Broadway Theater Pitman, NJ. An Evening of Hope could not been more aptly named. The one-night-only film venue featured Rowan student films dedicated to drug addiction and recovery. The films ran the gamut, but collectively were sad, desperate, alarming, disturbing, funny, eye-opening, heart-wrenching, and educational. The thread that wove the five films together, however, was hope.
While the films were brutally raw and personal, they never veered far enough away from the notion of hope to ever feel exploitive. The question was asked in the post film Q and A, and filmmaker, Harry Fleckenstein replied,
“These are people that are going to do drugs whether I am there or not to document it.”
Fleckenstein, a recovering addict himself, was the driving force behind An Evening of Hope. The driving forces behind Harry? Their presence was palpable in the crowd. The night was punctuated with timely, “We love you Harry’s” and low but audible affirmations in unison to the positive messages that came from the painful images on the screen.
But the night that very easily could have been about Harry, was anything but. The filmmaker/organizer saw to that. He brought all the other film makers on stage, recognized people in the crowd for their own achievements in recovery, and thanked every person he could that helped him in his own. As the Q and A came to a close there was a yell of,
“We love you Harry!” and then a louder yell, “Sky’s the limit Harry!” followed by laughter that sounded like that of a good friend poking a little good spirited fun.
I would call the evening a lovefest, but it was really a HopeFest. Just like these film makers intended.
-“Generation RX” [Produced by Harry Fleckenstein]
-“Blowing Smoke” [Produced and Directed by Will Kaufman and Laura Cava]
-“Change” – A Short film [Directed by: Thomas Finer]
-“Empty Room” [Produced by Tara Acquesta]
-“A Message Of Hope” – An Audio Documentary [Produced by: Harry Fleckenstein]
-“Addict” – An Audio Short – [Produced by: Harry Fleckenstein]
-And a short preview of “Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired” [Produced by Harry Fleckenstein]