to over-consume alcohol for the past four centuries. “The film’s main theme is that you take back control of your life and your community when you become sober,” says producer John Maisch. “Some might see that as dangerous, I see it as empowering.” Audience members will have a second chance to see Umdovolo (The Gamble) and to take part in an audience discussion about the main film facilitated by Shaun Shelley of Hope House.
Please contact us for more information about individual films, photos, enquiries to filmmakers and the Festival:
Dougie Dudgeon: 082 560 2296 | email@example.com
Andreas Wilson-Späth 084 749 9470 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter: @WYWS_SA #RecoveryFilmFest
Festival Sponsors: Ixande, The Living House, Life Matters, Start2Stop UK and The Mews House, The Harmony Group, Prospect Hill Recovery Practice, Start to Stop SA, Faces and Voices of Recovery Southern Africa, Recovery Books, SMART Recovery, Hope House, Tharagay House, Rustenburg Addiction Care, Seascape House, SHARP Recovery Centre, Mark Emmerich.
Friends of the Festival: Sonja Swartz, Jurgens Smits, Dr Rodger Meyer, Dana Tadmor, Debbie Bub, Dr Duncan Laurenson & Practice.
The Cape Town Recovery Film Festival is a project of While You Were Sleeping.
While You Were Sleeping is a Cape Town-based non-profit collective committed to bringing progressive documentary films with important social, political and environmental messages to South African audiences. While You Were Sleeping is a registered South African Non Profit Organisation (NPO registration no: 137-167 NPO).