METH HEAD Makes World Premiere at DC Independent Film Festival, Thursday, March 7, 2013
This film is not for the faint of heart. It portrays a young man's downward spiral into methamphetamine addiction. Days of our Lives's Blake Berris (Nick Fallon), plays the role of Dusty, a friend of the lead character, whose own proclivities with meth are instrumental in dragging his friend into the life.
METH HEAD, the first feature film to offer an honest and compelling portrayal of methamphetamine addiction premiers at the DC Independent Film Festival on Thursday, March 7th. The film, written and directed by Hollywood writer-director Jane Clark, depicts a young man, in love and with a promising career ahead of him, whose world spirals wildly out of control due to addiction to methamphetamine--a drug that has ravaged millions of American lives.
METH HEAD is inspired by the real-life experiences of Jane Clark and producer-actor John W. McLaughlin--who also plays a character in the movie. "Most movies, documentaries, and news programs only illustrate meth addicts who are poor and uneducated—or celebrities," says Clark. "But methamphetamine is an equal opportunity destroyer. The addicts I knew and know are from good families, had careers, lovers, owned homes, and lived middle class lives. And that is a story that has gone untold until now."
Abuse of methamphetamine, a potent and highly addictive psychostimulant, can lead to devastating medical, psychological, and social consequences and continues to be a very serious problem in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Adverse health effects include memory loss, aggression, psychotic behavior and other serious mental health issues, heart damage, malnutrition, and dental problems. Methamphetamine abuse also contributes to increased transmission of infectious diseases, especially hepatitis and HIV, and has been linked to increases in crime, unemployment, child neglect or abuse, as well as other social ills. Recent federal government surveys report that 12.6 million Americans have used methamphetamine, a drug considered more addictive than heroin that costs the U.S. an estimated $16.2 billion to $48.3 billion annually.*
"I don't see METH HEAD as simply a drug film. I see it as a film about family – the one that we are born into, the ones that we create – and how they impact the addiction and how the addiction impacts them. In simple terms, it's about the human beings," says Clark, who has previously screened several short films at the DC Independent Film Festival, including "Carrie's Choice" and "Beyond Words". "These are the fathers, sons, mothers, lovers, friends, aunts, neighbors that we all know. They are just like us, filled with dreams, desires, fears and insecurities. The only difference is the chemical changes that impact their behavior and their choices because of the drug."
The powerful drama stars Lukas Haas ("Lincoln", "Inception", "Brick"), who plays Kyle Peoples, a man who is stuck in a dead end job, with a more successful partner (Wilson Cruz - "He's Just Not That Into You," "My So-Called Life") and a family who doesn't understand him. When an innocent night of partying leads to a new family of friends, Kyle sees an escape--but friendships with drug buddies Maia (Necar Zadegan) and Dusty (Blake Berris) and their love of meth costs Kyle his job, lover, family, and home.
Kyle's escape and the "party" ultimately becomes his trap, and the drug is slowly killing him, physically and psychologically. Hitting bottom, Kyle faces one choice - life or meth.
The movie also stars Tom Sizemore ("Hawaii Five-O," "Black Hawk Down"), Scott Patterson ("Gilmore Girls", "Saw IV, V, VI') and Theo Rossi ("Sons of Anarchy," "Cloverfield"). The film's score was composed by Curt Smith and Charlton Pettus. Smith is co-founder of the multi-platinum British music group "Tears For Fears," with which he continues to tour worldwide, and is also an acclaimed solo musician. METH HEAD is his first feature-length score.
The film premieres in Washington, DC on Thursday, March 7th, at the Burke Theater in the Navy Memorial, 701 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, at 8:15 p.m., and will be followed by a Q & A with the filmmakers and stars. Along with the film, DCIFF is organizing a panel discussion with filmmakers Jane Clark and John W. McLaughlin, Pat Taylor, Executive Director of Faces and Voices of Recovery, Dr. Gaya Dowling of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and Marie Gallo Dyak, Executive VP Program Services & Government Relations of the Entertainment Industries Council who will offer perspectives on methamphetamine prevention and treatment, and how films like METH HEAD can impact on the problem. The panel discussion will take place on Friday, March 8th, from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. at the Charles Sumner School, 1201 17th St. NW, Washington, DC 20036, Room 101.
As noted above, Blake Berris stars as Nick Fallon on NBC’s Days of our Lives. Berris first gained attention as Nick on Days of our Lives and earned an Emmy nomination in 2009. After briefly leaving the show, Berris quickly lined up strong roles in a series of high profile independent films, including “Minkow” opposite James Caan and Ving Rhames, the crime drama “Mafiosa,” and “Girlfriend” by director Justin Lerner, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.
To see the movie trailer, visit www.themethheadmovie.com Stay tuned to Soapdom.com for our exclusive interview with Berris coming soon.
*Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. September 2009.
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