The OC You Don't See on TV

By Anna David 04/27/12

An unflinching documentary about teenage addiction in upwardly mobile Orange County premieres May 2 at the Newport Beach Film Festival.

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Producer Natalie Costa's daughter Brianne Photo via

Want the real story on what's happening in Orange County? Just a warning: it's not as pretty as it may look on the outside. The acclaimed documentary Behind The Orange Curtain focuses on the teenage prescription drug epidemic in that beautiful and wealthy enclave known as The O.C. (watch the trailer here). The movie is a passion project that executive producer and local mother Natalie Costa launched after 17-year-old Dana Hills High School student Mark Melkonian died of a prescription pill overdose; it will premiere at the Newport Beach Film Festival on May 2. Newport Academy founder Jamison Monroe, another producer on the film and a former addicted teen himself, says that "while addiction is never limited to a certain tax bracket, there is something about the extreme levels of affluence, entitlement and denial in Orange County that create the perfect environment for addiction to thrive in both the adolescent and adult communities." Monroe adds, "The sad reality is that while Orange County has the resources to solve almost any problem, a staggering amount of the collective wealth is spent on hiding the truth about addiction—not on addressing it and finding an effective solution. Behind The Orange Curtain is a great step forward and will hopefully help lead people out of the problem and into the solution."

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Anna David is the New York Times-bestselling author of multiple books about overcoming difficulties and coming out on the other side: the novels Party Girl (HarperCollins, 2007) and Bought (HarperCollins, 2009), the non-fiction books Reality Matters (HarperCollins, 2010), Falling for Me (HarperCollins, 2011), By Some Miracle I Made It Out of There (Simon & Schuster, 2013) and True Tales of Lust and Love and the Kindle Singles Animal Attraction (Amazon, 2012) and They Like Me, They Really Like Me (Amazon, 2013). Find Anna on LinkedIn and Twitter.