Thanks to those who made Film Festival possible

The Collaborative, in partnership with Turning Point of Bennington and Burlington Labs, held a Film Festival at Southern Vermont Arts Center that featured documentaries on the subject of addiction and recovery. Our intent was to start a conversation about these issues and how they impact the Northshire Community. Although we may have liked more people to be in attendance, we did receive the lively conversation that we desired.

The topic of substance use, addiction and recovery is a significant one for our community and understanding these issues is imperative. These films educated those in attendance. The Other Side of Cannabis informed us about the health harms to young people regarding marijuana use. Hungry Heart educated about prescription drug abuse following patients seeking treatment for this addiction in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont over the course of a year. The Anonymous People told the story of the over 23 million Americans living in long-term recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs. Each film ended with a panel of experts and a moderated discussion.


This series was truly a collaborative effort. I would like to thank Stephanie Lorette from Burlington Labs; this Film Series was her brain child and without the support from Burlington Labs, The Collaborative could not have put it together. Joan Walsh from Turning Point in Bennington provided the films, sat on the panels for each of the films and arranged for other panelists and connections to support the films. The Collaborative also thanks our other panelists; Dr. Nels Kloster, Chief Michael Hall, Producer/Director of Hungry Heart Bess O'Brien, Michaelle Flynn, John DeKakis and Nissa Walke, PhD. The moderators did an extraordinary job wrangling questions from the audience and keeping the conversation moving and relevant, thank you to Andrew McKeever and Peter Pagnucco. Special acknowledgments for funding that came from Ben & Jerry's, Vermont Country Store, Heritage Family Credit Union. We appreciate the food that was provided by The Gourmet Deli and The Dorset Inn and, the beautiful Southern Vermont Arts Center hosted us.

Again, our intent was to start the conversation using facts presented in these fantastic films. No one left disappointed in the information or dialogue. It shouldn't stop here, though. If you have an interest in reducing youth substance use, helping those struggling with addiction or in the overall health of the community these films and those that served on our panels are a valuable resource. If you want to be a part of the conversation, please visit or to learn more and find out how you can help.

Thank you to all involved for supporting substance free youth,

— Maryann Morris, Executive Director, The Collaborative