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WATCH: An Alternate Reality Without HIV

WATCH: Imagining an Alternate Reality Without HIV

Part sci-fi, part documentary, Leo Herrera’s film honors the more than 18,500 ‘Fathers’ whose lives were claimed by the AIDS epidemic.

KQED digital released an interview and tantalizing new footage taking viewers behind the scenes of the Fathers the Project as well as in-depth interview with  artist, activist and director  Leo Herrera, that delves into being a queer, Latino, immigrant, artist in today’s America.  AIDS nearly destroyed a generation of queer artists, activists and heroes.

In the Fathers Project, filmmaker Herrera raises the dead and imagines an alternative world in which HIV never existed. The “sci-fi documentary” series, imagines how these queer folks would have shaped our world, focusing on sex, art and politics. Most importantly the film is not about pretending AIDS never happened rather it’s a celebration of the fact we’ve become a vibrant and integral community in spite of an epidemic and a government enabled genocide.

Fathers has been three years in production, sponsored solely by community donations and a collaboration with the GLBT Historical Society. The multimedia project was filmed on location in San Francisco, Provincetown, New Orleans and Burning Man

The first episode, titled “Gay President,” will be released online this summer 2018. It interweaves real life events with imaginary commercials, news segments and interviews with survivors of the epidemic.  The result reveals a not so fictional queer utopia.

Herrera has worked closely with the GLBT Historical Society to ensure the project is based on and inspired by factual accounts, artifacts and details from the archives, providing the project with an authentic foundation that also pays homage and respect to our queer and opulent legacy

Herrera gathered footage collected around the country to weave real life protests, celebrations and staged scenes to create a colorful vision of a queer utopia.

When the project is complete it will include a dazzling combination of multimedia, from digitally aged portraits of heroes lost to AIDS, to imagined propaganda and commercials paving the way for our queer utopia future. These fictional interpretations will be punctuated by newscast and real-world references showing the veil between what is imagined is not so far out of reach.

Herrera hopes to reach some major milestones in 2018, including a private release of the first short film to be produced out of the Father’s footage, that is due on in July.

Other segments coming months with the full feature film set to debut in December for World AIDS Day.

 

To view the six minute segment, watch here: 

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Ryan is the Digital Director of The Advocate Channel, and a graduate of NYU Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing. She is also a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. While her specialties are television writing and comedy, Ryan is a young member of the LGBTQ+ community passionate about politics and advocating for all.

Ryan is the Digital Director of The Advocate Channel, and a graduate of NYU Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing. She is also a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. While her specialties are television writing and comedy, Ryan is a young member of the LGBTQ+ community passionate about politics and advocating for all.