Praise for the eBulletin –
Nov. 11, 2020 – Driving his Volvo home one night from his job at a Los Angeles rehab, Leonard experienced a life-changing event. Without warning, a distracted driver in an SUV ran a red light and T-boned Leonard’s car, sending it flying through the air. He did not realize this near-death experience was the beginning of his new life. Given a well-deserved insurance settlement, he took the funds, paid off some of his debts, bought tickets to a few plays and concerts, and hired an attorney to form a 501-C3 non-profit organization called Writers In Treatment (WIT).
From the beginning, beyond sending people in the field of the written word to rehab with scholarships, the primary purpose of Writers in Treatment was to promote treatment as the best first step solution for addiction and other self-destructive behaviors. Struggling to raise funds, Writers in Treatment decided to rent the historic 175-seat Silent Movie Theatre in Los Angeles and put on the seminal REEL Recovery Film Festival.
The first feature shown was Permanent Midnight, written by Jerry Stahl and starring Ben Stiller. Based on Stahl’s novel, it is one of the best films about the journey from addiction to recovery. Afterward, Jerry Stahl and Ben Stiller had a conversation about the film in front of a packed house. Engaging, fun and informative, everyone loved it, and Leonard Buschel knew he had stumbled upon something truly exciting. The promises were coming true as he envisioned a film festival to promote recovery.