The Anonymous People Rolls Across America

MoviePoster_Final_300dpi_vA_cropped-e1367437822775In April I wrote about the Dallas premiere of The Anonymous People and my excitement over meeting Greg Williams, the film’s brainchild.

We bonded over a 45-minute phone call–Greg in Connecticut and me in Dallas–as we talked about addiction recovery and the social stigma attached to it.  I remember well that conversation from last summer.

Greg exuded a calm yet determined commitment to fire back against the portrayal of sensationalized addiction in America’s mass media. Viewers watch in voyeuristic fascination as shows like Celebrity Rehab and even Intervention depict the train wreck of addiction.

He said that it’s time for the masses of long-term recovery success stories–23 million strong–to rise up and not only describe life sober, but to also speak out about addiction as a public health crisis much like HIV and AIDS.  We must stop the incessant spread of shame-based stereotypes and stigmas.

The Anonymous People was born.

Update:  The Anonymous People has been picked up by a national movie distributor and is available in cities and communities across the country through a new service called Gathr TOD or theatrical on demand.  More on Gathr in a second.

Amplifying your voice

Here’s what’s cool about this entire project.  It’s a call-to-action film with deep community roots, beginning with a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign that raised more than $70,000 for production costs.  People from all walks of life gave $5, $100, $1000, to a young filmmaker with a dream.

Then they told their friends to donate.  And their friends told friends.  Dollar by dollar and voice by voice, over the course of a couple of months, momentum grew.

Greg kept the cameras rolling, shooting, editing, having conversations with political leaders, execs from corporate America, Hollywood types, and most importantly, people like you and me who believe we must unite our voices in advocacy.

The voices are community-based and the movement is ballooning this summer as it enters its next phase:  distribution via Gathr.

Projecting a community voice

Gathr negotiates with cinemas and movie houses of your choosing to show the films you want to see.  The concept is simple; in fact, you can check it out now right on this blog’s home page (if you’re reading this via email, click here to redirect to the home page).

See the box on the right hand side that reads Bring The Anonymous People to Your City?  Click on the green Gathr button and you see a screen where you can enter your name and email address as someone who is interested in serving as a “captain” to bring the film to your city for a screening.

The Gathr folks will respond to your request with a link that connects you to your selected theater (if available).  Once you’re good to go, you can download posters, link via social media and in general promote the film all over your community (whether as a group of individuals, a church or organization) as a screening venue for The Anonymous People.

You can also get answers to your questions on the Gathr site.  Most importantly, Gathr does all the theater negotiations (at no cost to you!) and your role is to get people to reserve tickets.  That’s pretty much it.

Stay tuned to @bheretoday on Twitter and B Here Today’s Facebook page (where there is also a Gathr button) for ongoing updates.

September is National Recovery Month.  Wouldn’t it be cool to cue up The Anonymous People in theaters coast-to-coast to celebrate the joy and hope of addiction recovery?    I have a dream that one day soon, the societal stigma attached to addiction will drown in a sea of united voices proclaiming dignity and grace in recovery.

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9 Comments

  1. Beth, this film looks terrific. Thanks for helping to spread the word. I will definitely post and tweet it, and find out when and where it will show in this area.

    It is exciting to know that things can and will change regarding the shame surrounding addiction and recovery!

    Thanks for all you do. Cheers.

  2. Herby Bell says:

    Beth,

    After seeing a preview of The Anonymous People, I share your contagious enthusiasm about this important film and will have the honor of interviewing Greg Williams for an upcoming Sober Conversations episode.

    Talk about the dignity of recovery–when we’re considering 23 MILLION MORE individuals and their families more fully understanding addiction through Greg’s oh-so-needed, re-visioning and re-languaging how we think and talk about it.

    Everyone interested in long-term recovery and long-term wellness needs to see The Anonymous People. It’s all about communication and understanding and Greg Williams has produced a pivotal and game changing work of art toward that end.

    Thank you, Beth!

    • Beth says:

      Herby,

      That’s great news about your interviewing Greg! He’s an awesome young man, isn’t he? I agree 1000% that anyone at all who is interested in long-term health and wellness via recovery MUST see this film. Let’s start a new Love Train . . . and invite everyone to get on board!

      I’m a little giddy about the movie, can you tell?

      Please be sure to let me know about when the Sober Conversations is live!

  3. Beth Wilson says:

    Hi Leslie,

    Thanks for putting the word out through social media. If there is not a screening scheduled for your area, please consider serving as a captain through Gathr to make it happen. It’s truly an easy process . . . send me a private note and I’m happy to walk you through it.

    The direct link to The Anonymous People Gathr page is http://gathr.us/films/the-anonymous-people.

    Thanks for all YOU do!

  4. Hi Beth,

    Awesome that you are working with Greg to get this film out into the mainstream. This project is so needed! After watching the preview of The Anonymous People, I too realize what an important movie this is and how we must let as many know as possible, so we can keep the information flowing. The stigma and shame must change. Thank you for all that you are doing.

  5. Beth says:

    Hey Cathy,

    It takes all of us to collectively impact this issue. I know you’re up to good things! When our hearts are in the right place, good works will follow.

    Best to you and glad you back it back safely from your excursion to the Big Apple!

  6. I saw “The Anonymous People” when it was at Menlo-Atherton H.S. for a screening in May. It is a fantastic movie. Greg did a phenomenal job on so many fronts. I especially enjoyed learning about the history of the recovery movement and how its momentum was squashed, as well as the many recovery options there are – it’s not a one-size-fits all. Thank you so much, Beth, for your work to help take this important film to its next level!

  7. […] People coming to a town near you. And check out Beth Wilson’s very cool, recent post all about it…we need a game changer and your, (bring a community!) seeing this important documentary will […]

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