I made my film, Understanding Mum, after seeing the festival promoted on Addaction’s Facebook page. I have previously raised money for them, so thought this was another great way to support drug and alcohol charities.
I feel there’s so much stigma attached to addiction. People feel that addicts should just stop, and it’s their fault, but after many years of trying to understand my mum’s behaviour I strongly believe it is a disease out of the person’s control. I also didn’t feel that people understood the impact being the child of an alcoholic had on the child, both at the time and as an adult, and after much support I really see a link between my behaviour now and my upbringing.
The part that was the most beneficial was how much it helped me work through my grief again, which was a surprise after so many years. But after I had my son it had really come to the surface again, as I struggled to see how my mum couldn’t put me first.
Making the film was a bit of a rollercoaster ride. Some days I could spend hours on it and others I’d have to stop after ten minutes, as it became too intense to think about. It started off 20 minutes long, and it was difficult to prioritise which bits to keep in. My husband helped me with the editing and filming, which I hadn’t got a clue about! But I tried to focus on the message I wanted to portray.
After winning the competition I got in touch with NACOA as I felt this charity would be great to support as its all about the families affected. I was really pleased they used my film for children of alcoholics week, and it was also shown in the House of Commons. I’m also pleased I can help by being on the judging panel of this year’s Recovery Street Film Festival.
The Recovery Street Film Festival invites entries by 29 July from anyone who has experience of recovering from drug or alcohol addiction, whether themselves or a loved one. Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place, with shortlisted entries shown at festivals throughout the UK. No experience of film-making necessary – visit