Documentary screening of Written Off to be held Dec. 2 at Omak PAC

A Documentary Screening of Written Off on Dec. 2 in Omak will be hosted by Family Health Centers, Opioid Treatment Network and sponsored by Grant County Health District, North Central Accountable Community of Health, Wenatchee Valley College, Oroville C.A.R.E.S and Okanogan Behavioral Health. Written Off focuses attention on the opioid crisis through a unique first-person account of addiction. Film tells gripping tale, challenges, and stigma

 

OMAK - Join us on Dec. 2, at The Omak Performing Arts Center (PAC) for dinner at 5 p.m., film screening at 6:30 p.m.

In 2016 more Americans died from overdoses than in the entire Vietnam War conflict.  And yet those new casualties are rarely considered victims of disease.  With the support of Rep. Ann Kuster, (D-NH), Co-chair of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force, the documentary film Written Off is challenging conventional thinking about addiction. Also an early hallmark of the AIDS crisis, stigmatizing victims of addiction has very real consequences – cutting them off from treatment, community and funding.  By taking the viewer inside an individual’s fight against opioids, through personal journals, Written Off combats stigma and humanizes the victim like the movie Philadelphia did for HIV/AIDS.

The film chronicles the life of Matthew Edwards, whose addiction to opioids began at age 15, after being prescribed pain medicine for a minor surgery.  His grippingly honest writing reveals the secrets he tried so hard to conceal throughout a decade long struggle to escape addiction. 

“Every day, there’s another story about the opioid epidemic, another overdose, another mug shot.  But these stories often work to reinforce the stigma of addiction instead of humanizing it,” explains filmmaker Molly Hermann, who wrote, directed and co-produced Written Off.  “Matt didn’t want to do drugs but he didn’t know how to get out.  That struggle is right there in his own words, he chronicled every cc and milligram that went into his body and every dollar he shelled out to get more, all as he tried desperately to get clean.” 

Like so many Americans, Hermann’s life was touched by addiction when her cousin Emily died of a heroin overdose at the age of 20. 

Written Off recently made its Washington, D.C. debut at the Newseum in an event underwritten by the Second Genesis Foundation and featuring remarks by Rep. Ann Kuster and a panel moderated by NBC4 Anchor Wendy Rieger, featuring author, blogger and political columnist Ana Marie Cox and President of the Institute for Behavior and Health Robert DuPont, MD.

“We know this film is already making a difference – we hear from people who see it that it made them recognize the addiction of a family member for the first time. We think it can reshape the national conversation about opioids and we are running a national Impact Campaign to bring it to communities across the country,” says Co-producer and Director of Photography Rob Lyall.  

Hermann explains that “in the midst of the current healthcare debate we want to call out that one thing has markedly changed since Obamacare: the scale of this crisis – and it’s a game changer.  Whichever side of the aisle, politicians need to factor this into the solution.” 

Hermann and Lyall are founding partners of the award-winning production company The Biscuit Factory (http://biscuitfactory.tv/), based in Falls Church, Virginia. Other work includes the Emmy-nominated Jefferson’s Secret Bible and the Cine Special Jury Prize winning 9/11: Stories in Fragments.  

To license a community screening of Written Off and view the trailer for Written Off here: http://www.written-off.com

Festivals and Awards:

Arizona International Film Festival: Best Documentary, Julien Dubuque International Film Festival, Omaha International Film Festival: Best Documentary, Ridgefield Independent Film Festival, Richmond International Film Festival: Best Screenplay, Green Bay Film Festival, IndieFEST: Award of Excellence, 2016 Humanitarian Award, Utopia Film Festival, Weyauwega International Film Festival: Best Documentary, LA Awareness Fest

 

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