The Best Documentary Feature category at this year’s Oscars was stacked with some incredible films, and now one of the nominees is getting an adaptation of its own. ABC Studios has bought the rights to director David France’s powerful documentary How to Survive a Plague with an eye towards adapting it into a miniseries for the network. The film documents the early years of the AIDS epidemic, following a group of motivated and passionate young men with HIV whose lobbying and protest efforts through the groups ACT UP and TAG directly lead to the production of better and more affordable AIDS treatment drugs. It’s an inspiring story and most of the documentary is told through intimate archive footage from the movements, making for a highly emotional viewing experience.
Hit the jump for more on how the pic will be turned into a miniseries.
Award winning journalist and first-time filmmaker David France shows us why documentary is one of the most powerful mediums in the world in How to Survive a Plague, his intimate and visceral recreation of the darkest days of the AIDS epidemic. Told through very personal stories of some of the leading participants, his film captures the social activism and innovation of two coalitions, ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group), whose courageous push for action and epic day-by-day battles finally succeeded in turning AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition and made AIDS survival possible.
France talked to me about his journey from veteran journalist to documentary filmmaker, what drew him to this fascinating story, how he culled through hundreds of hours of never-before-seen archival footage from the 1980s and ‘90s – much of it shot by the activists themselves — and transformed it into a compelling 110-minute film, the most personally rewarding aspect of his filmmaking experience, the legacy of ACT UP today, his reaction to the film’s Academy Award nomination, and how the film is now inspiring grassroots activism in a new generation. Hit the jump to read more:
Director Kathryn Bigelow’s drama Zero Dark Thirty continues its dominant critics awards path, as it has picked up two more Best Picture wins from the New York Film Critics Online and Boston Society of Film Critics groups, adding to its previous wins from the New York Film Critics Circle and National Board of Review. Bigelow also won Best Director from both organizations, while Daniel Day-Lewis took home Best Actor for Lincoln. Emmanuelle Riva won Best Actress from New York and Boston, while she shared the award in a tie with Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook in the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.
Los Angeles broke from the mold a bit by naming director Michael Haneke‘s devastating French-language film Amour the Best Film of the year. They also awarded Paul Thomas Anderson Best Director for The Master and Beasts of the Southern Wild’s Dwight Henry the Best Supporting Actor honor in a couple of pleasant surprises. Hit the jump for the full list of winners from all three critics groups.
The New York Film Critics Circle has kicked the awards race off in earnest, and the love was spread primarily between Zero Dark Thirty and Lincoln. The drama about the hunt for Osama bin Laden took home Best Picture, Best Director for Kathryn Bigelow, and Best Cinematographer, while Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln was awarded Best Screenplay, Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actress. The group also had a couple of left field choices with the Best Supporting Actor award going to Matthew McConaughey for Magic Mike (alright, alright, alright) and Best Actress going to Rachel Weisz for The Deep Blue Sea. McConaughey winning the trophy was a pleasant surprise, but Weisz’s win is a tad baffling.
Hit the jump to check out the full list of winners, and click here to peruse our recent Oscar Preview features.