AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) – the largest global AIDS organization – and its Black Leadership AIDS Crisis Coalition (BLACC) has announced their sponsorship of the 2017 Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) taking place February 9-20, at Rave Cinemas Baldwin Hills Crenshaw located within the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza at 3650 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
This year, AHF and BLACC are supporting the award-winning short film “90 Days,” a poignant story from directors Nathan Hale Williams and Jennia Frederique Aponte, and executive producer Jussie Smollett, about a young couple having to confront the challenges of loving with HIV.
Starring Teyonah Parris, Nic Few, Pauletta Washington and Rodney Chester, the film has already been named “Best Short Film” at the 15th Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival (2017) and will be screened at the Pan African Film Festival on Sunday, February 12th at 1:00 p.m. A panel discussion with the filmmakers moderated by television host and producer Karamo Brown, will immediately follow the film screening.
The film’s trailer is embedded below.
“We believe that storytelling is a perfect vehicle for advocacy and activism. With ’90 Days,’ our goal is to use entertainment to advocate for the message that ‘love is greater than anything,’ including HIV,” Williams explains. “The HIV infection and death rates remain on the rise in communities of color in the United States—even rivaling those of sub-Saharan Africa in major cities like Atlanta. Advancements in medicine and treatment have made HIV a treatable chronic disease and thus, the epidemic has all but disappeared from our daily dialogue. Our story of love and acceptance seeks to move the conversation back to center in a way only art can do.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), African Americans account for more new HIV infections, people estimated to be living with HIV disease, and HIV-related deaths than any other racial/ethnic group in the U.S. The rate of new HIV infections among African Americans is nearly 8 times that of whites, and more than twice that of Latinos. In 2010, African American women accounted for the largest share of new HIV infections among women, and the incidence rate among African American women was 20 times the rate among white women and over 4 times the rate among Latinas.
“AHF is thrilled to continue our ongoing partnership with the Pan African Film Festival and to throw our full support behind ’90 Days,’” said Christopher Johnson, AHF Associate Director of Communications. “The filmmakers have presented a modern love story that is as compelling and poignant as it is a timely launching pad for much-needed discussion about relationships and HIV in the black community. This is truly a project that everyone needs to see and we’re excited to help present it to the community at PAFF 25.”
Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, PAFF 25 will screen 202 films, 124 of which are feature-length. The seventy-eight short films screened will be in consideration for Academy Awards as PAFF has been approved as an Academy qualifying festival.
AHF has been a sponsor of the annual Pan African Film Festival for many years. Last year, the organization supported the feature-length documentary “Wilhelmina’s War” by AHF Grant Fund recipient June Cross. Shot over the course of five years in rural South Carolina, the award-winning documentary tells the story of Wilhelmina Dixon, the daughter of sharecroppers who becomes a force in her family’s fight for survival from HIV and AIDS.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) currently provides medical care and/or services to over 683,000 individuals in 36 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, visit www.aidshealth.org, or on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth or on Twitter: @aidshealthcare.
Watch a trailer for “90 Days” below.