International film premiere for University of Leicester graduate and local filmmaker throws spotlight on drug and alcohol addiction

Posted by er134 at Sep 29, 2014 09:55 AM |
Leicester graduate teams with independent documentary filmmaker to pave the way for new recovery services in Leicestershire

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 29 September 2014

View a trailer of the ‘Dear Albert’ film at:

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Over the last three years, University of Leicester graduate Jon Roberts has been working closely with independent documentary filmmaker Nick Hamer to capture his life as a recovering addict and work to become a Recovery Consultant, using his own experiences to change the lives of others.

‘Dear Albert’ follows Jon’s work as he supports Ian and Gary in the earliest stages of their rehabilitation to ‘get well or die trying’; providing a hard-hitting and uniquely personal insight into the process of recovery.

Debut director Nick Hamer explores Jon’s own journey with addiction, especially the struggles he faced saying goodbye to Albert, his street-side alter-ego and part of the elaborate lie Jon and other addicts wrap around themselves to hide the extent of their substance abuse.

Sober, steadfast, and optimistic, Jon offers his insights to addicts drawn from his own challenges throughout the film. He said: “In rehab, one of the things they asked me to do was write a letter saying goodbye to the addict within.

“Usually these letters start ‘Dear Addict’. When I went back to read it I realised that I had written ‘Dear Albert’. At that moment I started to understand what was really going on; that my drug use had become part of an elaborate lie. From that moment I decided that I didn’t want to be Albert anymore.”

This September, Nick and Jon will bring their work to the world stage as Dear Albert premieres at the Calgary International Film Festival, before going on to screenings in New York and Cape Town, throwing the spotlight on drug and alcohol addiction and sharing their work with an international audience.

Since graduating from the Foundation Degree in Drug and Alcohol Counselling, Jon has been supported by the University of Leicester’s Career Development Service and others to develop the Dear Albert project and create a social enterprise of the same name.

Jon successfully secured a bursary and mentoring from the Enterprise Inc2 project (part funded by ERDF) at the University of Leicester by pitching his idea for a new recovery service. With the support of Enterprise Inc he has begun to build a recovery community in the city and develop effective new treatment programmes such as: ‘You do the MAFs’ (Mutual Aid facilitation sessions) as well as offering recovery consultancy services across Leicestershire and beyond.

Documentary filmmaker Nick, who runs Intrepid Media based in Leicester, documents a range of social issues through his work and describes his passion for the Dear Albert project and its legacy. He said: “This project has been my passion for three years and I’m deeply involved in the lives of everyone featured in the film. I’m delighted that a new treatment service will be opening in Leicester this year - I’m on the board of trustees and it also shares its name with the film, ‘Dear Albert’.”

Jon is now continuing to expand his social enterprise Dear Albert, making an impact with recovery services and individuals across the region and said: “Part of the Dear Albert mission is to make recovery in our communities more visible, providing the hope to those still struggling and affected by active addiction that recovery is possible.

“Resolving a history of substance abuse will often require medical and professional counselling interventions; but recovery is also very much about a social process. Nick’s film is a fantastic tool for getting these messages across and we are building workshops around some of the themes and issues explored in the film so that others can benefit from the work being done.”

After its tour of several international film festivals, the ‘Dear Albert’ film will be made available for screenings at drug and alcohol treatment services, recovery communities, universities, prisons and rehabs in 2015.

You can watch the trailer and find more information and updates about the ‘Dear Albert’ film here:



Notes to Editor:

Contact details

The ‘Dear Albert’ film was directed and produced by Nick Hamer from Intrepid Media:

Dear Albert is a recovery community and social enterprise which can be found on Facebook:

For more information contact Jon Roberts:

Screening dates

Calgary International Film Festival, 19th September (

Reel Recovery Film Festival, New York, 29th September (

Cape Town Recovery Film Festival, 1st October (

Enterprise Inc

The Enterprise Inc project is part financed by the Operational European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit:

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