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This documentary will tell a dramatic and provocative story as well as deliver essential information which can help save lives. Designed around a micro view of opioid addiction juxtaposed against a macro view, the film shares the story of Jackson Scott Conroy: His battle with addiction, the family’s struggle to help him, and ultimately his untimely death, the aftermath of his passing and the family’s journey through their grief.
Jack Conroy was an average American kid, growing up in a suburban affluent family – the third of five children – he spent his free time on the water: swimming, surfing and fishing; A hobby he enjoyed spending with his dad, Kevin an avid fisherman.
As a teenager Jack became addicted to opioids. Not from a trauma or injury, but as many young people do – from exploring recreational drugs and pain killers. Soon after, recreational usage became necessary for him to function as his body and mind turned itself over to the changed brain chemistry of addiction.
While family, friends and doctors looked for ways to help Jack fight his addiction, multiple stays in various rehabilitation programs could only stem the tide, for Jack’s disease was too strong and eventually he would succumb to his cravings.
Jack, not unlike many opioid addicts do, switched from pills to heroin – for the affordability of it and ease of access – and died at the age of 21 in 2015 of a heroin overdose shortly after a stay in a local rehabilitation program.
This feature film is not just the story of Jack, but also of his family and the community around him. Jack’s parents, Barbara and Kevin, sought expert advice on how to help and heal their son, and in the wake of his death continue the fight to end the stigma around addiction, aggregate resources, and aid parents who are fighting the same battle, until the war is won.
Through conversations with Jack’s family and friends, as well as experts in the fight against addiction and for recovery, this film does not point fingers at any one person or entity as the root cause for addiction but seeks to approach this national problem with hope and healing. Through sharing Jack’s story and the story of his family’s experience as both witness and survivor, this film seeks to help families with the same struggle.
Barbara Bates Conroy (Executive Producer) is a mother, advocate, and author of the book Dear Jack: A Love Letter, which was listed as number one upon its release. When her son Jack passed away from a heroin overdose in 2015, Barbara continued to write letters to him, just as she had been doing since before he was born. In Dear Jack: A Love Letter, Barbara shares her highly personal and tragic experiences with drug addiction, family discord, loss, and grief through these letters and raw prose recounting the past and exploring questions of motherhood, responsibility, guilt, and spirituality. Barbara’s professional career has spanned a variety of industries which includes business, marketing and the healing arts. Barbara served as Vice President of Retail Development at Polo Ralph Lauren and as President of Tommy Hilfiger Men’s Division. She is also a Registered Nurse, and certified in Hatha Yoga, Prenatal Yoga, Medicinal Oils, and Reiki Level 2. Barbara sits on the board of Fly Yoga Outreach (MV). She resides on Martha’s Vineyard.
Kevin Conroy (Co-Producer) is a long-time resident of Rowayton, Connecticut. A father of five and an avid fisherman, Kevin began his career in 1978 by investing in the oldest running lobster co-op in the state of Connecticut. After purchasing the Lobster Shack, he converted it into a wholesale/retail seafood market, Rowayton Seafood Market, selling both fresh fish and a take-out menu of seafood favorites and specialties. To complement his love for seafood, Kevin renovated the beloved Captain Henry’s Diner into The Restaurant at Rowayton Seafood in 1996. The Restaurant is a family-owned and run local favorite attracting customers from across the tri-state and New England regions. Along with Rowayton Seafood Market, Kevin’s businesses have partnered with the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Seafood Watch Program to serve sustainable seafood in an effort to support healthy oceans and promote species regeneration. In addition to the restaurant and market, Kevin is also a Real Estate Developer, Founder of a local bank, former member of the Rowayton Civic Association, and was recently named as a member of the Norwalk Chamber of Commerce. Since the death of his son Jack from an overdose on April 1, 2015, Kevin has been advocating for drastic change in the way drug addiction and recovery are treated through Shatterproof, a national non-profit organization focused on drug addiction.
Matthew Miele (Director) is a Director, Writer, Producer, and Founder of the Production Company, Quixotic Endeavors. Following his breakout box office hit, Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s, (eOne) the 2013 feature documentary about the world-renowned fashion emporium, Bergdorf Goodman, Miele directed the officially authorized documentary on the iconic jeweler, Tiffany & Co. entitled Crazy About Tiffany’s (Gravitas), released in 2016. Additionally, Harry Benson:Shoot First! (Magnolia), a feature documentary Miele co-directed about Harry Benson, the LIFE photographer who captured the most iconic moments over the past half century, was released in 2016 to critical acclaim. In May 2018, Miele celebrated the theatrical release of his latest documentary, Always at The Carlyle (Good Deed) chronicling the history and pop culture surrounding the world's most glamorous hotel, The Carlyle, featuring George Clooney, Anjelica Huston, Anthony Bourdain, Jon Hamm, Wes Anderson, Sofia Coppola and Lenny Kravitz. His freshly penned screenplay, about America’s most popular artist— Norman Rockwell, has an imminent announcement upcoming to the trades with Miele attached to helm the biopic film slated for a 2019 production and release. Miele is currently producing and directing a documentary on the filmmaker Alan J. Pakula, director of “All The President's Men" and "Sophie's Choice" among many other classics. The series will feature Pakula's notable cast members and crew including Meryl Streep, Harrison Ford, Julia Roberts, Robert Redford, Jeff Bridges, Steven Soderbergh, Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein, Jane Fonda, Christopher Plummer, and dozens more.
Chris Walker (Producer) is President of Riverwind Capital, a private investment money management firm that focuses on consumer brands, digital media and iconic film projects. He is currently an Executive Producer, Co-Executive Producer and Associate Producer for four brand-meets-entertainment feature length documentaries: Scatter My Ashes At Bergdorf’s, Crazy About Tiffany’s, Harry Benson: Shoot First and Always at The Carlyle. All four films were released in theaters followed by worldwide distribution across streaming networks, airlines, iTunes and other global medium. Prior to establishing Riverwind Capital, Chris was an associate producer covering all aspects of production from concept to distribution for Cabin Fever Entertainment. Established as a subsidiary of a Fortune 500 company, Cabin Fever both creates and acquires original content for film, music and television programming through strategic branding alliances. Chris began his career as a Production & Talent Coordinator for Leach Entertainment/TELEREP Productions, a producing entity known for “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” Chris, and his wife Terri, live in Rowayton, Connecticut but spend a few months each year in Charleston, South Carolina. Their daughter Britt, recently graduated for The College of Charleston and now lives and works in Charleston and their son Christopher is a senior at The College of Charleston. Both Terri and Chris serve as Co-Chairs on the College Of Charleston’s Admissions Committee.