Press Releases

Two World Premieres at REEL Recovery Film Festival on April 26, 2014


 Contact: Michael Scippa: 415 548-0492
                                                                                                            Jorge Castillo: 213 840-3336


Two World Premieres at REEL Recovery Film Festival on April 26, 2014:
Sober Indian – Dangerous Indian at 6 p.m., San Francisco
On Life’s Terms: Mothers in Recovery at 10:30 a.m., San Rafael

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA (April 14, 2014) – San Rafael-based Alcohol Justice and Studio City-based Writers In Treatment announced today that there would be two exciting world premieres at the first REEL Recovery Film Festival – San Francisco Bay Area Edition.

At 10:30 a.m. on April 26, 2014, the world premiere of San Francisco filmmaker Sheila Ganz’s On Life’s Terms: Mothers in Recovery will take place at the Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael. The film follows five moms with substance use addictions struggling to transform their lives and parent their children in a gender-specific residential treatment program in San Rafael, CA.  Their story is told through intimate interviews and verite scenes with their kids.  Rachel, 22, escaped her abusive boyfriend with her two babies.  Lisa S, 41, from an alcoholic family served time for selling drugs.  Lisa R, 38, relapsed and is determined to make it for her two daughters.  Leslie, 31, charged with online prostitution and drug use strives to regain custody of her daughter.  Julia, 27, doesn’t want her son to end up in rehab.  In the program the moms learn recovery, parenting and life skills, and transition into the community.  Along the path of self-sufficiency the women experience challenges and triumphs to live with integrity and pride. 

On Life’s Terms: Mothers in Recovery documents a three-year journey, told against the backdrop of drug laws and policies impacting mother and child.  This timely film combats the stigma, encourages greater understanding about underlying issues of addiction and promotes the need for substance use treatment vs. incarceration.

Filmmaker Sheila Ganz, two of the mothers in the film, and Dr. Sushma D. Taylor, Ph.D. President and CEO of Center Point, Inc., will be present for a panel discussion after the screening. To see a trailer and learn more about this inspirational film go to

The second world premier of the festival takes place at 6 p.m. on April 26, 2014, when Oklahoma-based filmmaker John Maisch’s Sober Indian – Dangerous Indian is screened at the Delancey Street Theater in San Francisco. The film tells the story of four Lakota men who left their homes on the dry Pine Ridge, South Dakota reservation to feed their alcohol addiction across the state line in Whiteclay, Nebraska – a town of 14 residents and four liquor stores that sell 4 millions cans of misery every year.

Sober Indian – Dangerous Indian breaks the traditional mold followed by most filmmakers that produce public health documentaries, trading the safe environment of charts, graphs, and bullet points for the emotionally charged, and often unpredictable, surroundings of a people and a culture engaged in an all-out struggle against alcoholism and alcohol abuse. From an HIV test in the tribal health clinic at the beginning of the film, to the protesters’ nighttime march through the streets of Whiteclay near the film’s conclusion, the documentary introduces viewers to several tribal members who have overcome addiction to find empowerment through sobriety.

Filmmaker John Maisch, Pine Ridge Native American Activist Frank LaMere, Pine Ridge, and local AIM members will be present for a panel discussion after the film. Oglala Sioux Tribal President Bryan Brewer is expected to attend as a special guest. To see a trailer and learn more about this powerful film go to

The REEL Recovery Film Festival – Bay Area Edition takes place during National Alcohol Awareness Month. 33 select feature-length and short, fictional and factual alcohol and drug addiction themed films will be presented over four days in twenty sessions at two locations. The goal of screening the films is to highlight the disease as well as the hope and opportunity for recovery. There will be expert panel discussions following most of the sessions. For more information about the festival and to view a PSA featuring Michael Pritchard go to:

On Opening Night, April 24, 2014, at the Delancey Street Theater, there will be live music by Reckless in Vegas followed by a symposium called Chasing the Muse – When You’re Stone Cold Sober, moderated by KCBS and KRON4 Film Critic Jan Wahl. Other participants in this candid conversation are Michael Pritchard, Beverly Allen, Scott Stevens, Jackie Bendzinski, Michael Shapiro and Mario Cipollina.

“The REEL Recovery Film Festival – San Francisco is a collaborative effort by Alcohol Justice and Studio City-based Writers In Treatment, founded by Leonard Buschel,” stated Michael Scippa, Director of Public Affairs for Alcohol Justice. “It will help bring alcoholism and addiction out of the closet, reduce the stigma, and raise public awareness that it is not a moral failing but a devastating disease that, like other potentially fatal diseases, requires specialized treatment.”

Sponsors of the REEL Recovery Film Festival San Francisco Bay Area edition currently include Wells Fargo Bank, Duffy’s Napa Valley Rehab, Center Point Inc., Kaiser Permanente Marin/Sonoma Area, Recovery Station TV Series, Foundation, KRON-TV, The Michael Basso Foundation, Marin County Mental Health Substance Use Services, Muir Wood Adolescent and Family Services, The Newport Academy, ConocoPhillips, County of Marin Division of Mental Health and Substance Use Services, SF Weekly/Bay Guardian, The Pacific Sun and numerous individuals.

“The ticket price for most of the sessions is just $5,” stated Scippa. “But if there are seats available we’ll allow anyone admittance regardless of their ability to pay.”  Tickets are available exclusively through

For media availability of filmmakers John Maisch and Sheila Ganz, please contact Michael Scippa at 415 548-0492 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.





Alcopops are heavily flavored, heavily sugared, often high-ABV alcoholic beverages. They are among the most popular first drink for many youth. The Alcopop-Free Zone project used youth representatives to engage the San Rafael Canal community, educate retailers, and get alcopops off of store shelves.

]Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder includes bupernorphine among other medications. It offers the best opportunity for people who use opioids to live long, healthy lives, but only if they have access to it. Geographic, economic, and language barriers further complicate individuals' efforts to obtain this life-saving treatment. The MAT Access Project/Proyecto Latino TAM works to educate the Latinx community of Marin on the dangers of opioids, and promote culturally competent MAT services for those who needs it.


Within liquor, grocery, and drug stores, good retail practices can not only make it harder for youth to obtain alcohol, but make youth less interested in drinking. Youth Action for Safe Stores (YASS) develops youth leaders who can evaluate stores' retail practices, engage with business owners, and promote best retail practices throughout San Rafael.


Alcopops 2020



Don Carney, Director, Marin Youth Court
SRADC President

Nick Moorhatch, Producer, Comcast Cable Access
SRADC Vice President

Adolfo Aguilar, member, Youth For Justice

Marcianna Nosek
, PhD, MPH, MS, Associate Professor, University of San Francisco.
Larry Merideth, PhD, Director, Marin Health and Human Services

Michael Watenpaugh
, EdD, Superindent, San Rafael City Schools

Kevin Lynch, Director of Juvenile Services Division, County of Marin Probation Department

Elia Manzo, leader, Consejo Restaurativo

Wilibaldo Pulido, owner, La Plaza Market.

Douglas Mundo, Executive Director, Canal Welcome Center.

Mary Joe Williams, CAO, Bay Area Community Resources

Sam Alexander, Pastro, First Presbyterian Church of San Rafael

Eric Bejarano, student, Sonoma State University