SF & substance abuse: ARU-linked film team making a connection

SF & substance abuse: ARU-linked film team making a connection

A film crew with close ties to ARU is linking together Science Fiction and Drug Addiction in a new production: Apocryphal. This film is being supported through a Kickstarter campaign.

The project: 


Mental illness haunts us all, and for some it lures them to a dark side of drugs. The film is looking
to help redefine horror to shed light on these issues.

The story begins with a trio of misfits desperately hunting for their next heroin fix. Skip to the present day, and two unconvinced detectives interview Oliver over the terrifying and unearthly events of the last 24 hours. Can Oliver convince two hard-boiled detectives that his story is real? How would you react if an addict recalled their fight against otherworldly creatures?

Josh Armstrong is an award-winning film maker who focuses on themes of mental illness,
and the genres of sci-fi and horror. Shepherded by the story writer of BAFTA-winning film His
House, Toby Venables, Josh is dedicated to exploring what he sees as a terrifying
pandemic: depression.

John explains that this is a tribute to those we have lost to drug addiction, and its purpose is to shed light on the importance of mental health. APOCRYPHAL explores the painful battles that lure people to the
dark side of hard drugs and the preconceptions outsiders have to those users. He and his crew are determined to make a story that is both thought-provoking and unexpected. According to the
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, about 8.9 million adults in the U.S.
who have an addiction also have a psychiatric disorder. The most common connection between mental illness and substance abuse is the need to self-medicate to overcome discomfort. They use it to escape psychological distress. “It’s time we all open our minds, and face the unknown together.”

The pitch:

APOCRYPHAL has been in pre-production for 14 months. During that time Josh and his crew have finessed the script, designed the costumes, held live readings, location scouted, haggled with rental companies, and assembled the team. But unfortunately, COVID has restricted finances. It’s a hard time for creatives, but this film is too important for Josh and his team to put aside.

In the COVID crisis, funding for film has become evermore difficult to obtain, and they’re looking to
create this film without restrictions to better spread the vital message that this film carries.

Kickstarter campaign and more info: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jarmstrong/apocryphal

ARU Alum and current staff on the team:

Director: Joshua Armstrong (ARU 2010)
Producers: Matt McLaren (ARU 2013);  Aifric O’Neill-Reardon (ARU graduate)
Main Talent: Michael Southgate (ARU 2012)
Script Consultant: Toby Venables (Associate Lecturer at ARU)


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