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Film fest brings tale of local’s addiction to ‘Short’ screen

Updated February 4, 2022 - 10:47 am

One of Boulder City’s own will be sharing his story of recovery from addiction at the Dam Short Film Festival next week in hopes that it can help others in the same situation.

“Drug addiction started when I suffered a knee injury,” said resident Ryan Mills. “I was a professional BMX rider for awhile. I was prescribed pain killers for that injury. When the prescription stopped, I went to get the pills on the streets. Then I turned to heroin.”

Mills has been clean for five years and recently shared his story in “Road to Recovery,” a documentary created by Three Sticks Productions that will be screened next week at the 18th annual Dam Short Film Festival.

“I went to jail several times and the last time, I had the choice to do drug court (in Las Vegas) or go to jail for three to five years,” he said. “I took drug court and it was the best decision of my life. … It was a lot of hard work, but it was worth it.”

Mills, who lives in town and graduated from Boulder City High School in 2003, said the film also shows how the community accepted him back.

“It shows there is hope. … I hope people can see drug addicts differently, ” he said. “I hope drug addicts who see it get a little hope out of it.”

The 18th annual Dam Short Film Festival takes place Feb. 10-14 and will be held virtually for the second year in a row. Viewers will have access to all the short films screened at the festival and different online events.

“Our main focus is to really make sure … our filmmakers feel loved, our audience has access to the filmmakers and Boulder City is getting exposure,” said Heather Abel, director of outreach.

Abel said there will be online question-and-answer sessions and chat rooms with the filmmakers as well as community activities.

“The wine walk will be held the Saturday of the festival,” she said. “The wine walk table will be in the lobby of the hotel and people can come by the (DSFF) office and see the live Q &A sessions being done. … We’ll all be in the office working away and people can come by and see it.”

The opening and awards ceremonies will also be broadcast live.

Tickets will be sold as household passes for the entire event as well as passes to the individual program blocks.

For more information and the list of films, go to https://damshortfilm.org/.

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

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