A local Film Festival is creating a healthy dialog on Recovery and Mental Health


September is Recovery Month and this year you can attend the local Film Festival which will focus on addiction, mental health issues and recovery.


The Cape Town Recovery Film Festival is currently in its fifth year. The event is always a great success and this year will be no different. They have joined forces with the South African College of Applied Psychology (SACAP) to host this years event.

The aim is to break the stigma surrounding addiction and mental health. Addiction, alcoholism and mental health issues are vastly misunderstood. Ignorance is one of the most damaging things surrounding mental health and addiction.

“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,” – Dougie Dudgeon, Festival Organiser

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,” – Lance Katz, SACAP CEO

Two of the main features that will be premiered at the film festival are The Peacemaker and Healing Voices.

The Peacemaker follows international peacemaker Padraig O’Malley, who helps make peace for others but has struggled to find it for himself. His approach to his peace work is based on his recovery from addiction. He finds his path to recovery while living in South Africa.

The documentary was filmed over 5 years and covers the work O’Malley has done across the globe.

Healing Voices is a film following the real lives of people diagnosed with mental illness and psychosis. The film is about working to overcome extreme mental states whilst integrating their experiences into their lives.

At times harrowing, joyful, complex and controversial the film challenges us to rethink our cultural understandings of mental illness through a message of recovery.

There are a number of other documentaries that will be featured during the festival. You can take a look at their website for a full list.

The festival is taking place at the Labia in Cape Town and at the Bioscope in Johannesburg from 22 to 25 September. Tickets for the festival are available at WebTickets.

“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!” – Dougie Dudgeon, Festival Organiser

Sources: Supplied
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Tyler Vivier
Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy. Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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