Dead to Rights

Exploring the limits of our current laws around mandating treatment from substances and the human rights of drug users

The Story of the Dead to Rights Documentary (so far)

On May 28th, 2019 we asked the community to vote and support the making of this documentary film for the #Telus Storyhive documentary filmmaking competition. There were over 20 documentary filmmaking submissions from the region and although we were not one of the two chosen we were grateful to see the growth of the filmmaking industry in our region that we have worked so hard to support for the last 9 years. That brings us, however, to a renewed ferver to find the funding so that we can continue with the making of this documentary film which dares to ask some important questions and seek some real answers.

Should the Province explore mandating treatment for those with severe and persistent addictions who are homeless and causing social discord? What other options are available in the face of this community crisis? Our story explores the growing tensions between municipalities and the Province over how to address homelessness and addictions in communities across BC. The government has responded to this epidemic by creating over 2000 supportive housing units but emotions are running high among business and neighbourhood groups. Some believe the solution is to have those with addictions and living without homes to enter into rehabilitation programs and not be supported with harm reduction resources instead. Is the resolution found in exploring the conflict between human rights & social order?

Our Original Pitch Video

Additional Content

PROJECT DETAILS:

Project Title:

Dead to Rights

Genre:

Documentary

Logline:

Exploring the limits of our current laws around mandating treatment from substances and the human rights of drug users.

Story Outline:

Our story follows a former opioid user and an executive director of a non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating addiction and homelessness. Together they will explore the growing tensions between municipalities and the provincial government on how to address these problems in communities throughout the province. The team will speak to people from multiple backgrounds that are or have been affected by the systems in place (or lack thereof) that are meant to deal with the ever growing crisis that is now plaguing their community and beyond. The story will begin by highlighting the problem in the community of Kamloops, how far these issues ripple geographically & bureaucratically, & the obstacles in the way of solving the problem. Specifically, it will ask at what point a person under the influence of addiction is still capable of making the right choice for themselves, regardless of their right to make it, & how that should be addressed when society at large will pay the price.

Why this story? Why Now? Why is it important to tell?

This story is close to our entire team on a personal level, having affected each of us throughout our lives in some way. Outside of that, the story is pervasive throughout the community of Kamloops, the TNRD Region, the province of British Columbia, and Canada as a whole. The problem of addiction and homelessness and how to address it spans across the entire world, and in North America income inequality, rates of mental illness, an unstable economy and an abundance of available opiates have created a perfect storm that could give rise to an already formidable opioid crisis. The epidemic we are facing may require hard decisions that in a more safe and stable scenario we might have been able to avoid, but the trajectory is set and the questions this story asks will illuminate the immovable object we need to place in front of the unstoppable force pushing our society more and more into devastation.

Why is this important or relevant to our community?

This story has a deep connection to our community, as one of Canada’s leading organizations in the fight against addiction & homelessness originated from a need right here in Kamloops, BC. ASK Wellness is renowned across Canada & internationally as an organization that has made great strides in working with populations & municipalities to keep the hounds of addiction and homelessness at bay, but even with their help the crisis continues to swell. Physicians, politicians, support workers, law enforcement, business owners, mental health professionals, & even victims of drug abuse and their family members will be featured from our community to talk about their part in fighting homelessness and addiction, or how it has affected them in their lives, workplaces, and communities. Through our health organizations & the infrastructure/networks built by ASK Wellness, multiple locations throughout Kamloops will be utilized to showcase the scope of the film without having to draw our gaze too far from home to keep the story universally accessible for those from far and away.

Why should Peter Cameron-Inglis from Mastermind Studios be the one that produces this documentary film?

I have knowledge of substance misuse & homelessness through my non-profit support & board involvement. I have the respect & trust of the business community, the public at large, & the agencies who have a mandate around housing, healthcare & mental health. I have also been a patient for 20+ yrs & have struggled with pain management through both Colorectal Cancer & Fistulizing Crohn’s Disease. I know the addictive effects of Opioids & the difficulties in managing chronic pain. I will be unbiased.

I am a 50 year old producer having worked in commercial production for over 25 years. I started Mastermind Studios in 2010 and have expanded it to include more than 20,000 sq ft encompassing a soundstage, production offices, casting stage, screening theatre and equipment rental house. I have produced more than 2000 commercial video productions. My last production with Storyhive was the music video “Thank You” with an indigenous music artist who is also a support worker for troubled youth.

How would we like to tell this story?

This story will be told through a series of interviews, research, and observations conducted through our hosts, ASK Wellness, & production team in an attempt to bring all sides of the argument together to focus on an actable solution. The story may utilize small portions of narration to set scenes or make efficient use of transitions & illustrative footage, & will incorporate data points and information gathered from subjects close to the topic from a wide variety of backgrounds & points of view. Balance will be key in showing that the involved groups benefit in a possible solution regardless of their opinions on the issue. Target audience will be comprised of several groups: those affected by addiction & homelessness, those who belong to business/neighborhood groups that deal with these issues on a regular basis, those who work with at risk populations on the frontlines (health care, mental health, non-profit), and city employees/councilors of similarly affected communities.

Who are the main subjects and have they committed to participating in the documentary film?

The following people have confirmed their involvement:

  • Bob Hughes, ED, ASK Wellness Society
  • Dr. Ian Mitchell, Hospital ER Physician & Medical Dir., Kamloops Overdose Prevention Sites
  • Ken Christian – Kamloops Mayor
  • Dr. Terry Lake – former Provincial Health Minister
  • Dr. Sunette Lessing – Psychiatrist
  • Kim Galloway, BSW – Dir. of Housing Supports, ASK Wellness Society
  • Shawn Weisner – former Correctional Officer
  • Dale Bass – Kamloops City Councillor, former Journalist
  • Bill Sundhu – Former Judge & UN Intl. Human Rights Tribunal

Challenges and Support:

In describing challenges we may face and what areas we are seeking further support – Ethical access to both victims and perpetrators may be a challenge but is highly desired for a balanced and truthful story that has multiple story arcs and perspectives. We may need to find creative solutions for this including additional legal council. Any further funding we accept in order to help us create a better and more impactful story, while mitigating some of our risks, needs to be on the basis that our ultimate loyalty will remain with telling a truthful and unbiased story regardless of funding sources. For this purpose we also may need additional assistance from our legal council.

Background Links:

  1. Should the Homeless Be Forcibly Helped? https://academic.oup.com/phe/article-abstract/12/1/30/4944889?redirectedFrom=fulltext
  2. The stats are in: crime hasn’t gone ‘through the roof’… https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/the-stats-are-in-crime-hasn-t-gone-through-the-roof-in-maple-ridge-since-homeless-camp-opened-1.5096192
  3. It’s Easier to Get High than to Get Help https://thetyee.ca/News/2017/01/23/Kamloops-Youth-Detox/

Diversity Statement

We are dedicated to helping those in need in our community. Our vision of is to work towards a society that recognizes the value and dignity of every individual. Through education and prevention efforts, we work to reduce the risk of harm for individuals engaged in or affected by risky behaviours. We recognize the value and dignity of each individual. We believe that all individuals deserve equity in accessibility. We collaborate with community partners and actively participate in community efforts to ensure that basic human rights are protected. We promote shared, private and public responsibility in the delivery of education and awareness activities in the community.

 


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