The seed for the Cape Town Recovery Film Festival (CTRFF) was sown when thefix.com, ran a story about The Reel Recovery Film Festival in Los Angeles a few years ago.

An organisation called Writers in Treatment, a non-profit that helps creatives get addiction treatment, had begun a festival in LA a couple of years earlier and had quickly grown to several locations around the USA. With some encouragement from Reel Recovery’s success we began to investigate the possibilities of creating a Cape Town Recovery Film Festival.

In the meantime, the festival’s main organiser, Dougie Dudgeon had been screening various films as fund raising or awareness raising events for various causes and associations. ‘The Story Of Stuff’, Hazelden’s ‘Bill & Bob’, ‘Happy – The Movie’ and ‘Bill W The Movie’ all attracted a lot of interest, filling various screens and spaces including The Labia Theatre and beyond. Most recently The Rolling Stones documentary ‘Crossfire Hurricane’ sold out a special presentation night by Rolling Stone Magazine South Africa, benefiting the 64446 charity.

While all this activity was gathering pace a debutante film making crew from Connecticut were raising funds on Kickstarter and awareness on Facebook for a ground breaking documentary about Recovery called ‘The Anonymous People’. Word of mouth, social media and pure excitement spun the film in the direction of CTRFF and the fledgling event began to take shape.

In another serendipitous exchange of mail, CTRFF were introduced to ‘Free The Mind’, an amazing documentary concerned with change of a breathtaking kind: physical, emotional and spiritual – the epitome of everything recovery!

Conversations were had, virtual hands were shaken and Danish Documentary joined the CTRFF band! In addition to ‘Free The Mind’, this gave the festival access to the highly acclaimed documentary ‘Love Addict’ which enjoyed it’s South African premiere at the first CTRFF in 2013.

Of course this is just the beginning of the story, and in keeping with the philosophy of living in the moment, there will be more to tell, as it happens!

Stay tuned. Don’t touch that dial – this is your Recovery frequency.


The South African Recovery Film Festival is a project of Recovery Events Cape Town, a registered South African Non Profit Organisation