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Facing AIDS

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Rory Kennedy’s five part series Pandemic: Facing AIDS is showing on HBO through mid-July. I saw an hour and fifty minute film version Friday at the San Francisco International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival which continues through June 29th. It weaves together stories which go beyond the statistics from five countries (Uganda, Thailand, Russia, Brazil, and India – each a 30 minute episode in the series). The Russian story shows for the first time Sunday, June 23rd at noon and repeats several times this week.

Pandemic is one of a number of films at this year’s fest dealing with AIDS. They showed the HBO film And the Band Played on last week and screenwriter Ron Nyswaner (who wrote the recent Showtime movie Soldier’s Girl) will be at a screening Tuesday of Philadelphia and a documentary on the making of the film which will be on an upcoming DVD release.

Monday night at the Castro, there is a screening of Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin and fundraiser to do further outreach. It aired as part of POV in January and is repeating on some PBS stations this month (it will be on KQED in San Francisco on June 30th).

On Wednesday, there will be a free Times Talk dicussion with Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato who are being honored at the fest. They are also showing their first feature, Party Monster (based on their Cinemax documentary of the same name) on Saturday and the documentaries School’s Out (for MTV) and Dark Roots: the Unauthorized Anna Nicole (for Showtime) on Friday. They have also been producing programs for Trio as well as for Wired For Sex on TechTV (their tv offerings each month are featured at the bottom of their WOW Report).

The festival gives out the $10,000 Stu & Dave’s Excellent Documentary Award. Last year’s winner, Georgie Girl, will air on POV Tuesday on many PBS stations. And Cinemax is showing the wonderful Ruthie & Connie: Every Room in the House which was last year’s closing night film. It was directed by Deborah Dickson whose profile of Gore Vidal was in this year’s fest and will be shown on PBS on July 30th as part of American Masters. And an excellent documentary shown last week on Amasong, a lesbian/feminist chorus founded by Kristina Boerger (who I went to college with) will air on PBS as part of Independent Lens next year.

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About Steve Rhodes

  • Eric Olsen

    Allow me to state here and now that I am opposed to AIDS.