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Tag: How to Survive a Plague (1-4 of 4)

Ed Koch endorsed 'How to Survive a Plague' despite being portrayed as its villain

Former New York City mayor Ed Koch, who is portrayed as a villain in this year’s Oscar-nominated AIDS documentary How to Survive a Plague, may have had a change of heart regarding HIV/AIDS before his death Friday morning, according to Survive a Plague’s director David France.

During his three terms as mayor, from 1978-1988, Koch was among many high-profile lawmakers, including President Reagan, who did little to nothing to stop the disease’s spread, France says. “He was one of the most vehement obstacles to any sort of rational response to the mushrooming [AIDS] epidemic.” READ FULL STORY

AIDS doc 'How to Survive a Plague' aims for Oscar

“If you think you know the story of AIDS—and everybody thinks they know the story of AIDS—this movie will be a surprise.” That’s what David France, director of the documentary How to Survive a Plague, tells audiences before they see his film. And that’s what he’s telling as many Academy members as possible between now and February 24, when he’ll find out if How to Survive a Plague wins the Oscar for best documentary.

“It’s taken us a while after last year’s premiere [at Sundance] to get the word out that this isn’t the story you think it is,” France says. “It’s really like a medical thriller—and true on top of that.”

How to Survive a Plague tells the story of activists who—through their work with AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) and, later, the Treatment Action Group—saved millions of lives. They shut down New York City, stormed the FDA, and even tented former U.S. Senator Jesse Helms’ home with a gigantic condom. By doing so, they drew much-needed attention to the plight of people with AIDS and shattered standard practices around clinical drug trials—leading to the creation life-saving protease inhibitors.

“No drug has had such an impact on any virus — any virus,” France says.

AIDS activist Spencer Cox, featured in 'How to Survive a Plague,' dies


Spencer Cox, the New York-based AIDS activist who was featured in the Oscar-hopeful documentary How to Survive a Plague, died today at 44. That film’s director David France announced the news online and included an outtake from his last interview with Cox that captures his friend’s unbreakable spirit.

“Spencer Cox, a star figure in How to Survive a Plague and a hero to many, died this morning. He was just 44 years old. As an AIDS activist, he helped spearhead research on protease inhibitors and played a central role in bringing the drugs to market — and saving 8 million lives. Over the years, he was a frequent and always brilliant source of mine, and a good friend.

– David France, 12/18/12

Watch the video below: READ FULL STORY

'Bully,' 'How to Survive a Plague' advance in voting for Oscar documentary nominations

Another day, another spate of movies advancing in the Oscar race for 2013.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Monday announced that 15 documentary features — including highly touted anti-bullying film Bully, How to Survive a Plague, about AIDS activism, Searching for Sugar Man, about the search for an elusive 1970s rock musician, and The Invisible War, about sexual assault within the U.S. military — will advance in the voting process for next year’s 85th annual Academy Awards, whittled down from 126 qualifying movies.

From those 15, documentary branch members of the Academy will choose five as official nominees. Oscar nominations will be announced live on Thursday, Jan. 10. The awards ceremony takes place Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013 at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, airing live on ABC.

Check out the slate of 15 documentary films, below: READ FULL STORY

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