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About the Company

Straight Ahead Films is a company that believes in the power of storytelling to affect change in people’s lives.

We do that by creating real, authentic short fiction films, and coupling them with incisive and effective discussion materials.

Our belief is that by telling realistic and emotional stories about all aspects of the journey of alcoholism, addiction, and recovery, these films will touch people’s hearts and create strong feelings of identification and empathy.

It is by getting to one’s heart that opens the door to change, and to recovery.

Straight Ahead Films has many collaborators, some of whom are in recovery, and some are not. They’re all artists and technicians of integrity working toward a common goal - to tell powerful stories that can help those who are seeking to make a positive change in their lives.

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About the Founder

Neal Hemphill is a person in long-term recovery, and is an actor and filmmaker. 

He’s worked extensively as an actor in National and International Tours, Regional Theatre, Off-Broadway, and in Hollywood and Independent Films as well as Network television. 

As a filmmaker, he loves to focus on those moments and situations where life- changing decisions are made. He works to create dynamic stories of struggle, courage, community, and recovery. 

“If I can give back even a tiny part of what’s been given to me, I’ll be passing it on to the next person who needs to hear the message of recovery.” 

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About the Impact

These films move people! To tears, to laughter, and to understanding.

They’re all relatively short, but impactful.

For anyone who may be questioning if they’re an alcoholic/addict, these films provide

many entries of identification.

The discussion materials help to bring that identification out from hiding, moving patients one step closer to full recovery.

These films have wide application...

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  • Rehabilitation Centers

  • Outpatient Centers

  • Alcohol & Drug Counselors

  • Social Workers 

  • Mental Health Professionals

  • Community Organizations 

  • Schools 

  • Prisons 

  • And More…

Our films are real, and they tell moving stories.
By opening hearts
, Recovery can begin.
Saving Lives Through Storytelling



“We tell ourselves stories in order to live.”

— Joan Didion


Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world.”

— Robert McKee


“There is no doubt fiction makes a better job of the truth.”

Doris Lessing


“The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon”

— Brandon Sanderson


“There’s always room for a story that can transport people to another place.”

— J.K. Rowling


“I will tell you something about stories…They aren’t just entertainment. Don’t be fooled. They are all we have, you see, all we have to fight off illness and death.”

—Leslie Marmon Silko


“There is no greater power on this earth than story.”

— Libba Bray


“Good stories surprise us. They make us think and feel. They stick in our minds and helps us remember ideas and concepts in a way that a PowerPoint crammed with bar graphs never can.”

— Joe Lazauskas and Shane Snow


“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.”

-Philip Pullman


“You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone’s soul, become their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and knows that they might do because of it….”

— Erin Morgenstern


“Storytelling offers the opportunity to talk with your audience, not at them.”

— Laura Holloway


There isn’t a stronger connection between people than storytelling.”

— Jimmy Neil Smith 

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