The Cape Town Recovery Film Festival returns for its 5th year, continuing its focus on films exploring themes of addiction, mental health issues and recovery. The festival is taking place at the Labia in Cape Town and at the Bioscope in Johannesburg from 22 to 25 September.
The Festival, which has once again partnered with SACAP (the South African College of Applied Psychology), aims to educate, entertain, inform and promote solutions and successes of Recovery from addiction and other mental health problems. It is part of the International Recovery Month initiative, which sees thousands of inspirational events take place all around the world.
Addiction, alcoholism and mental health issues remain clouded by stigma and lack of understanding. The shame and ignorance often surrounding these conditions make accessing help lonely and difficult despite the reality that we are all affected.
“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 and the prevalence of stress, depression and other mental health issues across society are hard to deny. The problems are all too evident, and the impacts on every level of society all too obvious. However, the solutions are too seldom celebrated,” says festival organiser, Dougie Dudgeon, “The Recovery Film Festival is proud to be part of International Recovery Month, to work with SACAP to bring this vital resource to life in Cape Town and Johannesburg. In the Mother City, we have once again invited the Recovery Walk Cape Town participants to finish their annual event with us at The Labia on the 25th of September as we believe in the importance of celebrating Recovery. The Recovery Film Festival can help people understand addiction, and recovery, so we welcome those in recovery, family, friends, health care professionals, carers of all types, policy makers, law enforcement, and most of all anyone who likes good films!”
With rising addiction, substance abuse and mental health issues tearing the social fabric of our South African communities and families, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and hopeless. “The Recovery Film Festival serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration,” says SACAP CEO, Lance Katz, “It is an important reminder that there are brave warriors meeting these devastating social challenges and constructively confronting them head-on with a range of game-changing projects and initiatives. Recovery is not the preserve of an elite few; it is a possibility for everyone battling with addiction and mental health problems. The Festival raises critical awareness of the enormous personal and social price that is paid. In line with SACAP’s own mandate to act as a catalyst for positive social change through improving mental health awareness and service delivery in South Africa, the Festival powerfully motivates for the mobilizing of sufficient mental health care resources to address the causes of the problems and provide sustainable solutions.”
The Recovery Film Festival highlights the heroic path to recovery that many have chosen – hopefully inspiring others to do the same.
The Festival opens with multi-award winner The Peacemaker, the films subject Professor Padraig O’Malley has strong links with South Africa, and famously brought both sides in the Irish peace process to Arniston in the Western Cape to a conference hosted by Nelson Mandela in the lead up to the historic Good Friday Agreement which finally brought peace and reconciliation to Northern Ireland.
Prof O’Malley was a long term alcoholic who established his recovery in South Africa and used the tools he learnt for personal recovery into his international peacekeeping work.
Tickets for the festival can be purchased through www.webtickets.co.za