Shelburne Town Hall hosts “The Hungry Heart” Oct. 19

Pediatrician Fred Holmes and his patient Dustin, a recovering opiate addict. Photo by Carley Stevens-McLaughlin

Pediatrician Fred Holmes and his patient Dustin, a recovering opiate addict. Photo by Carley Stevens-McLaughlin

“The Hungry Heart” a new documentary film on prescription drug addiction and recovery in Vermont will be screened on Saturday, Oct. 19 at 7 pm in Shelburne Town Hall. Hot off sold-out premieres in St. Albans and Burlington, the film provides an intimate look at the often hidden world of prescription drug addiction through the work of Vermont pediatrician Fred Holmes whose patients struggle with this disease. Produced by Kingdom County Productions and directed by Bess O’Brien, tickets for the documentary are $12 for adults and $6 per youth at the door. For those in recovery or impacted by addiction that need support, tickets are free.

The film is ultimately not about the medical treatment these young people receive from Dr. Holmes. It is about the simple but profound connection that Dr. Holmes creates with each patient and how important listening and respect is for these young addicts as part of their recovery process. The film shines a light on the healing power of conversation and the need for connection that many of these young addicts yearn for but do not have in their lives.

In addition, the film interviews a number of older addicts who share their stories of struggle and redemption. The road to recovery is paved with both success stories and strewn with relapses, downfalls, and tragic losses. However, through the movie we see the many faces and diverse populations of addiction, and their continued search for a life of recovery.

The film will tour with the director Bess O’Brien, pediatrician Fred Holmes, and a number of people from the film who are in recovery. A question and answer discussion will take place after each screening.

Major underwriters for the film include: The Vermont Dept of Human Services, Fletcher Allen Health Care, Burlington Labs, Brattleboro Retreat, The Bissell Foundation, Northwestern Medical Center, Howard Center, Vermont Agency of Education, Burton Snowboards, and Bari and Peter Dreissigacker.

For more information, please visit

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