About the festival
The Recovery Street Film Festival focuses on filmmakers who have a lived experience of recovering from drug or alcohol addiction, whether it is themselves or a loved one.
We want to demonstrate through the medium of film the diverse issues that are faced by people overcoming addiction and how those around them can be affected.
The aim is to empower people affected by addiction by giving them a voice, providing a platform for them to tell their own stories of the ‘ups and downs’ and how they reached recovery. We want the films to highlight the problems that are confronted when someone is attempting to regain their place in society: to gain new friends, to revive links with family, secure a home and get a job.
We want the films to show a different side to the story of addiction: one that shows a true picture of the determination, commitment and courage that is required to start life afresh. It can be an uphill struggle and one that is not without its pitfalls and disappointments and we want the films to explore all the challenges that people face.
Ceri, who won in 2015, talked about her experience of entering:
“I entered the Recovery Street Festival competition after seeing it on Addaction’s Facebook page. I felt like it was a good opportunity to try and show others the impact of alcoholism on the children involved, both as a child and an adult.
My mum was an alcoholic, and my childhood was very chaotic and unstable. I always thought I could fix my mum and kept the alcoholism a secret from everyone. I still meet a lot of challenges with self-esteem and anxiety due to this. My mum died when I was 21 so I feel a huge gap in my life now.
I really didn't think I'd be able to speak in front of the camera, but decided to just give it a try, with no expectations, but love writing and being creative so tried to just enjoy the process. It was difficult to make at times, some days I could only manage to do it for a few minutes but other days I spent hours editing it. It started at 20 minutes long, so it took a while to edit down to 3 minutes!
I didn't realise at first, but the main benefit to making the film was that after having my son I was again processing the grief of losing my mum. The film helped me remind myself that mum was controlled by alcoholism and it wasn't my fault, and has really helped me move on.
I've now started helping the charity NACOA (national association for children of alcoholics) and they have been able to use my film and story to raise awareness during Children of Alcoholics week.
I think that in the future the Recovery Street Festival could be a great way for people to work through their own stories and celebrate their recovery. It's also a great creative output and really improved my confidence. These films could help all the charities involved educate others of the impact drugs and alcohol have, and show others they aren't alone in their journey and motivate them to make changes to their lives.”
Watch Ceri’s winning film here.