We are delighted to submit this grant application for your consideration to support a series of public and private screenings of our film, Life After You. This original independent feature is centered around a suburban family's struggle with the death of their 19 year-old son, following an overdose of heroin that was laced with fentanyl. The film explores the questions of who and what is responsible for this tragedy and follows their journey to answer these questions as their family unravels from grief, guilt and anger. The film is inspired by the book, “Life After You: What Your Death From Drugs Leaves Behind” by Linda Lajterman. Our team has worked tirelessly in creating this poignant story that explores the themes of love, loss, and the power of human connection. With your support, we hope to bring this film to audiences all across the North-East. In collaboration with community organizations, we are committed to using the film as a tool to promote education and awareness around the opioid epidemic. One of the major obstacles we’ve encountered while booking screenings of our film is theater costs. We have many theaters excited to collaborate with us and screen the film. However, most are unable to take the financial risk that comes with a 50/50 box-office split. The funds from this grant will enable us to pay for screening fees as well as promotional materials, ensuring that our film continues to make an impact over the next three years. In total, we are seeking $30,000 in donations to fund the project.
We are in the midst of a national epidemic. (Drug Overdose Death Rates, 2023) “More than 106,000 persons in the U.S. died from drug-involved overdose in 2021,” according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Of these deaths, over fifty-percent have been fentanyl-related. Fentanyl is a synthetic-opioid often mixed with other drugs like methamphetamine, heroin or cocaine to increase its potency and can go completely undetected by the user. It makes these drugs more addictive and therefore more dangerous. Through screening our film Life After You in theaters across the North-East we hope to educate, connect and create a safe space to have an open dialogue about the opioid epidemic affecting our communities and our country.
We have been fortunate to see an array of attendees at our screenings and talk-backs of Life After You. Families, friends, recovering addicts, and our community partners are among those who have bravely shared their stories in pursuit of connection and understanding. Families experiencing the loss of a loved one due to an overdose have expressed finding comfort in attending these screenings as well as providing an opportunity to destigmatize the conversation of drug use with their children. What we have heard from families is that by participating in these talk-backs, they feel less alone in their struggle and can connect with other families on the same journey. Oftentimes, friends who have someone in their life struggling with drug use don’t know what to do or how they can help. With viewers in attendance with firsthand experience along with a panel of experts to provide resources, these screenings are vital in answering those questions. A large number of recovering addicts have been active participants at our screenings. The talk-backs provide a safe space for them to share their personal experiences as a cautionary tale to attendees free from judgment. We invite partners from local community organizations that provide education and resources on drug use. They are welcome to attend as an audience member or speak on the panel. With their knowledge and expertise, we’re able to give them an opportunity to reach a new audience. Finally, by actively screening our film Life After You, we are able to share the incredible resilience of the Lajterman family and honor the legacy of Danny Lajterman. Instead of shying away, we choose to engage the public in conversation surrounding the opioid epidemic. It is only through these tough conversations that we will tackle this problem together.
Our strategy to promote Life After You involves utilizing various communication channels to reach a broad audience. We plan to use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to share information about the film, post updates on screening locations and dates, and encourage followers to share the film with their networks. We also plan to work with our local theater to promote the screenings and collaborate on marketing efforts to attract new audiences. In addition, we have partnered with community organizations that have a strong presence in the area and can help us connect with individuals and families who have been directly impacted by the opioid crisis. Finally, we plan to engage with local press outlets to generate media coverage and raise awareness about the film and its message. Through this comprehensive approach, we are confident that we can effectively spread our message to a larger audience and increase awareness and support for this important issue.
In closing, we’ve seen how Life After You has already made a significant impact on our community by raising awareness about the devastating effects of the opioid crisis. Since the film’s theatrical release in February 2022, we have shown the film at 10 different theaters for a total of 35 screenings. Our average audience has been about 100 people per screening. By supporting this mission, you will be helping us continue to bring this important message to a much wider audience who have been directly and indirectly affected. We estimate this grant would directly impact over 2,400 individuals and families. Additionally, the number of those indirectly affected by this grant reaches far beyond that number. Through word of mouth, social media, and relationships fostered between our local partners and community members, the network of available resources and support created through these screenings will be everlasting. We are incredibly grateful for your consideration of our grant application. We hope you will be part of our commitment towards making a lasting impact on our communities over the next three years.
Drug Overdose Death Rates. (2023a, February 9). National Institute on Drug Abuse. https://nida.nih.gov/research-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates
Fentanyl Facts. (n.d.). Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved March 1, 2023, from https://www.cdc.gov/stopoverdose/fentanyl/index.html