*LOS ANGELES — Director Vincent Brantley’s groundbreaking documentary “Road Back” has gained a new ally in support of the film and its raw and unapologetic look at the struggle of drug addiction through the eyes of an alcoholic and heroin addict.
Intermountain Healthcare a not-for-profit health institute based in Salt Lake City, Utah has given the film its stamp of approval. Intermountain Healthcare has 22 hospitals, a broad range of clinics and services, and roughly 1,400 employed primary care and secondary care physicians at more than 185 clinics in the Intermountain Medical Group.
Intermountain’s goal is to help people live the healthiest lives possible®, and that goal is accomplished through education, generating and disseminating evidence, and research in support of operational and service excellence and process management across the Intermountain Healthcare system.
The goal also includes working with external partners, which makes the highly informative and powerful documentary “Road Back” a perfect match for their messaging and offerings of resources, particularly in the areas of addiction and mental health.
Jim Sheets, CEO/Administrator at Intermountain, calls the film “an unadulterated masterpiece.” The film’s director Vincent Brantley hosted a private screening of the cinema vérité style documentary with filmmakers and industry influencers during Oscar weekend at Raleigh Studios in Los Angeles, garnering positive responses before its run on the film festival circuit.
“Road Back” is a powerful documentary, shining a light on the struggles of heroin addiction by capturing the real life friendship of best friends Wendell Justice and Tom Olson. The two men take viewers on a turbulent journey to sobriety.
“The film brilliantly captures addiction on the most human level”, says Taylor Scalley, Regional Chief Development Officer at Intermountain.
Like most families in America, Brantley has grappled with substance abuse within his own family; and his life experiences served as the impetus for filming “Road Back.”
Shot on location in Utah and California for more than a year, the “Road Back” is a story of love, a story of life, a story of friendship and a story of triumph. With no definitive beginning or end, the film exposes the daily realities of two friends who walk the road of addiction and recovery together.
“Each day, nearly 600 people — under the age of 25 — try heroin, and become addicted,” said Brantley. “No addict wants to be an addict, and the people closest to them don’t understand an addict’s urge to use drugs.”
Brantley hopes viewers will gain better understanding of substance abuse as a chronic illness, if they can see it through the eyes of an addict. “Road Back” is an up close and personal account (sometimes nasty) – of one man’s fight to be clean, and another man’s fight to stay clean.
“Road Back” | 83 minutes | movie synopsis
The “Road Back” is an astounding story told through the lens of director Vincent Brantley, giving viewers an unapologetic and raw look into the struggle of drug addiction through the friendship between two unlikely friends. Tom Olson is a well-to-do White executive, and a recovering alcoholic from Salt Lake City, Utah and Wendell Justice is a Black barber & heroin addict from the mean streets of Bakersfield, California.
The “Road Back” courageously takes viewers behind the door of the user – that is, injecting, snorting and smoking “smack” — showcasing the ugliness of heroin drug addition as Wendell Justice tries to beat it. The doc reveals how drugs sidelined Justice’s promising career as a celebrity barber, and how he ended up serving 17 years in prison for drug-related crimes. Now paroled, Justice struggles to make a fresh start and shake his appetite for the “White Girl,” which is street slang for heroin. In telling Justice’s story in the “Road Back,” the director cleverly incorporates vintage footage of his arrest as well as in-depth interviews with friends and family. As Justice stares down the possibility of sobriety, it’s Tom Olson who offers him a lifeline of support and compassion.
“Road Back” takes viewers inside the heart of these two men, humanizing both addicts, and understanding their inner pain and challenges of wanting to be sober and actually staying sober.
To view the trailer of “Road Back,” visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6J1BJ9l7nQ
For more about the film, visit www.RoadBackFilm.com
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR | Vincent Brantley
Vincent Brantley is an accomplished singer, songwriter, musician and music producer who gained major recognition after co-writing and producing the platinum-selling, hit single, “Cool It Now,” by Boston based boy band, New Edition. The song was the group’s second #1 hit on the R & B (Black singles) charts, and the first Top 10 single on the pop charts. The platinum-selling single, “Cool It Now,” was recently featured in BET’s highly-rated mini series, “The New Edition Story.”
Brantley has garnered more than 50 awards and commendations for songwriting, producing and performing on a plethora of albums with major recording artists both domestic and foreign. Brantley transitioned into filmmaking with his debut romantic comedy, “Hopelessly In June,” a feature film, written, directed, produced and starring Brantley. The cast includes Emmy Award winning Keith David, Ella Joyce, Ed Asner, Tiny Lister, Jr., and newcomer Carolyn Neff. Hitting the film-festival circuit, “Hopelessly In June” was selected by eight film festivals in the United States and Canada, winning Best Comedy Feature Film at the Garden State Film Festival in New Jersey. It was released on various digital platforms, and can be seen on Netflix,Amazon, Wal-Mart and Red Box.
GET SOCIAL WITH “ROAD BACK”
On the web: www.RoadBackFilm.com
On Twitter: @RoadBackFilm
On Instagram @RoadBackFilm
Reid J. Rich, Senior Publicist
Infinite Scope PR