The 2019 Recovery Street Film Festival was launched at the Everyman, King’s Cross on 3rd September where the 10 shortlisted films were shown. Humankind is one of the seven charities involved in organising the festival and we are delighted to announce that this year’s winner, The Beast Inside Me, was made by Junaid, a volunteer at Blenheim, part of Humankind’s service, in Lewisham.
The poem featured in the film was written by Junaid when he was taking part in another of Blenheim’s services, Journey to Recovery, which supported people to look at the history of recovery in Redbridge and share their stories with the help of poet and spoken word artist, Mr Gee.
Junaid shares his thoughts about the festival; “It was truly an amazing experience to win the festival. I got there in the end after trying for two years, persistence pays off.
The last time I left prison I recognised I couldn’t do it on my own and went to a service in Redbridge to get support and here I am now.”
Junaid’s advice for those thinking about getting involved in the festival next year: “Don’t be shy, whatever your idea is or how obscure just tell your story however you want to. There is no harm in doing it - just go for it!”
The festival is extremely fortunate to be supported by Jason Flemyng, an actor known for his roles in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and Dr James Ohene-Djan, a Senior Lecturer at Goldsmiths University, who both shared their reasons for getting involved and announced the winners at the launch.
The national film festival, now in its sixth year, celebrates those in recovery from drugs or alcohol and uses the medium of film to explore different journeys through recovery. Limited to only 3 minutes in length, the films also have to touch upon this year’s theme: ‘Recovery Connections’ and how friends, families and communities helped people with their recovery journeys.
This year’s judges include key figures in documentary film making, previous entrants and people who have been affected by addiction including Sylvia Harvey, founding member of the Sheffield International Documentary Film Festival and Ceri Walker, winner of the 2018 festival.
The Recovery Street Film Festival is organised by a number of third sector drug and alcohol treatment providers all working together including; Humankind, Turning Point, CGL, Phoenix Futures, Steps to Recovery, Forward Trust and Action on Addiction.
There are more film screenings across the UK during September. Visit the website to find your nearest venue.