Northport High School Graduate Marisa Vitali will be shooting a short film set in Tim's Shipwreck Diner with the hope of communicating both the struggle and hope of recovery from drug addiction.
"Miracle Year" tells the story of Janice, who will face her high powered ex-husband in family court for the custody of their daughter. As head waitress at the Depot Diner, staying clean and doing the next right thing is her top priority. When Johnny, her boss, makes a decision that affects her ability to appear in court, Janice has to face her demons of addiction and choose whether to stay clean through life's adversity or "screw it" and use.
Vitali's short film is inspired by her own experiences recovering from heroin addiction while working at the Shipwreck Diner. She has been clean over ten years, but recalls the constant temptation to say "screw it" and just get high. "I don't think people realize that there's just as much a struggle to stay clean as there is to quit," she said.
The emphasis of the film is not on the despair of addiction, said Vitali, but on the hope of recovery. "I hope to start a conversation with the film," she said.
Mayor George Doll agreed to waive the village filming permit fees for the shoot, which will be at minimal cost to the village, and suggested that Vitali collaborate with the Northport Drug and Alcohol Task Force to use the film as an outreach tool. Vitali agreed to contact them and said that she had wanted to work with a nonprofit organization.
The film will be shot inside the Shipwreck Diner, which Vitali also chose for its "timeless" factor, over three days in mid-November. Direction is by Chris Ordal and cinematography is by Lyn Moncrief, with Vitali playing the main character.
Vitali attended NYU Tisch for drama after graduating Northport High School in 1994. She is currently a working actress and producer in New York City. Read more about her and "Miracle Year" at www.marisavitali.com or www.facebook.com/MiracleYear.