NEW YORK, Sept. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- An award-winning new film about America's addiction epidemic will premiere tonight in New York, exploring the rise of a controversial new movement following in the footsteps of the HIV/AIDS and breast cancer survivor movements. "The Anonymous People," by filmmaker Greg Williams, takes an unparalleled look at the public health crisis of addiction to alcohol and other drugs and the meteoric rise of the New Addiction Recovery Advocacy Movement. The film's premiere at NYU's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts will be followed by a panel discussion with Williams, Emmy-award winning actress Kristen Johnston, television journalist Laurie Dhue, and grassroots community activists who appear in the documentary.
"This is not your tired old addiction rehab story splashed across reality TV or tabloid magazines," said Williams. "There are no needles hanging out of people's arms, pictures of the brain, or fried eggs in a pan." As a person in long-term recovery himself since age 17, Williams (now 29) adds, "We set out to find the answer to one very fundamental question: Why do we treat addiction and people with addiction in this country so dramatically differently than people with any other health issue?"
"The Anonymous People," (http://manyfaces1voice.org/#the-film) explores how deeply entrenched social stigma and discrimination, combined with cursory acceptance of anonymous 12-step group dogma have kept recovery voices silent and faces hidden for decades. Just like women with breast cancer, or people with HIV/AIDS, courageous addiction recovery advocates are coming out of the shadows to share the truth and reality of recovery. The moving story of "The Anonymous People" is told through the faces and voices of the leaders, volunteers, corporate executives, and celebrities who are putting themselves on the line to save the lives of others just like them.
New public recovery advocates question the approach the U.S. has taken with addiction: criminalizing a health condition, marginalizing those impacted, and giving superficial treatment to the chronic illness of addiction. This failure has resulted in an annual price tag of over $350 billion, lost lives and disrupted families and communities. Film subjects are calling for legislation and equal rights for people seeking or in recovery from addiction.
"To shape the future of recovery, we must end the silence, stand up, organize and speak out for equity and the right to recover for all Americans," said Pat Taylor, Executive Director of Faces & Voices of Recovery. Only then will we end disparities such as the fact that we invest only one-third of the amount of money on addiction research as we do on cancer research, despite the fact that addiction costs us two-thirds more in health-related costs."
"The Anonymous People" has joined with Faces & Voices of Recovery, the national addiction recovery advocacy organization, to drive the visibility and impact of the documentary. Together, they have launched MANYFACES1VOICE.ORG, a new, multi-media advocacy and storytelling space for people in recovery. The website provides a forum where people touched by addiction to alcohol and other drugs can join others to fuel this growing movement.
About "The Anonymous People"
"The Anonymous People" is an independent film written and produced by Greg Williams, owner of 4th Dimension Productions. The film is distributed in the U.S. and Canada through KinoLorber and it's Alive Mind Cinema. In addition to tonight's premiere screening in New York City, a premiere will be held in Los Angeles in October (date TBD). The film is being theatrically distributed via a new crowd sourcing, Theatrical-On-Demand model from Gathr. It is available for educational distribution, and community screenings prior to a general digital and retail video release in 2014. To view "The Anonymous People" film trailer, visit: http://manyfaces1voice.org/#the-film. Portions of the trailer may be used for news broadcast with prior approval. To learn more, please visit: manyfaces1voice.org.
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Video with caption: "'The Anonymous People" film explores the crisis of addiction, which costs our nation over $350 billion annually, and the rise of a bold new social justice movement in the recovery community-touching the lives of over 46 million Americans. The documentary includes powerful interviews with celebrities, recovery advocates, and average Americans who have struggled with drug and alcohol addiction and are now thriving in recovery. The new movement, modeled after the HIV/AIDS and breast cancer survivor movements, calls for a bold, open approach to recovery, expanded legal protections, increased research funding, and social programs to support long-term recovery." Video available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DRPSqQzi_Y
Image with caption: "'The Anonymous People" film explores drug and alcohol addiction, enveloping over 23 million people and costing American over $350 billion annually, and the 23.5 million more Americans who are thriving in long-term recovery, despite discrimination, criminalization and a failing approach to healing. The documentary asks: Why don't we treat addiction in this country like any other health issue? Only when we shed disparaging labels, and demand respect, will the world give us the respect we are due. ManyFaces1Voice.org. #SilentNoMore." Image available at: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130917/MM81056LOGO-a
Image with caption: "Over 46 million Americans have struggled with drug and alcohol addiction costing our nation over $350 billion annually. However, 23 million of them are now thriving in long-term recovery and they're emerging from anonymity to share their stories for the sake of others. ManyFaces1Voice.org. #SilentNoMore." Image available at: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130917/MM81056-INFO-b
SOURCE The Anonymous People