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AIDS documentary How to Survive a Plague to be made into a TV miniseries

ABC buys rights to Oscar nominated film about activists who fought against disease and government red tape and apathy

AIDS documentary How to Survive a Plague to be made into a TV miniseries

How to Survive a Plague may not have won the Oscar for best documentary last Sunday (24 February) but it’s story is about to be told to an even wider audience.

The ABC broadcast network has confirmed that it has optioned the rights to the film about a group of remarkable AIDS activists in the late 198os and 90s. The network has an eye on making the story a television miniseries.

‘People got a sense from the doc that many of the activists were soldiers drafted into a war that perhaps they were not ready to fight but that they had trained themselves for, and we really want to show a wide audience how that happened,’ co-producer Howard Gertler tells The Hollywood Reporter.

The movie, directed by David France, tells the story of AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) and Treatment Action Group (TAG).

It gives viewers a front-row seat to the epic day-to-day battles that ultimately resulted in AIDS no longer being a death sentence. ACT UP and TAG members elevated themselves at the height of the AIDS crisis in the US in the 1980s with their own self-education which enabled them to demand a seat at the table with scientists, researchers and regulators.

The scripted adaptation of the film would delve deeper into the personal lives of the activists.

‘We know we’d like it to be an extended story that’s not just about AIDS and what AIDS wrought but about this tremendous civil rights movement that grew from the ashes of AIDS and the dawn of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender movement,’ France says.

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