Local filmmaker tells stories of opioid addictions through new documentary

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The film gives a first-hand look at how the opioid epidemic affects many families

LEAVITTSBURG, Ohio (WKBN) – Markus McFolling is one of five people featured in the film “Death to Life.” 

“I don’t think I was necessarily a drug addict to start. I was physically dependent, but then I was psychologically depressed, so you mixed those two, and you got a completely deceived drug addict,” McFolling said.

The film gives a first-hand look at how the opioid epidemic affects many families in the U.S., and more specifically, right here in the Mahoning Valley.

“This is something that people all over can relate to, and so we’re telling these stories that are centered in this area, but it really tells the greater story of what’s happening in our nation,” said Nate Powers.

Powers has been working on the film for several months. He said the topic came to him when a friend reached out about his own struggles.

“In 2017, [Markus] messaged me and says, ‘My wife just left me and took my daughter. I’ve been addicted to opiods for the last year and a half,’ and just like dropped a bomb on me,” Powers said.

That’s when he gave McFolling some advice that would stick with him for years.

“He told me that my story was gonna help a lot of people some day,” McFolling said. 

Now, Powers is using his art of filmmaking to tell Markus’ story and hopefully help others out there who are also struggling with addiction.

“We dreamed of doing this film for the last two years, and now we’re like doing it and putting it out there and we believe it’s really gonna help people,” Powers said.

“There’s gonna be a lot of tears, a lot of hope, it’s gonna show how the opioid epidemic actually impacted my wife,” McFolling said.

Powers said addiction does not discriminate and can affect anyone of any walk in life.

“So many times, like as a society, we have this idea of what someone who’s in addiction looks like, and it’s like we have labels like junky and we see people who are on the street asking for money and we’re like. ‘Oh they’re just gonna buy drugs,’ but we forget the fact that these are people,” Powers said.

Powers will show the film one time this Sunday at Life Church in Leavittsburg at 6:30 p.m. The showing is free and open to the public and doors will open at 6 p.m. After that, the film will be sent to film festivals all over the country.

To follow along with the film and Powers’ film journey, you can follow him on Facebook and Instagram.

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