US: Oscar-nominated AIDS documentary to be made into TV series
A documentary about the AIDS epidemic which was nominated for an Oscar this year, is set to be turned into a miniseries on the American TV network ABC.
How to Survive a Plague, directed by David France, revolves around the birth of ACT UP, the international direct action advocacy group, and the Treatment Action Group, TAG, two activist agencies which put pressure on the US government and the pharmaceutical industries to tackle AIDS head on.
The documentary showed that, despite a lack of formal training, members of both groups worked from within drug companies to get life-saving medicine to those who needed it most.
The ABC series, which has entered its planning stages, would expand on the documentary, adding characters and dramatic elements.
Mr France said: “We know we’d like [the miniseries] to be an extended story that’s not just about AIDS and what AIDS wrought, but about this tremendous civil-rights movement that grew from the ashes of AIDS, and the dawn of the LGBT movement.”
The director will be working on the project with producing partner Howard Gertler, reports Queerty.
“People got a sense from the doc that many of the activists were soldiers drafted into a war that perhaps they were not ready to fight but that they had trained themselves for,” said Gertler. “We really want to show a wide audience how that happened.”
David France went on to say that he was excited to be working with ABC, and that he thought it was the best network to produce and show such a miniseries.
He said: “ABC is the network of Roots—For [them], this is a continuation of a dialogue that they’ve had with their viewers and with history, and that to me was the most decisive and convincing fact in our discussion — this idea that we can do that again and that we can be that for the gay community.”
A trailer for the Oscar-nominated documentary is available to view below.