Drugreporter Film Sessions at HRI Conference 2017 With Video Links

June 2, 2017

Watch online the films screened at the Drugreporter Film Sessions at HRI Conference, Montreal 2017.


This year the Rights Reporter Foundation organised the film festival at the Harm Reduction International Conference in Montreal, 14-17 May. We launched a call for film makers to send their videos featuring important messages and stories of the harm reduction movement. Frankly, we did not expect to receive so many great movies from so many countries. In the end, we selected 26 films from more than 15 countries for screening at the Drugreporter Film Sessions. Harm Reduction International provided an excellent venue for the screenings: the main plenary, where we could enjoy these movies on big screen. We structured the movies into thematic sessions. Our colleague, Magda Major introduced each sessions. Unfortunately not everybody could attend the film sessions because they run parallel to other sessions (there is no optimal solution, last year the films were screened after the sessions in the evening but only very few people attended). But don't worry if you missed a movie or you could not attend the conference - you can now watch most of them online! Special thanks to all the film makers and HRI. 

Films on the Global War on Drugs

  • On The War on Drugs

Spain / Directed by: Tre Borràs, Antoni Llort / 23m 6s
A film that contributes ideas, arguments and tools to promote critical opinion.


Peter’s Story: Meet the police officer legalizing drugs

United Kingdom / Directed by: Cara Lavan / 2m 56s
Belgian Deputy Chief of Police is convinced that his brother would still be alive if drugs were legal.


Donna May’s Story: How one woman changed Canadian drug policy

United Kingdom / Directed by: Cara Lavan / 2m 58s
The death of Donna’s daughter made her see the need for drug policy reform. She is now dedicated to being an advocate for global drug policy reform.


The UNGASS on Drugs: Reform Aborted

Hungary / Directed by: Drugreporter / 9m 34s
In 2016 In New York, the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Drugs was the most important international forum for discussing global drug policies since 1998.


  • Hoja por hoja’: Community Coca Control in Bolivia

Bolivia / Directed by: Ismael Saavedra / 17m 9s
Community coca control has reduced conflict and poverty, increased economic diversification, and even decreased coca cultivation itself in Bolivia.

Films on Harm Reduction in North-America

  • Advocacy in Action: Charting the future of Canada's drug policy

Canada / Directed by: Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network / 11m 24s
The video showcases the Legal Network's efforts in promoting and expanding access to rights and equity for people living with HIV and specifically PWUD.


  • Working towards more consistent interventions between the health and the safety sectors concerning injection drug users

Canada / Directed by: AIDQ in collaboration with ENPQ / 27m 38s
Solutions allowing greater coherence of interventions between police departments, community organizations and health and social services institutions.


  • The Caring Community: Ithaca and the Movement for Supervised Injection Facilities

United States / Directed by: Taeko Frost, Matt Curtis / 21m 45s
The mayor and district attorney of Ithaca became the first senior elected officials in the USA to endorse opening a supervised injection facility.


  • New York Harm Reduction Educators

United States / Directed by: Colin Askey / 16m 5s
The film promotes New York Harm Reduction Educators’ fight against stigma and injustice for PWID, and provides an education on the history of community activism.

The Stairs

Canada / Directed by: Hugh Gibson / 1h 36m 25s
The film follows the triumphs and heartbreaks of three social workers, who counsel clients about drug use while also struggling with their own addictions.

Check the film's webpage here.

Films on Harm Reduction in Eastern-Central Europe

  • Our Clients Are Our Mission: Harm Reduction in Bosnia

Bosnia-Herzegovina / Directed by: Drugreporter / 13m 31s
The movie features those selfless harm reduction professionals who try to save lives in spite of vanishing support and funding.


  • She Survived, in Spite of Her Treatment

Russia / Directed by: Drug Users News / 21m 12s
Patients call the Yekaterinburg Hospital (Russia) the “final journey”. This hospital is for patients with tuberculosis and other severe diagnoses.


  • Harm Reduction and Drug Laws in the Czech Republic

Czech Republic / Directed by: Drug Users News / 11m 14s
What has been happening in the drug policy, and how it affects the lives of PWUD since drug use is no longer a criminal offence in the Czech Republic?


  • Street Lawyers from EECA region

Russia / Directed by: Drug Users News / 3m
A story about the success of community legal support, and video documenting of cases of torture in the name of drug treatment.


Films on Overdose Prevention

  • They talk, we die

Canada / Directed by: Canadian Association of People who Use Drugs / 4m 13s
In February people who use drugs participated in a national day of action to end the overdose epidemic that is killing Canadians every day.


  • Preventing Empty Spaces: Using Naloxone to Reverse Opioid Overdose

United States / Directed by: Greg Scott / 9m 14s
A documentary-style training film investigating opioid overdose death and providing training on how to prevent it with the use of injectable naloxone.

Click here to watch the film.

  • Ray’s Story: My two sons died on the same day

United Kingdom / Directed by: Cara Lavan / 2m 39s
Ray describes what happened the night when he lost his sons to overdoses, and why it led him to the belief that the UK’s drug laws need to change.


  • Play Safe – Chapter 10 (Heroin & Oxycontin)

United States / Directed by: Eddie Einbinder / 13m 30s
The film documents functional drug users who try to take the necessary precautions while using their respective drugs of choice, Heroin & Oxycontin.


A Day in the Life: The World of Humans Who Use Drugs

Hungary / Directed by: István Gábor Takács / 1h 25m 53s
The film, produced in cooperation between activists and drug users, highlights how the lives of PWUD are affected by the global war on drugs, showing individual stories through the course of one day in seven countries of the world.


Films on Harm Reduction in the Global South

  • Harm Reduction: The Senegalese Experience

Senegal / Directed by: Nick Loomis / 22m 17s
Harm reduction within the Senegalese context through testimonies of former and current drug users, social workers, health workers and policy makers.


  • Support. Don't Punish. Voices for Drug Policy Reform from Asia

Thailand / Directed by: Patrick Tibke, Alex Magill / 29m 41s
People working in law enforcement, drug treatment, harm reduction and social services are calling for drug policy reform to end the punishment of people who use drugs in Asia.


  • Dying A Slow Death: Inside Indonesia’s Drug War

Indonesia / Directed by: Drugreporter, PKNI / 23m 33s
The film documents the first-hand impacts of the drug war as experienced by the community itself.


Psychedelic Harm Reduction

  • Global Ibogaine Conference - Tepoztlán, México 2016

Mexico / Directed by: Karina Muscarina, Gabriel Amezcua, Brun González / 21m 12s
The Global Ibogaine Conference discussed ibogaine therapy, the overall climate of drug policy, and its relationship with plant-based medicines.


  • The Renaissance of Psychedelic Research

The Netherlands / Directed by: Drugreporter / 9m 32s
Summary film about the International Interdisciplinary Conference on Psychedelic Research 2016.


  • Deep Web Harm Reduction

Ireland / Directed by: Florian Scheibein / 7m 42s
A short interview with ‘Dr.X’ presenting the concept of deep web harm reduction - harm reduction which occurs online in the deep web.


  • Huxley’s Exit

Canada / Directed by: Connie Littlefield / 28m 1s
Evidence suggests that LSD and similar substances can help resolve existential issues surrounding death. The film tells the story of some of the individuals who are contemplating to use that help.

Click here to watch the film.