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Synopsis: For 10 years, the filmmakers explored ways to uncover the experience of the 12 Steps for Addiction Recovery described in The Big Book written more than 75 years ago by Bill Wilson. The journey led to a play, Dr. Bob and Bill W., written by Dr Samuel Shem and Janet Surrey and performed in theaters across the nation. Conceived as a dramatic telling of the founding of AA, it connected us to finding Gary Kimball performing the roll of AA founder Bill W. alongside Richard Springle as Dr. Bob. The play was conceived as a vehicle for seeing the 12 Steps in development, reliving the struggle to find a “cure” that would sustain sobriety. As we documented the actors immersion into the characters, we bore witness to their own lives as reflected in their “stage” character. It became the foundation for bearing witness to the steps learned along the way to recovery. The film tracks a 10 year odyssey, ending in Florida, a leading center for recovery programs. Gary and Richard have parted ways but Gary’s ambitions and struggles bring him to Del Ray Beach where he becomes a counselor to young men and women who are part of an immersive program to attain sobriety. The film is created in a cinema verite tradition, observing intimate interactions as they unfold, revealing the tension and anxiety associated with confronting personal demons, and the depth of dignity that is achieved through 12 Step Recovery. It is not an advocacy film but rather an exploration of Gary K.’s commitment to a process that reveals the depth of his devotion and the ongoing daily struggle to lead the life he wants.

Rated

Descriptions of drinking and drug use

Language

English

Run Time

59 minutes

Starring

Gary Kimble

Directed by

Susan Gray

Produced by

Bestor Cram

Edited by

Mike Majoros

Director's Statement

Addiction is a performance; the real question for how this tragicomedy resolves is found in one’s commitment to developing a script. Gary K.’s struggles to fulfill that commitment become a reflection of how important purpose and guidance are in leading one on a pathway for stepping forward.

Director's Bio

SUSAN GRAY

Born in Vermont, USA, and awarded degrees from the Columbia University School of Journalism, NY, NY, (M.A. in Journalism) the Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies, Bologna, Italy & Washington D.C. (M.A., International Relations and International Economics, June 1991), and Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut (B.A.) Graduated with top honors from all three institutions.

DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR:
Northern Light Productions. In charge of developing all of the broadcast projects for Northern Light Productions. Projects include: Primal Fear (the History Channel), Spear of Christ (the History Channel), Veil of Secrecy; the Orangeburg Massacre (ITVS), This is Where we Take our Stand (ITVS), Weapons of Mass Disruption (currently in rough cut), The Texas Snake Man (Animal Planet), Helen Keller (NEH), among others.

FILMOGRAPHY:
Confessions of the Boston Strangler(2014) A Two Hour Special for Investigation Discovery. Executive Producer and Showrunner.

Whitey Bulger the Making of a Monster: (2012) A One Hour Special for Investigation Discovery Executive Producer and Showrunner.

The Prime Minister and the Press: Citizen Berlusconi. Directed, co-wrote and Co-Authored a documentary on Silvio Berlusconi and the Italian Media, for the PBS International Current Affairs series, Wide-Angle, broadcast in the US, Canada, Australia, and more than ten European countries. Selected for competition at the FIPA international audiovisual festival in Biarritz, the Best of INPUT 2004, Prix Europa, and nominated for the German Emmy, the Aldof Grimme Award.

Public Enemy: Co Director, Feature Doc on Black Panther Party, US & European broadcast, cinema, film festival circuit. Shown on Channel 4 England, Arte (France and Germany), Finland, Belgium, Showtime, and in European theatres. Festivals: Venice, Amsterdam, Sheffield, Chicago, Denver, Mill Valley, Hof, Pan African, among others, in cooperation with Egoli films, Berlin, and Archipel 33, Paris

Killer Poet: Directed, wrote and produced a feature-length documentary film about Norman Porter, a convicted killer who escaped from prison after 25 years, and lived in Chicago as a poet for 20 years before being apprehended. Premiered in competition at Hot Docs in Toronto, showed in a theatre in Chicago, 2008, at film festivals around the world, and won the best feature length documentary at the Boston International Film Festival, the Newburyport Festival, the Courmayeur Noir Film Festival in Italy.

Porto Marghera: The Story of a Lethal Deception: Wrote and directed the editing of a one-hour documentary on the historic trial brought by Gabriele Bortolozzo against the Italian petrochemical industry for television broadcast throughout Europe. Co-production of Stefilm Productions and Tele+. Winner of the ARCA Cinema Giovani award for the best Italian, non-feature length film at the Venice Film Festival.

