About Of Substance
Why we do what we do the way we do!
WHAT WE DO
Of Substance is an innovative nonprofit that creates premium, entertaining short films to overcome the shame, blame, and stigma of addiction for all those touched by substance misuse.
We’re turning immersive cinema – everything from comedies to thrillers – into an approachable tool for behavioral change.
HOW WE DO IT
We facilitate Movie Workshops, using our original films to trigger vulnerability, which then engage our audiences in an Emotional Learning Experience through deeper conversations.
WHERE WE’RE GOING
Immersive curriculums and programs, centered around our films, are being developed to enhance treatment, education, and more!
To foster vulnerability, combat isolation, and create community by connecting people through the power of story.
A Digital, On-demand, and Immersive Aid
addiction treatment & sustainable recovery.
prevention to early intervention through long-term recovery.
To be used in...
Personal Support. Professional Therapy. Interpersonal Communication. General Education.
We All Struggle with Something...
And struggle leads to loneliness and isolation.
So we make movies to help people understand one another, connect with others, and feel less alone.
Meet the team
Learn more about our who we are
Co-founder & Executive Director
In his early 20’s, Alex started a promising acting career in Manhattan while bartending at night to get by. The unexpected death of his father sent him into a tailspin and he began to numb himself with substances to ease the pain. This turned into a full-blown addiction that lasted almost 4 years. Disconnected, disillusioned, and plummeting ever deeper into crisis, Alex was finally convinced by his closest relationships to leave New York and seek help. Over the past five years, surrounded by the steadfast support of family, friends, and colleagues, Alex had climbed his way out of addiction and into a very successful career as a writer, director, and producer, and is now the Executive Producer of a well-regarded commercial production company on the East Coast. Alex considers himself living proof that with the right kind of support you can get your life back and build it into exactly what you envision. Now he wants to help others do the same.
Co-founder & Board Member
Brian went to rehab on his 18th birthday. His experience there sent him on a life-long quest to understand human struggle as deeply as possible. He went on to study peer-counseling and team building, eventually receiving a Masters degree in Social Work and teaching at Temple University while also running a violence-prevention program for teenage boys in Philadelphia. In 2006, Brian decided he wanted to become an actor and for over a decade he has been acting, writing, directing, and producing full-time. While collaborating with Alex on a short film in 2017, they learned about their shared history with addiction, and soon discovered that a greater purpose was being laid out in front of them – to combine their unique set of skills and hard-won wisdom to help make addicts and their loved ones feel more connected, understood, and supported through the power of film.
COO & Executive Producer
A passionate filmmaker, having spent the better part of a decade at Pixar Animation Studios, Mark has always believed in the power of film to change the world. In fact, it’s the reason he’s devoted his life to the art. Through sheer luck, Mark met Alex at a moment in time when he was considering leaving entertainment altogether to make more impact personally by going back to school to become a therapist. Mark’s joy of connecting humans has always led the way he works and lives his life, so after hearing about Of Substance and its mission, Mark realized this was everything he’d ever dreamed of being a part of and insisted on joining the team.
Of Substance could not be luckier to have Mark as such an important member of our family!
Board of directors
Alex N. Kaplan
Co-founding President & Executive Director, Of Substance
Brian J. Gallagher
Board Vice President & Secretary
Co-founding Vice President & Executive Producer, Of Substance
Kevin J. Cafferky
Principal, Magis Consulting Inc.
Basha A. Silverman
CEO, Jewish Family Services of Delaware
James C. Berman, M.D.
Addiction Medicine Specialist, Fellow of The American Society of Addiction Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Health System