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‘Life After You’, A Poignant Film on Family, Loss, and the Opioid Epidemic

Updated: Apr 4

Buffalo Toronto Public Media is taking a proactive stance in raising awareness about the opioid epidemic through a series of special reports and programming initiatives. As part of this collaborative effort, the poignant feature film, Life After You, directed by Sarah T. Schwab, will be showcased to engage audiences and stimulate conversations surrounding this pressing issue.

Scheduled to air on January 26, the film will be featured on Buffalo’s PBS station and will run through February, providing a platform for viewers to delve into the profound impact of the opioid crisis on families. Based upon the book, Life After You: What Your Death From Drugs Leaves Behind, written by Linda Lajterman, the film Life After You intricately follows the journey of the Lajterman family grappling with the loss of their 19-year-old son, who tragically succumbed to an overdose of heroin laced with fentanyl. 

“I worked with Florencia Lozano, who plays the lead in it, who plays Linda Lajterman,” said Schwab.  She and I co-wrote the script together, and we worked very closely with the Lajterman family to get it right and to really hear their experiences. We put most of those, you know, those very dramatic experiences into the film. It was partially fictionalized, but for the most part, it’s true.” 

The film poses crucial questions about accountability and responsibility in the face of such tragedies. Recognizing that addiction touches the lives of virtually everyone in the country, Schwab aims to spark a much-needed dialogue among young people, their parents, and key stakeholders such as educators, drug counselors, physicians, law enforcement, and elected officials on the local, state, and national levels.

“Communication is what I hope comes out of the film,” shared Schwab. “The more people that can not make it such a stigma. If you’re if you’re hurting, or if your mental health has you wanting to feel numb, or is making you feel numb through substance abuse, whatever that substance is… then you know, let’s talk about it. Let’s get this out there…that’s what I want to come out of it. Communication, support, community, love, forgiveness, non-judgment.”

Life After You serves as a compelling tool to engage and educate audiences, shedding light on the far-reaching consequences of addiction while urging society’s decision-makers to address the issue comprehensively. Tune in to Buffalo’s PBS station on January 26 and join the movement to create awareness and drive positive change in the fight against the opioid epidemic.

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