Over a year ago, a startup
production company named "Chronicle Project" began to envision a documentary
that would bring the heart of the African AIDS pandemic to mass audiences.
There existed a need for a film that would tell the story of the crisis
in a very personal narrative, explaining to the American public why the
pandemic is so bad and what can be done about it.
Dear Francis was the
result of intensive production in South Africa and Swaziland in the summer
of 2004. A grassroots campaign for the screening of Dear Francis
began across the United States. On Wednesday, March 22, the Acting
on AIDS chapter at Trinity felt compelled to help bring awareness of this
devastating disease, and so they hosted Dear Francis producer Dave
Mahanes and co-director Brent Gudgel, to show the documentary in the Ozinga
"This was a great opportunity
for students not only learn more about the many different facets that Africans
with the AIDS pandemic face, but also to meet two twenty-something filmmakers
and learn about their experience in making this documentary," said Emily
Kilbourn, Acting on AIDS Chapter President.
Students, faculty, staff,
and community members gathered to view the personal stories of the two
American college students as they traveled to Swaziland, Africa, to teach
abstinence education to teenagers and who wound up discovering that the
causes of AIDS are much more disturbing and complex than they could have
Filled with heart-wrenching
personal encounters and enlightening expert interviews, Dear Francis
confronted the audiences with the stark reality of, and put a face to,
the AIDS pandemic.
Chronicle project, a documentary
production company in Pasadena, California, focuses on telling the compelling
stories of life through visual media that move people to offer compassion
and hope. Dear Francis won a Crystal Heart Award at the Heartland
Film Festival and the Best Feature Documentary Award at the New York Aids