MINNESOTA — According to the CDC, nearly 800 Minnesotans died from an opioid overdose in 2019 and now a Minnesota-made film is hoping to shine a light on the struggles of addiction.
WDAY News sat down with the lead actors of the 'Beauty of Warmth', about the movie and how addiction can affect everyone.
The movie starts as a love story and turns into something much deeper; the story of a man intertwined with an addiction problem and love.
"Even if you haven't been able to experience addiction for yourself, you know what it's like to not be in your head. People say love makes you crazy. Well, addiction, it's something that you can't control," says lead actress for the movie, Melissa Paakh.
'Beauty of Warmth' is hoping to make a difference and save lives.
"This can happen to anyone, we can all be possible victims of it," says lead actor Ahmed El-Mawas.
Melissa, who was born and raised in Detroit Lakes, knows this on a personal level; her cousin died because of an addiction.
"He struggled and he passed away at a very young age. And it's something that I think a lot of people have been able to. There's just a lot of people going through a similar thing and it really doesn't matter where you come from, what your background is. It can affect anybody," she says.
That was just one reason Melissa was encouraged to take this role.
"I think really how we can make a difference as actors, as being apart of stories that, you know, bring awareness to the issue," she says.
The film is also backed by the rapper Macklemore, who struggled with addiction himself. One of his songs is in the film.
"He's been a huge advocated publicly. You know addiction has been something that he's suffered form, his friends have suffered from. Now he's able to put it into his music and make a difference from and that's what we're trying to do with this film," Melissa says.
"You know, someone can think they've got their lives together, they've got everything figured out. You can always fall victim to addiction. It's not as far away from you as you think," Ahmed says.
Beauty of Warmth doesn't currently have a release date but they plan to show it at a film festival.