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5:34 PM Sun, Nov. 18th

Film Festival takes on addiction, mental illness

courtesy/Jeffrey Grubert

The Elks Theatre and Performing Arts Center will be abuzz this weekend with films and conversation about facing addiction, mental illness and treatment for the inaugural Surrender to Win Film Festival. Happening Friday through Sunday, April 8-10, at the Elks Theatre, 117 E. Gurley St., the festival includes eight feature films, several of which offer discussions following the film.

The festival came about in response to people who were outraged by practices that were being seen by sober living, flocking to a city hall meeting, expressing their concerns about sober living and issues that surrounded the issue, said Festival Executive Director Jeffrey B. Grubert.

“The reason why we chose Prescott is there are a lot of sober living and treatment centers in Prescott,” Grubert said. “People are coming from all over the world to find help for addictions here in this town.”

There will be eight films shown over the weekend, two of which will be shown for a second time as a double feature on Sunday. Films on Friday, April 8, are “The Bu$iness of Recovery” at 5:30 p.m., with a post-film panel discussion, ($15) and “The Anonymous People” at 8:30 p.m. ($10).

Films on Saturday, April 9, are “Thanks for Sharing” at 9:30 a.m., with a post-film panel discussion ($15), “Call Me Lucky” at 1:30 p.m. with a short film by MATFORCE before and a post-film discussion afterward ($15), “BiPolarized” at 5:30 p.m., with a short film before and an appearance by the filmmaker via Skype afterwards ($15), and “Girl on the Edge” at 8:15 p.m. ($10).

Films on Sunday, April 10, are “Flight” at 9:30 a.m. ($10), the 1945 Best Picture Winner “The Lost Weekend” at 1:30 p.m., with a post-film discussion ($10) and a double feature of “The Bu$iness of Recovery” and “The Anonymous People” at 4 p.m. ($10).

Tickets for films are available online at www.prescottelkstheater.com, by calling 928-777-1370 or at the door one hour prior to the screenings.

The films were chosen through a combination of community effort and personal work that Grubert went through in order to find films appropriate for the festival. “The Lost Weekend” was picked due to its Best Picture win, content and because there is a demographic in Prescott for older films.

There is a desire to make the festival an annual event, Grubert said, noting the festival has the support of a lot of different sponsors, such as Prescott House, Alternative to Meds Center in Sedona and the Kling Family Foundation. A good turnout will make the sponsors happy as well as bring a continuation of the event, he said.

One in three American households are dealing with addiction at some level, Grubert said. As such, the festival will be a safe place to open up discussion on some of the challenges. Further, those who have kids could possibly face some of the issues in the near future, he added.

“We like the idea of having a safe place to come to really challenge and educate about ‘how do we face addiction in the community?” he said.