When Morgantown businessman Joe Boczek based GameChanger in 2017, he wasn’t fascinated about movie critics.
He was centered extra on the scourge of drug abuse in West Virginia – which by then had been labeled “the epicenter of the opioid disaster,” by one Columbia College public well being dean and researcher in her Capitol Hill testimony in opposition to a handful of pharmaceutical makers charged with delivering a deluge of capsules to the state.
Boczek was particularly fascinated about the state’s youngsters and youngsters who have been standing, in impact, on the shaky floor of that epicenter.
GameChanger’s objective is to place the sunshine of preventative training on the shadow of drug abuse within the Mountain State.
Flickering lights on a film display screen may help, too, as he fortunately found this month.
Which is why he’s now fascinated about movie critics in spite of everything.
The GameChanger-produced documentary “One Tablet Can Kill” is being acknowledged at movie festivals right here and throughout the Atlantic.
“We’re thrilled,” Boczek stated, “as a result of it means our message is efficient and we’re getting it on the market.”
The 34-minute movie was narrated by Meg Bulger, the previous WVU girls’s basketball standout who now handles training and group outreach for GameChanger.
Nick Saban, the pinnacle soccer coach of Alabama and a north-central West Virginia native, seems within the movie together with nation music star Brad Paisley, who grew up close to Wheeling.
Gov. Jim Justice additionally will get display screen time with West Virginia senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito.
Charles Huff, Marshall’s head soccer coach, is featured, too.
“One Tablet Can Kill” has most just lately picked up first-place honors within the Finest Quick Documentary class on the Voices Rising Movie Pageant on Lengthy Island, N.Y.; the Influence Docs Awards in La Jolla, Calif.; and the Oniros Movie Pageant in New York Metropolis.
It additionally earned an honorable point out for Finest Quick Documentary on the Crimson Film Awards in Reims, France – and was an official choice on the Reel Restoration Movie Pageant in Studio Metropolis, Calif., and the Lane Doc Pageant in Jackson, Tenn.
GameChanger produced it along side FG/PG of Los Angeles, the Biscuit Manufacturing unit of Falls Church, Va., and RippleKey of New York.
The movie addresses lethal fentanyl, opioid and substance misuse points with a stark analogy: buying counterfeit capsules over the Web and on the road, it warns, is akin to enjoying a spherical of Russian roulette.
Center college college students and highschool college students from throughout the state additionally look into the digicam lens to ship messages and steering – a star-turn transfer that makes Boczek wish to get up and cheer, he stated.
“That’s much more gratifying.”
The documentary was distributed together with a guardian toolkit for free of charge to all center and excessive colleges in West Virginia and can be accessible freed from cost on-line at www.gamechangerusa.org.
Search for a re-release this spring, Boczek stated, full with a instructor lesson plan booklet for a movie he estimates has already been seen by greater than 100,000 youngsters and adults.
There’s that, plus the continued mission of rising GameChanger, he stated.
Photos on the display screen – boots on the bottom
Thus far, there are 55 colleges educating GameChanger supplies throughout the Mountain State, Boczek stated.
That features Clay-Battelle Center/Excessive Faculty and Mason-Dixon Elementary, in Mon County.
In neighboring Marion County, North Marion Excessive, Mannington Center and Blackshere Elementary are additionally GameChanger colleges.
“And we’re speaking to colleges in Kentucky and Tennessee,” Boczek stated. “2024 goes to be busy.”
Older college students counseling youthful college students is a signature piece of this system, which fits Clay-Battelle completely, Principal David Cottrell stated.
His college is educational residence to college students in grades 6 by way of 12.
“We’re uniquely positioned,” he stated.
“The youthful ages, particularly, are the impressionable ages. We may make a distinction.”