Congratulations to David France and Peter Staley, whose "How to Survive a Plague" won the Gotham Independent Film Award last night for best documentary.
The following is from David's acceptance speech last night in New York:
"This is not the story of what AIDS did to our community, but the story of what our community did to HIV. You and I wanted this story to resonate in the hearts and minds of future generations and we did it. I share this award with you. We all owe thanks to Peter Staley who is the principal subject and the outright star of How to Survive a Plague. Peter was a bond trader by training and he led a small number of activists, most of them with HIV who helped bring effective anti-HIV drugs to market in 1996, but it was the leadership that you, Peter, imposed on the research establishment that truly changed the course of the disease. With no background in science or policy and with assorted death at your back, you literally saved the lives of others. Today 8 million people are alive on the drugs that you helped spearhead. That's how to survive a plague. But that's also a way to survive almost anything. You created a remarkable blueprint for social justice movements of all kinds. The film is being used by gay rights campaigners in the Ukraine, health care advocates in Zimbabwe, pro-democracy movement leaders in Russia. Your strategies are being studied and reproduced in the climate change movement, the reproductive rights movement and the movement to end hunger around the world. You and the members of ACT UP have shown us that it really is possible for a group of disenfranchised individuals to attack some of the most intractable problems and triumph."(With thanks to Kevin.)
Complete list of winners HERE.