Filmmaker turns demons of personal drug addiction into festival awards triumph

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 October, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 08 October, 2010, 12:00am

Local resident and former headhunter Paul Boyle has turned his personal demons into triumph, with his 2009 documentary Coming Clean nominated for two awards - best directorial debut and best international documentary - at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival last week.

The film, shot in Kowloon and New York for less than US$200,000, is a gritty look at the struggles and demons drug addicts face both in crack dens and their daily lives. Boyle, 39, who was spending up to US$400 a day on crack at the height of his own addiction, even relapsed during filming before putting the film on hold to go into recovery.

'At AA and Cocaine Anonymous, a lot of people said I could make a movie about my story,' the Canadian-born filmmaker said. 'Being a recovering drug addict, a lot of people felt that there would be public interest and I believed that there could be people who could relate to it.'

Boyle and collaborator Michael Mazur have been busy working on a sequel, The Ultimate Test, about Boyle's attempts to train for a mixed martial arts cage match. He is also busy preparing a Guy Ritchie-esque fictional film, Two Kinds of People, in which Simon Yam Tat-wah and a yet-to-be-confirmed Hollywood A-list actor are due to star.