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Alcohol Addiction Film Premiere

By Staff | Feb 29, 2008

The first showing of Francesca Karle’s second film, “Back to the Bottle,” will debut Thursday, April 17 as part of the Fifth Annual Appalachian Regional Film Festival. Similar to the premiere of “On the River’s Edge,” the premiere includes a pre-screening buffet. Proceeds will go to the Cabell County Substance Abuse Partnership.

While a Chesapeake High School student, Francesca Karle decided to make a movie about the homeless people living near Harris Riverfront Park for a Girl Scout project. Assisted by her volunteer experiences with her church group ministering to and feeding the homeless population, Karle already had a recognition factor with the homeless population. When she asked them to talk on camera about their lives, they trusted her and revealed the stories of their lives both on the Huntington riverbank and before they chose to build their shanties on the Ohio River.

When the film screened at the Keith Albee, a packed house greeted the homeless ‘stars,’ who in Hollywood tradition arrived at the theatre in limousines amidst flashing lights and a rush of local press members.

The benefit premiere included a buffet donated by various restaurants allowing $25,000 of proceeds to go to the Cabell County Coalition of the Homeless.

Since addictions are a leading cause of homelessness, it became a natural progression for the Marshall University student to focus on alcoholism as her second production. In addition, the basis for the “Back to the Bottle” docu-drama originated from the life of a homeless person from “On the River’s Edge.”

The compassionate young director continued befriending the man even after a horrific accident nearly took his life. Now, he has an apartment, but he has never been able to shake his alcohol addiction. Karle tells his story in a series of vignettes depicting the effect that alcohol had on various stages of his life. Throughout the 35-minute film, a noted behavioral psychologist delivers short discussions on various components of addiction.

“It’s all come together because God’s hand is on it, “ Karle told HNN Feb. 6. Both Francesca and her mother Toni Karle hope “Back to the Bottle” will help others relate to the story and “to evoke change in their lives, as well as assist in controlling a drinking problem or preventing it altogether.”

Plans for the premiere are still in the tentative stage. Ticket holders enter the Keith around 6:15 p.m. followed by the red carpet festivities at 7 p.m. “Bottle” screens at 8 p.m. followed by live entertainment.

Tickets for the premiere are $25.

Contact Tony at trutherford@graffitiwv.com