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PFS Recovery Festival

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Portsmouth Film Society announces its 4th Recovery Festival Thursday 10 to Friday 13 November in Southsea.

The programme is intended to be meaningful to those of you who have sought support for mental health issues, and those that have no idea about recovery, by raising awareness and celebrating people’s ability to recognise their problems, have the bravery to come forward, talk about it, seek help and realise they are not alone whatever the problem.

The highlights of the weekend are recovery films.  Working alongside Film Crew 4u, a local not-for-profit company, students from the University of Portsmouth collaborated to create films of people telling their recovery journey from the depths of despair, pivotal events that changed their lives, and their chosen paths to achieve a meaningful life and productive life.

Aysegul Epengin, Director, Portsmouth Film Society:

“Half of Portsmouth Film Society volunteers have been through recovery and/or have been dealing with mental issues. To be able to offer any help, it is very important to understand about their mental state and help them to try and find their journey of healing. As a charity the Society aims to serve our community as best, we can with this festival a good example of this aim.”

Paul Walsh – ex-professional footballer:

“I am really looking forward to speaking at the opening of the Recovery Festival at the Kings Theatre in Portsmouth on Thursday 10 October 2022. I am grateful to share anything that may inspire others to find a recovery from whatever is stopping them from living their best life.”

Gethin Jones:

“I am looking forward to supporting the Recovery Festival and sharing my experience. It is extra special and exciting as I am a local man and I have been both shunned and loved by this city. I was a product of the system, and the council was my corporate parent when I was growing up and I went to the same children’s home my mum left. My early experience and trauma came out in my behaviour and I spent 8 years in Prison, I had many detoxes at the old Nelson Unit, and also treatment centres in Portsmouth and Brighton. I always say I am Portsmouth born and bred, and was thrown out a few times but I kept coming back as I always saw Portsmouth as my home.“

Film Crew 4u CIC is only possible thanks to Portsmouth Film Society:

“As a recovering alcoholic volunteering at PFS I learned enough about filmmaking to start a community interest company, our aim being to help people who are in similar situations that I had been in through telling their stories and learning the filmmaking process that they could pursue as a career or hobby. We work closely with PFS on their Recovery Festival and this year will be showing some of these films.”

This year’s festival supported by Portsmouth City Council, Owl XL CIC is a Certified Social Business with Social Enterprise and Drop The Mask Productions CIC. Drop The Mask Productions CIC director Gregory White stated: “We have sponsored the event because of our passion for supporting persons with challenging mental health.”

Kings Theatre on Thursday 10 November 6.30pm to 9pm

Opening remarks: Cllr Matthew Winnington

Keynote Speaker: Paul Walsh, former Charlton, Luton, Tottenham, Manchester City, Liverpool, Portsmouth and England footballer

Recovery films: from Film Crew 4u


Guest speaker, Gethin Jones, Unlocking Potential Limited 

Panel: Subject: What’s Happening in our City relating to Recovery 

            Chair: Roger Batterbury, Chair, Healthwatch Portsmouth

            Alan Knobel, Public Health Development Manager, Portsmouth City Council

            Mike Taylor, Operations Director, Society of St James

            James Clay, Doctoral Candidate, Department of Psychology, University of Portsmouth

            Gethin Jones, Unlocking Potential Limited 

            Danny Sullivan, Director, Portsmouth PUSH Recovery Community

            Alan Rhoddan, Senior Counsellor, A.N.A. Treatment Centres

Book your ticket: Here

Southsea Cinema & Arts Centre

The Recovery Festival continues throughout the weekend as it moves to the cosy Southsea Cinema with a variety of activities giving people a safe space to engage in conversions touching on pivotal moments in their lives, as well as what they and their organisations are doing to help people along their journey. Guest speakers will be on hand to introduce films that have been selected to stimulate conversations and encourage further connections.

Friday 11 November

6pm to 9pm Tattoo-related surprise film followed by discussion of what tattoos mean to you.

Surprise Film (2018) 120min   Cert 15

A young man is determined to create a new life for himself — if he can make it out alive.

Saturday 12 November

 2pm to 5pm Art Therapy Session: “Pleasure of Scribbling “ by Leyla Sabah

630pm Panel: Domestic Abuse and Recovery Circle 

            Chair: Roger Batterbury, Chair, Healthwatch Portsmouth

            Rachel Windebank, Operations Director, Stop Domestic Abuse

            Lynn Evans, Chair, Rebound

            Rowshonara Reza, Community Development Officer, Portsmouth City Council

7pm True Things (2021)  102min Cert 15

A woman, bored with her uneventful life, meets a stranger who she soon becomes infatuated with. Elevated by its stars’ magnetic chemistry, True Things mines complex, character-driven drama A refreshingly adult drama about infatuation and self-sabotage, True Things leaves a strong impression, despite a disappointing ending

Sunday 13 November

Film Introduction by Alan Rhoddan Senior Counsellor, A.N.A. Treatment Centres

3pm Crazy Heart (2009)  112min Cert 15

What keeps this indie drama just the right side of average is a brilliantly measured, Oscar-winning performance from Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart transcends its overly familiar origins and finds new meaning in an old story.

After the film, Q&A led by Billy Stevenson, FilmCrew4U

6pm Non-Substance Rav Party (welcome to 16yrs and above)


Come along with friends and colleagues as we celebrate the ability of people and organisations to change by working together, or, to share your story and connect with organisations who provide services to the community for treatment, education and reskilling, employment, support for the homeless, and wellbeing options as innovative as equestrian therapy. 

For more information and ticket purchases, visit us at http:// southseacinema.co.uk

Group discounts are available; please ring 07528 808400 (12noon-4pm) or visit us at the Southsea Cinema & Arts Centre, 1-3 Palmerston Road, Southsea.


Tickets: https://southseacinema.savoysystems.co.uk/SouthseaCinema.dll/