Writers In Treatment presented The REEL Recovery Film Festival in New York Sept 28th-Oct 04, 2012. This multi-day annual event is a celebration of film, the arts, writing and creativity, showcasing filmmakers who make honest films about addiction, alcoholism, behavioral disorders, treatment and recovery.
I attended the opening party along with addiction professionals and those in recovery. The atmosphere was positive and the buzz among attendees was that they hoped for more recognition of addiction in film going forward. The opening performance was “On the Bowery” which is known as the predecessor to modern day documentaries. “On the Bowery” is described as follows:
“Among the most important films from the post-war American independent scene are Lionel Rogosin’s On the Bowery and Come Back, Africa — two incredible documents of bygone eras that still resonate today. From the beginning, Rogosin’s style as an independent filmmaker was straightforward and compassionate. His films, made “from the inside” showed the subjects he chose in their normal surroundings and allowed them to speak in their own words. By choosing ordinary people caught up in universal problems — homelessness, racial discrimination, war and peace, labor relations, and poverty — Rogosin made his point poignantly. The Oscar®-nominated On the Bowery is a masterpiece of the American blend of documentary/fiction.”
The follow up to the film screening on opening night was a Question and Answer session with actor and celebrity Robert Downey Sr., who was open about his personal recovery.