SMC Documentary on Opioid Crisis Wins Hometown Media Award

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“FROM MY HEART TO YOURS”
WINS BEST DOCUMENTARY
BY THE ALLIANCE FOR COMMUNITY MEDIA

Video production by Somerville Media Center
focuses on the local impact of the opioid crisis

[SOMERVILLE, MA – June 1, 2020] SMC is pleased and honored to announce that it won Best Documentary in the Access Professional Category of the Alliance for Community Media Hometown Awards for the documentary “From My Heart to Yours”.

This short educational film, produced by staff member Stuart Roelke and former staff member Erica Jones, provides an intimate look at how the availability and use of opioids have impacted the lives of many individuals, in Somerville and throughout New England. It is the result of a collaboration between the City of Somerville’s Health and Human Services Department and the Somerville Media Center, a non-profit community media arts organization that is the oldest media access center in Massachusetts.

The Hometown Media Awards were established by the Alliance for Community Media (of which SMC is a member) to honor and promote community media and local cable programs that are distributed on Public, Educational and Government (PEG) access channels. SMC Executive Director, Brian Zipp states, “The Hometown Awards are the pinnacle of national recognition by our community media peers, the nearly 2,000 PEG Access Centers throughout the country. This award is a testament to the caliber of content made in Somerville.”

“This is such a great honor,” remarked Somerville’s Prevention Services Center manager, Matthew Mitchell who worked closely on the project. Mitchell, who also provided the voice-over narration for the documentary continued, ”We spent a lot of time curating ‘From My Heart to Yours’ and it’s amazing to see the response it’s received since debuting last Summer. It will continue to be utilized as an educational resource for our community and beyond to show individuals that recovery is real. Thank you so much to everyone who supported this process. Without the support of the City of Somerville and Somerville Media Center, this would not have been possible”

This documentary was released on July 31, 2019 and is a testament to the severity of this growing issue, front line public health workers, heart-shattered families of the lives lost, and of course individuals lives stolen from opioid addiction. As part of the film’s release, screenings and discussions were held through 2019 and 2020 at venues such as the Central Library, Council on Aging, Connexxion and the Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery.

The documentary includes interviews with representatives of the Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery, recovering addicts who talk openly about their experiences but also how the transformation of the opioid problem as grown into an epidemic, and family members who gather to challenge the force of Purdue Pharma who has been widely recognized as a catalyst and responsible since they introduced the drug Oxycontin to the medical field.

It has been SMC’s mission for nearly forty years to share the stories often unheard or not represented in mainstream media with our community through educational videos. The opioid epidemic is one that hits home for many people and to be able to try to convey the stories of those who were at their most vulnerable state and their journey to recovery was an incredibly powerful and moving experience for those involved in the project. In addition to the production team of Stuart Roelke and Erica Jones, SMC would also like to acknowledge the contribution of JoAnn Rivieccio (SMC member-producer) in this award-winning effort.

“From My Heart to Yours” is available for viewing on YouTube at https://bit.ly/SMC_Heart and Somerville Media Center’s Video-on-Demand service on its website.

About Somerville Media Center
Somerville Media Center is a membership based non-profit community media arts organization based in Somerville, MA. Founded in 1983, SMC operates SCATV Public Access Channel 3, an Internet radio station called Boston Free Radio, a Podcast Studio, a robust Youth Media Program and serves the community through the production of PSA’s, various staff-facilitated programs, including the community journalism program, Somerville Neighborhood News, and coverage of community events, meetings, and political forums.

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