Love in the Time of Fentanyl

Misfits, artists, and drug users run a renegade safe injection site in Vancouver, Canada, saving lives in a community ravaged by the overdose crisis. 

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Funding Initiative
Open Call
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Colin Askey

Colin Askey is a filmmaker who focuses on issue-driven content for harm reduction, drug policy, anti-poverty, and social justice organizations. Recent work includes HAVEN (2019), an award-winning short documentary set in Vancouver about North America’s first prescription heroin therapy program.

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Monika Navarro

Monika Navarro is an independent filmmaker and the Sr Director of Artist Programs at Firelight Media. Monika has 15 years of producing for public media, from her debut film LOST SOULS (ANIMAS PERDIDAS), which premiered on Independent Lens, to producing for World Channel, AmDoc, and the Peabody-award winning PBS series LATINO AMERICANS.

Other ITVS Films
Lost Souls (Animas Perdidas)
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Marc Serpa Francoeur

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Robinder Uppal

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The Film

As the number of opioid overdose deaths in Vancouver, Canada reaches an all time high, the Overdose Prevention Society (OPS) opens its doors in the Downtown Eastside, a neighborhood often referred to as “ground zero of the overdose crisis.” The film follows Sarah, an activist who lead the effort to establish OPS without government approval, as she scrambles to raise awareness about the crisis; Trey, a graffiti artist and former heroin user who spends his days reversing overdoses and trying to reconnect with his son; Ronnie, a seasoned frontline worker nicknamed “Narcan Jesus,” struggling with burnout from the demanding work and the trauma of losing so many friends; Norma, a beloved Indigenous elder in the community, who cooks meals for the staff when she’s not administering naloxone; and Dana, an active fentanyl user who constantly saves lives at work and has overdosed many times himself. With loved ones dying in unprecedented numbers, the staff at OPS do whatever it takes to save lives, keep the doors open, and search for radical new ways out of the devastating but widely ignored crisis ravaging their community. Love in the Time of Fentanyl reaches beyond the stigma of injection drug users, revealing the courage of those facing tragedy with dignity, love, and care.