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Finding ‘Appiness off to a roaring start

Feb 4, 2022

We held a private screening event for our latest film ‘Finding ‘Appiness’ on Thursday 20th January. ‘Finding Appiness’ has been an 8 year long, emotional project for the film’s Director Natasha. The film tackles sensitive themes such as mental health, addiction and sexual abuse. Allan reflects on his troubled past and his harmful coping mechanisms as he takes the audience through his emotional journey of self-discovery and with that, self-acceptance. The short documentary was made possible by the BFI Doc Society’s Made of Truth fund and the Iambic Dream Foundation.

“It’s been a long and sometimes emotional journey capturing Allan’s life on camera. Allan’s such a huge inspiration for me and he’s helped me overcome my own challenges. To finally be able to finish Finding ‘Appiness and to show it to the world is beyond words.”

Natasha Hawthornthwaite, Director of Finding ‘Appiness

The priva​​te screening event was held at Chapeltown Picturehouse in Manchester and we’re still shocked by the huge audience turnout for the film’s first screening. Allan, his family, and friends were the star guests of the evening who were all excited and albeit, slightly nervous to be there with front row seats. We invited people from recovery charities also as it was important for us to know what type of response they would have to the film. We were pleased to support, through raffle and donations, Damien John Kelly House, an abstinence-based recovery Living Centre for adult males that focus on belonging, connection and purpose through arts, sport and culture. We raised just over £200 for the organisation which will go towards supporting those in their recovery.

“A short film with a lot of character. This brief glimpse into an intriguing soul paints a colourful picture of life in recovery, highlighting that “Finding Appiness” is no black and white affair. Ultimately inspiring. Well worth a watch.”

Patrick Tierney, Engagement Worker, Unlimited Potential

For this event, we wanted to create an immersive experience that truly honed in on and reflected the nature of the film. We incorporated live music from Elliot Britton who produced the original score for ‘Finding Appiness’ for the guests to enjoy. 5 poets/spoken word artists were invited to perform at the private screening, all of whom spoke about addiction and recovery with some in recovery themselves which made the evening really personal and touched on different perspectives of addiction and recovery.

Romina Ramos, Poet

“The film was shot beautifully and captured Allan’s true style and beauty. It’s very rare you see stories of addiction with a happy ending, so this really was a breath of fresh air.”

Romina Ramos, Poet

There was a special Q&A with Allan himself which allowed the audience to learn more about his contribution to the film and expand more on the defining moments for transforming his view on himself and life. The 77-year-old touched on his love of fashion and his beloved clothing collection from his favourite designer, Vivienne Westwood. Allan donated two Vivienne Westwood pieces to be won in the raffle which felt extra special and ramped up excitement from the audience.

Gareth Sanders, Allan Bradbury, Natasha Hawthornthwaite, Scott Bradley

We want to share Allan’s story to as many people as possible. This private screening was just the beginning and after hearing so many positive comments from people in recovery I really believe this film has the power to inspire many more.”

Scott Bradley, Producer

The team at Northern Heart Films will now work with the BFI Doc Society and Executive Producer Wael Kabbani from Iambic Dream Films to build a launch strategy to screen Finding ‘Appiness across the world.

Hayley Hoban
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