MONTCLAIR, NJ The public has been invited to attend a movie premiere at the Claridge Bow-Tie Cinema, located at 486 Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair, on Thursday, February 26, 2015 at 5:30 p.m. The premiere will be followed by a Q&A discussion session, silent auction and dinner at Fresco Restaurant. 

Integrity House’s Bate Adolescent Program is a residential program that serves adolescent males between the ages of 13 and 18 who have substance abuse and co-occurring mental health and behavioral issues. The Bate Adolescent Program at Integrity House, a nationally recognized non-profit substance abuse rehabilitation center, is proud to announce the premiere of “Boys of Bate,” a client-created and produced short film about adolescent drug abuse, hope, struggles and transformations. 

”Boys of Bate” is a tale of two friends who are caught up in the culture of drugs and end up getting arrested. As luck would have it, both characters are reunited when they are court-mandated into treatment at the very same center they were arrested near, Integrity Bate House. ”Boys of Bate” follows their journey, taking the viewer through the trials and tribulations of finding one’s inner-strength and making choices that will have lasting consequences not only for the boys, but for their families as well.

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Inspired by the feature film “Nicknames,” which has an anti-violence and anti-bullying message, the “Boys of Bate” project was conceived by program director Roman Petrocelli, LPC, to engage adolescents and keep them involved in the substance abuse treatment program during the summer season, when triggers to use drugs tend to be at the highest. The Bate clients were intrigued by the idea, and under the supervision and guidance of Petrocelli, the team began creating the movie in May 2014, completing it in September 2014. From writing the scripts to acting, serving as camera operators and sound engineers, the adolescent boys had integral roles throughout the entire process. The clients were also taken to a professional recording studio to record their original song “Integrity Changed My Life,” allowing all of the clients to be involved in telling their collective story while honing new skills and producing something they are proud to show. Professionals from each area of filmmaking also donated their time and talent to teach the clients part of their respective crafts to assure that not only were they having fun throughout the process, but that they were also receiving real experience and learning from some of the best in the industry, allowing them to develop useful skills, and to feel a genuine sense of accomplishment.

“Creating this short film helped keep the boys engaged and allowed them to express their creativity, while also utilizing their problem solving and coping skills,” said Petrocelli. “It was truly amazing to see the transformation happening in the boys throughout the entire process. Seeing the pride and sense of accomplishment on the boys’ faces after watching the finished product for the first time was the best feeling. We are all so proud of the short film and we invite members of the community to come out and support us and help make projects like this possible in the future. State-of-the-art therapeutic interventions and individualized treatment plans set effective and measurable goals that save lives and this program has proven that.”

“To our knowledge, nothing like this has been done before with this population, but it was so successful that we are looking to integrate additional art therapy projects into the Bate clients’ curriculum,” said Robert J. Budsock, President and CEO of Integrity House. “By attending and supporting the fundraising event, you are helping us to allow projects like this continue, while helping to transform our clients’ lives for the better and teach them valuable skills that they can then bring into the workforce.”  

The film has attracted attention from noted actor Jamal Woolard, who played the well-known rapper, Notorious B.I.G. in the 2009 film “Notorious.” Woolard will be attending the event to lend support, and actor/artist Federico “Furio” Castelluccio of The Sopranos has donated a signed print of his most well-known paintings, featuring James Gandolfini and Edie Falco, for the silent auction.

The screening will help Integrity House to expand and enrich services to its adolescent clients. To attend the event and support the worthy cause, or to learn about donations and sponsorship opportunities, please call Michele Miles at (973) 623-7242.

For more information on Integrity House and the full continuum of care it provides, please visit www.integrityhouse.org.

About Integrity House:

Integrity House, a nationally recognized non-profit substance abuse rehabilitation organization with locations in Newark and Secaucus, New Jersey, is the largest treatment facility funded and licensed by the State of New Jersey. Providing addiction treatment and support services for almost 2,400 adult and adolescent addicts each year, Integrity House offers a full continuum of care and implements a holistic, multi-disciplinary approach to treatment for clients with substance use disorders from all of New Jersey’s 21 counties, helping individuals and families to make sustainable life-style changes. Since its  establishment in 1968, Integrity House has evolved to offer a multitude of state-licensed, CARF accredited programs, including Adult Residential, Adolescent Residential, Halfway House, Partial Care, Intensive Outpatient, Corrections, Aftercare, Supportive Housing and specialized programs for men and women.  Integrity House also offers prevention, intervention, and educational services.  For more information, visit www.integrityhouse.org or call (973) 623-7246. Connect with Integrity House on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/1qiKUBS or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/IntegrityNJ