Filmmaker turns demons of personal drug addiction into festival awards triumph
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.