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Local documentary on drug addiction helps others

March 14, 2019
By BARBARA C. BARRETT , The Luminary

HUGHESVILLE - Talent, opportunity and the loss of a close friend inspired Kaitlin Lunger to produce a film documentary about the struggle with opioid addiction.

She credits a digital multimedia class she took at Hughesville High School while a student there. "Mr. Renn, my teacher, allowed me to use more creative expression," said the 2014 graduate.

Lunger, who said she is interested in law, first filmed "No Limits, No Boundaries" for her senior project at Lycoming College.

Article Photos

PHOTO PROVIDED

Officer Brittany Alexander (left) is with Kaitlin Lunger after a Q&A session about Lunger’s film with Dr. Richmond's criminal justice class at Lycoming College.

Kaitlin said she graduated last year from Lycoming College and continues to work on her filming. She started the documentary in 2017 after discovering one of her best friends was struggling with addiction. "I had the equipment. I talked about it and then decided how great it would be to see the human side," she added.

In January Kaitlin was featured in the Sun-Gazette Showcase where she discussed how she filmed the 13 minute video locally. It is shown from three different perspectives and so far, the documentary has been shown in large cities like Los Angeles and New York.

It also earned the Tom Woodruff Jr. Grand Jury award at the Pennsylvania College Film and Video Festival hosted at Lycoming College.

Lunger said the film focuses on three local individuals and their personal struggles with the national crisis of opioid addiction. Taylor Falk speaks of his personal struggles with addiction, Mikaila Wells shares her experiences growing up with her drug-addicted mother, and Officer Brittany Alexander from the Williamsport Bureau of Police speaks of the dangers facing first responders.

"I wanted people to see three different sides of addiction and make their own opinion from seeing the stories," Lunger said. "All were very, very helpful and eager to tell their stories."

Officer Alexander was added later according to Lunger who wanted to explore the topic from a police officer's point of view. "It was intentional adding a police officer." Officer Alexander was the third female of only four women hired with the Williamsport Bureau Police Department.

Organizations have been approaching Lunger to show her documentary. In April Lunger will be presenting the film to a Grandparents support group in Mansfield. Also she is working on an extended version with an undercover officer from the Pennsylvania State Police, and another project with the Sheriff's department on a video with Camp Cadet.

Lunger said she wants to pursue a career in law enforcement, and is keeping her videography and film making skills "as a side gig for now, although I always plan to do video." She is continuing to invest in more equipment, and seeking more opportunities to inform those who don't know the full story about addiction.

After the premiere last summer, the film was chosen to be screened at the REEL Recovery Film Festival & Symposium in New York, as well as the California International Film Festival and Davis Chinese Film Festival. Only ten films are chosen for each genre with over 3,000 submissions.

Although it is only 13 minutes long, Lunger said it took almost a year to complete as there is much filming and editing that went into the project. I'm not expecting it to get picked up by Netflix or anything, I just hope it reaches the people it needs to reach," she said.

To watch "No Limits, No Boundaries" go to Vimeo.com/kaitlinlunger.

 
 

 

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