Non-profit film company Primary Purpose Productions producing inspiring stories aimed at helping people recover from drug and alcohol problems.
By JJ Marise
Hollywood, CA (Hollywood Today) 10/11/12 – “We are harnessing the art of film to take on a problem that has destroyed the lives of everyone from every day folks to stars like Heath Ledger, Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston,” says Oscar-nominated director Jonathan Heap.
For years Hollywood has been criticized for making films that promote or glorify drug and alcohol abuse – despite a string of chemical dependency deaths of some of its biggest stars.
Enter Heap and best-selling crime-author-turned-film-maker Lowell Cauffiel who say they have found a way for Hollywood to address, rather than contribute, to the problem. Cofounders of the non-profit film company Primary Purpose Productions, Heap and Cauffiel are putting to work top actors, writers and studio crews to evoke the power of entertaining stories to help people recover from drug and alcohol problems.
“Study after study, including those done by the University of Southern California, have shown that nothing moves people to take action on their own health issues like a story well told,” says Cauffiel. “Instead of the tedious, clinical films that health departments and educators use to scare people, we’re making films that are compelling, entertaining and even comical. We want our industry to be part of the solution instead of the problem.”
At their recent red carpet premiere A Trilogy of Recovery, they premiered their first three short films, Bed Ridden, Men in a Box, and Plan B which accurately captured the spirit of recovering addicts. The event held at the Writer’s Guild Theater in Beverly Hills, benefited the Midnight Mission, the highly respected, recovery-oriented social services facility based in Los Angeles’s skid row www.midnightmission.org.
The packed house featured a lively reception, catered by private chef Stacie Rauch of The Personal Palette and sponsored drinks from the Hansen’s Beverage Company featuring Peace Teas. Attendees included recent Emmy winner David Marciano (Showtime’s Homeland), Skyler Stone (Bed Ridden, Plan B, Fox’s Raising Hope), Tony Denison (TNT’s Major Crimes), Madison Curtis (KarTV), Daston Kalili (Bed Ridden, Men in a Box), film score composer Ralph Rieckermann (guitarist of The Scorpions), Eric West (CW’s Gossip Girl) and Owen Benjamin (TBS’s Sullivan & Son).
Following the reception and red carpet arrivals, Charlotte Ayanna (Training Day), the host for the evening, introduced the films featuring cast members Alan Tudyk (Suburgatory), Joel David Moore (Avatar), Jessica Cauffiel (Legally Blonde), Garrett Morris (2 Broke Girls), Kurtwood Smith (That 70’s Show), and John Michael Higgins (Happily Divorced).
Two of the films were executive produced by Rika and Tony Broccoli, on behalf of The Dana and Albert Broccoli Charitable Foundation, a legacy of the James Bond series. The films have become official selections at various American film festivals. Primary Purpose www.primarypurpose.org plans to distribute its first trilogy of thirty-minute shorts to educators, health officials and the more than 14,000 drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities in the United States.