Filmmaker tackles addiction

Alasdair Mackay on the set of his film Anonymous
Alasdair Mackay on the set of his film Anonymous

Karenina Mackay on how a Waltham Forest filmmaker has taken on the issue of addiction in the face of Covid-19

My husband Alasdair Mackay was faced with no income as the entertainment industry hit a standstill thanks to the Covid-19 lockdown and the necessary social distancing which followed.

As an award-winning writer and director, he set himself a challenge to write a script that would both hit issues that would be magnified by the lockdown and would also be filmable in a socially-distanced world.

Alasdair came up with Anonymous, a film set at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, highlighting both mental health and addiction.

Statistics show that more than a third of people with a history of addiction have relapsed while in recovery, and a YouGov poll also showed an increase in addictive behaviour in young adults and children as young as 12 during the Covid-19 crisis.

On a personal level, during the writing process Alasdair was contacted by a friend with an ongoing struggle with cocaine addiction, as he recognised he needed support in this isolating time. This friend was able to share testimonies and give real depth to the script and, in turn, Alasdair was able to be there for him when he relapsed.

With the script fully realised, Alasdair and I have put together a team of friends and creatives, including fellow Waltham Forest resident and star of Amazon Prime’s The Stolen Lukas Hinch, to set out on the adventure of crowdfunding. We’ve decided to use crowdfunding to raise the money for Anonymous as it gives us more artistic control, with everything from casting to the overall message of the film. This is especially important when the message is potentially so impactful.

Friends and family have been so supportive in this time. Some are giving as little as £5 and others are blowing our mind with their generosity, and a large amount of contributions are even coming from members from our church community, Hope Church Newham.

While we are still looking for contributions we’d also love to partner with any local sobriety or recovery centres to help anyone affected by the film to take their own steps to recovery.

To find out more about how you might support our cause and our film please check out our crowdfunding campaign link at indiegogo.com/projects/anonymous-feature-film