How to Survive a Plague

Director: David France
Year: 2012
Running Time: 120 minutes

Faced with their own mortality an improbable group of young people, many of them HIV-positive young men, broke the mold as radical warriors taking on Washington and the medical establishment. How to Survive a Plague is the story of two coalitions—ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group)—whose activism and innovation turned AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition. Despite having no scientific training, these self-made activists infiltrated the pharmaceutical industry and helped identify promising new drugs, moving them from experimental trials to patients in record time. With unfettered access to a treasure trove of never-before-seen archival footage from the 1980s and ’90s, filmmaker David France puts the viewer smack in the middle of the controversial actions, the heated meetings, the heartbreaking failures, and the exultant breakthroughs of heroes in the making.

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Feature Documentary Nominee*
Boston Independent Film Festival Audience Award -Won
Boston Online Film Critics Assoc. BOFCA Awards Best Documentary Won
Boston Society of Film Critics BSFC Awards Best First Feature -Won David France
Boston Society of Film Critics BSFC Awards Best Documentary Won
Central Ohio Film Critics Association COFCA Awards Best Documentary Won
Cinema Eye Awards Outstanding Achievement in Editing Won T. Woody Richman, Tyler H. Walk
Directors Guild of America DGA Awards Best Documentary Director Nominee* David France
FILM INDEPENDENT Independent Spirit Awards Best Documentary Nominee
Film Society of Lincoln Center/MoMA New Directors/New Films Official Selection
Full Frame Documentary Film Festival Official Selection
Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Association Dorian Award Best Documentary – Won
GLAAD Media Awards Best Documentary Won
Hamptons International Film Festival SummerDocs Series Official Selection
IDA (International Documentary Assoc.) Jacqueline Donnet Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Award – Won David France
IFP (Independent Film Project Gotham Awards Best Documentary – Won David France, Howard Gertler
Milwaukee Film Festival Official Selection
New York Film Critics Circle NYFCC Awards Best First Feature – Won David France
Outfest Official Selection
Provincetown Film Festival John Schlesinger Award Best First Time Feature Director Won David France
San Francisco International Film Festival Official Selection
Seattle International Film Festival Official Selection
Silver Doc Festival Official Selection
St. Louis Film Critics Association SLFCA Awards Best Documentary Runner-Up
Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize Official Selection, Documentary Nominee*
Traverse City Film Festival Official Selection
True/False Film Fest Official Selection
USA Film Festival Dallas Official Selection
Chlotrudis Awards Chlotrudis Award Best Documentary – Won
Vancouver Film Critics Circle VFCC Award Best Documentary Nominated*