Synopsis: Set in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Ocean Boulevard tells the story of an anguished man, Jonathan, in the throes of a heroin relapse. As Jonathan’s downward spiral progresses, we see a colorful beach town with two sides— from its vibrant tourist attractions to its drug-riddled underbelly.
This award-winning short film is based on the true events of three individuals who are in long-term recovery from heroin addiction. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with the director, Zoe Miller, along with Bobby Brazell and Ryan Hampton. They will discuss why the film was made, recovery during COVID-19, and how we can fight stigma. Most importantly, they will show that recovery is possible.
Trigger Warning: This film contains intense thematic content and is not recommended for those under the age of 17.
Dylan Cheek (James)
Juan Wood (Duane)
Talia Cataldo (Casey)
Angela Anderson (Clucky's Manager)
Having a background as a documentary filmmaker, I have always been inspired to use my creative voice to delve deep into social issues that are often brushed under the rug. I understand the power that a film can hold, and I believe it is an incredible tool to evoke empathy and ignite change. My most recent film, Ocean Boulevard, sheds light on the Opioid Epidemic and works to end the stigma surrounding substance use and mental illness.
In a way, this story has been ingrained in me since childhood. My mom is a social worker who works primarily with people facing substance use disorder, and the urge to tell a story grew as I heard stories of individuals she helped guide to recovery. Jonathan’s experiences are based on true events of three men I met and interviewed who are in long-term recovery from heroin addiction. Between opening nonprofits, working in prisons, and traveling across the state of South Carolina to share their recovery stories, William, Jonathan, and Bobby have all gone on to do incredible work to help others seeking recovery.
Ocean Boulevard blurs the line between documentary and narrative filmmaking, giving an authentic and deeply personal glimpse of what heroin addiction actually looks like with a blended cast of actors and individuals who are in recovery. People cannot truly empathize with something they have never seen or do not understand, and sadly substance use disorder is one of the most misunderstood diseases. By harnessing the power of visual storytelling, my goal for this project is to kindle a multifaceted conversation on the Opioid Epidemic that fights stigma, educates the public, and ultimately mobilizes empathetic allies to create lasting change.
This film puts a magnifying glass on Myrtle Beach, but the effects of the Opioid Epidemic are felt nationwide. According to national statistics, the death toll of the Opioid Epidemic is the equivalent of 9/11 happening every 3 weeks. After each screening of Ocean Boulevard, I host an honest Q&A discussion with the 3 individuals the film is based on where we discuss the medical, legislative, and educational solutions for the Opioid Epidemic. Most importantly, we show that recovery is possible.
Zoë Miller is a 21-year-old filmmaker from South Carolina. Growing up with her mom who is a social worker, she has a deep understanding of the mental health community. She is a creative advocate and visual storyteller and uses her art to start conversations about substance use disorder. Having a background as a documentary filmmaker, Zoë is passionate about sharing the stories that often go overlooked. She understands the power that a film can hold and believes it is an incredible tool to spark social change. Her work captures life with a blend of grit and lyricism which ignites a dialogue that draws out empathy and makes us more human.
Indie Grits Film Festival - United States - 2020
Longleaf Film Festival - United States - 2020
Short film ‘Ocean Boulevard’ tackles heroin and opioid addiction in Myrtle Beach
https://www.postandcourier.com/features/short-film-ocean-boulevard-tackles-heroin-and-opioid-addiction-in/article_ab6f0b52-0a23-11ea-9e85-0fdea1f0bf03.html?fbclid=IwAR0OYs3xks3HC5yHuzqjqrn_0tfI9LcxpPdVryKFM6WGjyMCQ1HQ-HyEgSI - Adam Parker, The Post and Courier