Two World Premieres at REEL Recovery Film Festival on April 26


REEL-Recovery-Film-FestivalSan Rafael-based Alcohol Justice and Studio City-based Writers In Treatment announced today that there would be two exciting world premieres at the first REEL Recovery Film Festival – San Francisco Bay Area Edition.

At 10:30 a.m. on April 26, 2014, the world premiere of San Francisco filmmaker Sheila Ganz’s On Life’s Terms: Mothers in Recovery will take place at the Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael. The film follows five moms with substance use addictions struggling to transform their lives and parent their children in a gender-specific residential treatment program in San Rafael, CA.  Their story is told through intimate interviews and verite scenes with their kids.  Rachel, 22, escaped her abusive boyfriend with her two babies.  Lisa S, 41, from an alcoholic family served time for selling drugs.  Lisa R, 38, relapsed and is determined to make it for her two daughters.  Leslie, 31, charged with online prostitution and drug use strives to regain custody of her daughter.  Julia, 27, doesn’t want her son to end up in rehab.  In the program the moms learn recovery, parenting and life skills, and transition into the community.  Along the path of self-sufficiency the women experience challenges and triumphs to live with integrity and pride.

On Life’s Terms: Mothers in Recovery documents a three-year journey, told against the backdrop of drug laws and policies impacting mother and child.  This timely film combats the stigma, encourages greater understanding about underlying issues of addiction and promotes the need for substance use treatment vs. incarceration.

Filmmaker Sheila Ganz, two of the mothers in the film, and Dr. Sushma D. Taylor, Ph.D. President and CEO of Center Point, Inc., will be present for a panel discussion after the screening. To see a trailer and learn more about this inspirational film go to

The second world premier of the festival takes place at 6 p.m. on April 26, 2014, when Oklahoma-based filmmaker John Maisch’s Sober Indian – Dangerous Indian is screened at the Delancey Street Theater in San FranciscoThe film tells the story of four Lakota men who left their homes on the dry Pine Ridge, South Dakotareservation to feed their alcohol addiction across the state line in Whiteclay, Nebraska – a town of 14 residents and four liquor stores that sell 4 millions cans of misery every year.

Sober Indian – Dangerous Indian breaks the traditional mold followed by most filmmakers that produce public health documentaries, trading the safe environment of charts, graphs, and bullet points for the emotionally charged, and often unpredictable, surroundings of a people and a culture engaged in an all-out struggle against alcoholism and alcohol abuse. From an HIV test in the tribal health clinic at the beginning of the film, to the protesters’ nighttime march through the streets of Whiteclay near the film’s conclusion, the documentary introduces viewers to several tribal members who have overcome addiction to find empowerment through sobriety.

Filmmaker John Maisch, Pine Ridge Native American Activist Frank LaMere, Pine Ridge, and local AIM members will be present for a panel discussion after the film. Oglala Sioux Tribal President Bryan Brewer is expected to attend as a special guest. To see a trailer and learn more about this powerful film go to

The REEL Recovery Film Festival – Bay Area Edition takes place during National Alcohol Awareness Month. 33 select feature-length and short, fictional and factual alcohol and drug addiction themed films will be presented over four days in twenty sessions at two locations. The goal of screening the films is to highlight the disease as well as the hope and opportunity for recovery. There will be expert panel discussions following most of the sessions. For more information about the festival and to view a PSA featuring Michael Pritchard go

On Opening Night, April 24, 2014, at the Delancey Street Theater, there will be live music by Reckless in Vegas followed by a symposium called Chasing the Muse – When You’re Stone Cold Sober, moderated by KCBS and KRON4 Film Critic Jan Wahl. Other participants in this candid conversation are Michael PritchardBeverly AllenScott StevensJackie BendzinskiMichael Shapiro and Mario Cipollina.

“The REEL Recovery Film Festival – San Francisco is a collaborative effort by Alcohol Justice and Studio City-based Writers In Treatment, founded by Leonard Buschel,” stated Michael Scippa, Director of Public Affairs for Alcohol Justice. “It will help bring alcoholism and addiction out of the closet, reduce the stigma, and raise public awareness that it is not a moral failing but a devastating disease that, like other potentially fatal diseases, requires specialized treatment.”

Sponsors of the REEL Recovery Film Festival San Francisco Bay Area edition currently include Wells Fargo Bank, Duffy’s Napa Valley Rehab, Center Point Inc., Kaiser Permanente – Marin Sonoma, Recovery Station TV Series, Foundation, KRON-TV, The Michael Basso Foundation, Marin County Mental Health Substance Use Services, Muir Wood Adolescent and Family Services, The Newport Academy, ConocoPhillips, County of Marin Division of Mental Health and Substance Use Services, SF Weekly/Bay Guardian, The Pacific Sun and numerous individuals.