Funding Success Stories (Westminster): Recovery Moviemaking Workshops

Innovation Fund Feedback from our friend Maddie at Sobriety Films UK

Sobriety Films UK (SFUK) was awarded the Innovation Fund to run an eight filmmaking course. Over those eight sessions SFUK taught: Storytelling and Narrative Structure, Finding Your Voice in Film, Shooting and Editing on smartphone, Scriptwriting and Storyboarding, Lighting, Sound, Framing and Shot Size and use of free Footage and Music. 

Maddie said that overall the filmmaking workshops course was a great success, technically and relationally.  Participants looked forward to the sessions and so did the workshop leaders.  There was a genuine feeling of pleasure, authenticity and enjoyment at discovering unknown skills.   

Maddie informed me that the participants created 5 excellent films which were screened at a special premiere on zoom to an invited audience, with a Q&A from the filmmakers. Maddie stated that based on the great success of the project, SFUK is creating a promotional show reel for the filmmaking workshops and they plan to roll out the service to other CGL services and interested groups.

Maddie said that they were able to support a total of 10 people in total for the project and had 20 people attend the screening for the Q&A events.   

Feedback from course participants was excellent and some of their quotes are provided below.

“This course has been an absolute God send, keeping my recovery as the centre of my attention. Giving back is a cornerstone to recovery. I have since wondered the best way, to share a message with a wide range of people to expand my impact, on showing like-minded people there is another way. This course has given me the skills and knowledge to achieve that”.

 “What a fantastic learning journey. Great encouraging support. Would have loved more information on the next steps and moving forward”.

“I would like a level 2 course for all that completed the first course and want to make more short films”.

“My experience of the filmmaking workshops was inspirational.  When I started I explained to Maddie and Judith that I was uncomfortable being in the film, as were many students.  However, Maddie explained that it would add to the authenticity to the film.  I processed this comment.  I did not feel any pressure to be in the film and a few kind words of encouragement made me relax and gave me confidence.  My favourite part was seeing my peers films and giving feedback”.

“I have learnt how to hold the camera and make a short film, which I have been doing when I go for walks.  Working in a serious group with student fellow filmmakers and then on their journeys during the course was a lot of fun. To see their films of their past lives and where they all are now is very empowering.  We had a great group full of beautiful characters. It been very emotional”.

“When I joined the workshop, I came in quite blinkered, just wanting to know about the technical side of it.  What I found was a team of like-minded people who combined to be creative and so inspirational.  What transpired was magical, a release of energy.  I didn’t know that I had.  This has so improved me life”.

Maddie stated “The quality of the films exceeded our expectations and the engagement and motivation of the group was outstanding.  Three participants want to go on to study filmmaking and the group wants to share their films with a Q&A afterwards at other special events to encourage other people’s recovery“.

Maddie informed me that SFUK are rolling out the workshops and actively seeking funding opportunities to deliver these valuable creative sessions to people in recovery.

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