In the development and production of the Finding A Way Forward documentary series it is our intention to add new insight, understanding, and meaning to the conversations surrounding these crises that are fracturing our communities and destroying life. We do not intend to replicate the important work that has already been done by so many talented and courageous filmmakers. Here are some of the films that have spoken to us and which drive us to dive deeper and go further.

Overdose & Illicit Drugs

  • Painkiller: Inside the Opioid Crisis (2018) Nominated for Canadian Screen Award, Painkiller delves into the opioid epidemic. It features interviews with families who have lost loved ones, as well as healthcare workers and policy experts who question a health system that favours corporate profits over patients.
  • Crime of the Century  (2021) A searing indictment of Big Pharma and the political operatives and government regulations that enable over-production, reckless distribution and abuse of synthetic opiates. Exploring the origins, extent and fallout of one of the most devastating public health tragedies of our time, with half a million deaths from overdoses this century alone, the film reveals that America’s opioid epidemic is not a public health crisis that came out of nowhere.
  • Heroin(e)  (2017) Once a bustling industrial town, Huntington, West Virginia has become the epicenter of America’s modern opioid epidemic, with an overdose rate 10 times the national average. This flood of heroin now threatens this Appalachian city with a cycle of generational addiction, lawlessness, and poverty. But within this distressed landscape, Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Elaine McMillion Sheldon (Hollow) shows a different side of the fight against drugs – one of hope.
  • Recovery Boys  (2018) In the heart of America’s opioid epidemic, four men attempt to reinvent their lives and mend broken relationships after years of drug abuse. Recovery Boys, from Academy Award nominated director Elaine McMillion Sheldon (Heroin(e)), is an intimate look at the strength, brotherhood, and courage that it takes to overcome addiction and lays bare the internal conflict of recovery.
  • Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy  (2021) Follow filmmaker Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers as she creates an intimate portrait of her community and the impacts of the substance use and overdose epidemic. Witness the change brought by community members with substance-use disorder, first responders and medical professionals as they strive for harm reduction in the Kainai First Nation.
  • Understanding the Opioid Epidemic (2018) This PBS film traces the causes behind the unprecedented growth in the use of prescription opioids and the devastating impact these drugs are having in virtually every part of America. Through interviews with experts including law enforcement and physicians, along with stirring addict and family testimonials, Understanding the Opioid Epidemic profiles the most deadly drug crisis in American history, along with potential solutions and treatment for those caught in the seductive grip of opioids.
  • One Nation, Overdosed. (2017) MSNBC’s Jacob Soboroff investigates the role synthetics have played in the deadliest drug crisis in American history in this roughly 45-minute documentary. One Nation, Overdosed profiles the rise of fentanyl, a potent synthetic heroin analog, in Dayton, Ohio, briefly touching on each of the major events that led to a recent rash of overdoses in the midwestern state.
  • Dr. Feelgood (2016) The story of Dr. William Hurwitz — a preeminent pain specialist sentenced to 25 years in prison for drug trafficking — provides a window into the ethical complexities of prescription painkillers.


  • Seattle is Dying | A KOMO News Documentary (2019) KOMO Anchor Eric Johnson takes an in-depth look at the impact the drug and homelessness problem is having on our city and possible solutions in “Seattle is Dying,” a news documentary that aired on KOMO-TV in March, 2019.

Mental Health & Healthcare

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Crime, Justice & Corrections

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Business Impacts &
Economic Stability

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Communications Breakdown

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