Leonardo: The Man Behind the Shroud?: Researched, Wrote and Directed one-hour documentary for National Geographic Channels, world-wide broadcast, in cooperation with Stefilm, Turin, and HIT Entertainment, London; Won the Silver Screen Award, US International Film and Video Festival

Gelato: Directed and wrote a documentary on the history of ice-cream for international Television that was so successful that a series was built around it. Showed on the Sundance Channel in the U.S. and more than a dozen broadcasters worldwide.

Across the River with Hedrick Smith: Research Director, field producer, for this two hour look at successful programs East of the Anacostia River in inner city Washington, D.C. Organized a televised town meeting with 500 participants

Challenge to America with Hedrick Smith: 1992-93. Post Production Supervisor, Production Assistant, four-hour series comparing socioeconomic systems in Germany, Japan and the US; for PBS, NHK and Europe

Your Brain with Gerrick Utley: Co-produced (co-directed and researched) two one-hour documentaries on the human brain (Stress and the Brain, and Depression and the Brain), WETA, national public television, USA

Understanding Space Travel: Associate Producer, (assistant director, research) one-hour documentary, the Learning Channel, Discovery

Uncorked: Co-Author of a six part series on Italian wine for The Discovery Channel Germany, National Geographic Channels, and the Food Channel; USA and Canada. Also directed research and story development. Co-production with Café` Productions London, and Stefilm Productions, Turin, Italy.

The Koala Quandary: Wrote a one-hour documentary on Koala Management in Australia for National Geographic Channels, worldwide broadcast, in cooperation with Media 88, Milan

The Old Elephant Route: Supervising Producer, and secured financing for one-hour documentary on elephant expedition to Northern India & Burma, for Animal Planet, Discovery, with GA&A, Rome
The Pribiloff Islands: 2000, Reversioned one-hour film on conservation of Arctic island fauna, Media 88

History of Photojournalism: Directed an eight minutes history of photojournalism for The Freedom Forum`s Newseum played in the museum theatre. Narrated by Walter Cronkite

Fatal Reaction: Co-directed student film on inner city Washington, produced by urban youth

Harlem: A Dream Deferred: Co-directed, filmed and edited one-hour documentary on Harlem, New York City. Won award for best documentary, Columbia University

TEACHING:
Zelig International Film School, Bolzano, Italy. 2001 to present
Mass Art Continuing Education, 2004 to the present
Boston University Narrative Documentary 2006
Documentary Writing, Conceptualization, and Project Development:
Bologna Documentary Seminar, Bologna, Italy. 2001 to present
Schio, Italy, 2001
Alba, Italy, 2002
Napoli, Italy, 2002, 2003
International Documentary Pitching Seminar, Bressanone Documentary Festival, Bressanone, Italy, 2002

JOURNALISM AND WRITING:
– Television News Producer, 1996.
Fox News Edge; produced daily national news programming for local Fox affiliates, Washington D.C.

– Journalist, 1987 – 1990. San Francisco Independent Newspaper, city government beat, 1987.
Contributed articles to the Pedit Report (SF election analyst, 1987-88), the New York Observer, Arete Magazine, and served as editor and reporter for the National Women’s Political Caucus Newsletter and the SAIS Social Change and Development Newsletter.

– USAID – South Africa, 1992. Pretoria, RSA. Wrote Grants, social soundness analyses, implementation reviews, visited projects, advised funding recipients, and selected grantees for a USAID basic education project in South African townships.

POLITICAL: 1982-1988
– Political Consultant: 1986-1988.
Co-founded a political consulting firm for local San Francisco/Bay Area candidates.
Established a business, hired and supervised employees, raised funds for candidates, secured endorsements, lobbied, and ran election campaigns, political mailings, handled media relations, publicity, speech writing, and get-out-the-vote.
Political Campaigns: San Francisco supervisor, School Board and BART Board elections.
Private Sector: Lobbying, fundraising and real-estate acquisition for schools, private developers and business.

– Campaign Manager: 1983-1986.
San Francisco Supervisor Bill Maher: 1986 re-election campaign, San Francisco, CA.
The Sierra Club: All national, state and local campaigns for the Bay Chapter’s 1984 election season.
The Democratic National Convention: Directed field operation of more than 500 volunteers & managed “the floor.”
Mondale for President: Primary field director, San Francisco and Marin Counties, CA.
The Tuolumne Trust: Field Director for national “Wild & Scenic” river campaign, Modesto, CA.

– Canvass Director: 1982-1983.
– The California League of Conservation Voters, San Francisco, California. Supervised a staff of over 40 canvassers, responsible for training, hiring, firing, fundraising, guest speakers, political campaign involvement, raised and supervised a budget of $500,000 a year.

– Foreign Studies: – Bulgaria & Poland: SAIS, summer 1990.
– France: Bordeaux University, 1979-80.
– Kenya: St. Lawrence University, 1980.
– Costa Rica: Wesleyan University, 1978.

LANGUAGES: – French, Italian

Production Year

2020

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