Sneak Preview cut of Canadian film The Stairs to launch the Indivior 2015 International Harm Reduction Film Festival

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Tuesday, 13 October, 2015, (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

The world premier sneak preview cut of the film The Stairs,  will launch the Indivior  2015 International Harm Reduction Film Festival at a gala red carpet event this coming Thursday October 15 at the Golden Screen Cinemas, Pavilion, in Kuala Lumpur.

The Stairs, directed by award winning  Canadian filmmaker  Hugh Gibson, depicts The Stairs is a penetrating look over a five year period at three harm reduction workers, Marty, Greg and Roxanne, who live and work in Toronto’s notorious Regent Park neighbourhood, where they survived decades of street life -  and drug use for decades. Performing outreach in their community – trying to give back – they struggle with tenuous lifestyles and past choices.

Director Gibson says the film is a work in progress but that it will  make its full feature premier in 2016. On Thursday invited guests will see a 25 minute preview cut of the film.

“Have you ever noticed how a pen cap has holes in the top?,” said filmmaker Gibson. ”Those holes weren’t always there: they were created to prevent children from choking to death, in case the cap is swallowed. Air can pass through the holes: a simple invention that saves lives. That’s a form of harm reduction. No one thinks twice about saving the life of a child, but saving the life of a drug user is – controversial. I’m challenging that perception with my film.”

The  Indivior Film Festival launch will mark the lead in to the 24th International Harm Reduction Conference (IHRC 2015) taking place in the city from October 18-21 and expected to attract some 1000 delegates including government health officials, UN representatives, scientists, doctors and activist from around 60 countries. The three previous editions of the conference took place in Vilnius, Lithuania (2013); Beirut, Lebanon (2011) and Liverpool, UK (2010).

The Indivior 2015  International Harm Reduction Film Festival itself  will feature  a series of short films from around the world to be screened for delegates as part of the conference program.

“Indivior is delighted and proud to be sponsoring the 2015 International Harm Reduction Film Festival this year, “said Dr.Nino Kurtsikidze, Indivior Medical Director for Australasia. “One of the greatest obstacles along a patient’s journey is social stigma. No one is immune from addiction. It can affect men and women of all ages, races, ethnic groups, and educational levels. It can happen to anyone – a friend, a neighbour, a co-worker, a spouse, a brother, a sister, or parent. These films help to

humanise a multitude of issues around drug use and addiction and helps us view these men and women from a public health point of view rather than from an often negative social lens.”

“We at Indivior envision a day in which all patients around the world will have unrestricted access to quality treatments and services for the chronic relapsing conditions and co-morbidities of addiction. Until that day comes, we will continue to pioneer life-transforming treatments.”

The opening night event will also see the presentation of the winners of the Indivior Red Ribbon Short Film competition being run in conjunction with the Malaysian AIDS Council (MAC)  and the Malaysian AIDS Foundation. MAC is the official local partner organisation of the IHRC2015.

The selection process will be presided by a panel of distinguished personalities representing the entertainment industry, media, civil society and people living with

HIV. Well-known local actor Fahrin Ahmad, who along with Carey Ng, National Director of the  Miss Universe Malaysia Organisation (and a former Miss Universe Malaysia 2013), is one of  the official patrons of the IHRC 2015, is also the Red Ribbon Shorts Competition Director.

About the Film Festival Sponsor

Indivior is the world leader in opioid addiction treatment with 20 years of experience and a unique, patient-focused approach.

Men and women with addiction are often stereotyped and discounted, creating an environment where many are under-diagnosed, undertreated and under-supported. They are often unaware of their treatment options, have limited access to treatment, or simply don’t seek it out because they’re afraid of being stigmatized.

Since our inception, Indivior has actively partnered with healthcare professionals, the public health community, policymakers, and payers to humanize people suffering from addiction and to treat addiction as a chronic, relapsing medical condition rather than a social disorder. We believe that people with addiction should be treated as patients, just like sufferers of other chronic diseases.

We at Indivior are building on our intimate understanding of the patient journey to further advance opioid dependence treatment and combat broader addiction epidemics including opioid overdose, alcohol use disorders, cocaine intoxication and schizophrenia by bringing access to novel treatment options.

We at Indivior are on an endeavor – one that is focused on individual patients around the world. Our name reflects this as the key words individual and endeavor harmoniously blend together. It represents and empathizes with the often difficult journey each individual patient takes to overcome the challenges of addiction – a chronic relapsing disease.

Information for media:

What: Indivior International Harm Reduction Film Festival gala red carpet premier and Indivior Red Ribbon Short Film competition

When: 7.30pm arrival for Red Carpet

Where: Golden Screen Cinemas, Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur

Media Enquiries:

Zaki Arzmi
Media Manager, Malaysian AIDS Council
Mobile : +60 16 292 2948
E-mail :

Michael Kessler (In Kuala Lumpur, October 10-24)
Michael Kessler Media
Media Manager IHRC 2015
Spain Mobile: +60 13 270 9220
Skype: mickgpi

To join the conversation, please visit our Facebook Page Updates on the campaign are publicly available on our Twitter Feed or via the hashtag #IHRC2015.

Further information:

Conference program updates can be downloaded here

Media registration

Registration is free to all accredited media. To register please email

About the Conference Organisers:

Harm Reduction International (HRI)

Harm Reduction International is a leading non-governmental organisation working to promote and expand support for harm reduction. With over 8,000 members worldwide, Harm Reduction International is the largest membership-based global harm reduction association. HRI works to reduce the negative health, social and human rights impacts of drug use and drug policy – such as the increased vulnerability to HIV and hepatitis infection among people who inject drugs – by promoting evidence-based public health policies and practices, and human rights based approaches to drug policy.    

Malaysian AIDS Council

The Malaysian AIDS Council (MAC) was established in 1992 to serve as an umbrella organisation to support and coordinate the efforts of non-governmental and other organisations working on HIV/AIDS issues in Malaysia. MAC works in partnership with government agencies, the private sector and international organisations to ensure a committed and effective response to HIV/AIDS issues in Malaysia.

© 2022 Harm Reduction International.

Charity number – 1117375 | Company number – 3223265