Hollywood Wrap

Oscars 2013: 'How to Survive a Plague' up for best documentary

Saturday, February 23, 2013

"How to Survive a Plague" tells the story of how the activist group ACT UP pushed both the government and medical community to move faster to find treatment for AIDS in the 1980s and 1990s.

"It's the story about how people with AIDS taught themselves science and medicine and then used that knowledge to interact with researchers and scientists and regulators and became partners with them in the search, this really wild search, for the first drug that made a difference in AIDS-HIV," said the film's director, David France.

It was a nine-year journey that ended with the approval of drugs that have saved millions of lives.

"It was a time of collective activism," France said. "It was time of a community coming to its own defense, a time of real fundamental, kind of revolutionary changes that were brought to science and medicine at a time when victory was not only necessary, but achieved."

The film's makers say they've found younger generations to be completely unaware of this AIDS history. For many, this film has been a welcome education.

"You want people to go on an emotional journey," said producer Howard Gertler. "For people to come to us, and thousands and tens of thousands of people say, 'I had an emotional experience watching this movie. I walked in the shoes of these activists for two hours,' is just an incredible feeling."

With Oscar Sunday just days away, play the My Picks game to choose who you think will win in each award category.

The My Picks experience will live on Oscar.com, the Oscars App, Facebook, ABCNews.com, OTRC.com and GMA.Yahoo.com. Play My Picks right now!

Have a smart phone or tablet? Download the free official Oscars app to get news and updates about the show. It's available for Apple, Android and Kindle devices.

Get the full list of 2013 Oscar nominees

The Oscars will air live on ABC7 on Feb. 24.

Oscar Sunday lineup:

  • 1:30 p.m.: On The Red Carpet at The Oscars
  • 4 p.m.: The Oscars Red Carpet Live
  • 3:30 p.m.: The Oscars
  • 8:30 p.m.: On The Red Carpet at The Oscars
  • 10 p.m.: Jimmy Kimmel Live
  • 11 p.m.: Eyewitness News

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movie news, award shows, academy awards, hollywood wrap, george pennacchio
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