Film Spotlights AIDS Memorial Quilt; Reveals Progress, Setbacks and Hope in the Quest to End AIDS
The documentary uncovers the birth of the AIDS Memorial Quilt and its impact on politics, science and the media. Through activists like Cleve Jones, Patricia Nalls, and Julie Rhoad, the film explores the role the Quilt continues to play as a response to a disease that, while treatable for some, still affects vulnerable communities around the world.
“This film tells the story of the people the Quilt memorializes and the individuals who have spent their lives speaking out against the stigma of the epidemic,” said Nadine Licostie, Director of The Last One and executive producer at Red Thread Productions. “It also examines how, despite ubiquitous prevention education and treatment options, that stigma still exists. Discrimination, limited access to affordable care, and lack of social status have led to 34 million infections worldwide, including 50,000 new cases per year in the U.S. alone.”
Since it was released in 2014, The Last One has screened at more than a dozen film festivals in the U.S. and abroad, and continues to air on Showtime. This fall the film will be shown at several special screenings as a pre-launch to its 2016 National Youth Outreach Campaign. The fall, 2015 schedule includes a screening at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco on November 10. The event is presented by Bank of the West with all ticket sales benefitting the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. The documentary will also screen at the Tacoma Art Museum on November 12 in Tacoma, Washington. Additionally, The Last One will be shown on December 1 (World AIDS Day) at San Quentin State Prison in Marin County North of San Francisco, and Jacobi Medical Center in Bronx, New York.
Beginning in January 2016, Red Thread Productions will officially launch its National Youth Outreach Campaign, combining screenings of the documentary with displays of the AIDS Memorial Quilt at 500 schools, churches and community organizations, along with question and answer sessions. At a time when the urgency around this issue has largely slipped from America’s consciousness, The Last One
’s National Youth Outreach Campaign aims to generate a resurgence of unbiased visibility on HIV/AIDS. While new treatments are helping to combat and manage HIV as a chronic disease, young people under 25 make up a quarter of new HIV infections.
“Each generation needs to understand the disease and its history, to better combat the complacency around it,” Licostie said. “Through this campaign, we aim to shine a light on the history of HIV/AIDS and the stigma still surrounding it. HIV/AIDS cuts across race, class, age, and socioeconomic status. People living with HIV, need support and compassion. We will share this powerful message with young people to help them take charge of their health and their lives. We hope this campaign is an antidote to ignorance.”