News Release

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 Chapel.  

"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 ever imagined. 

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 Film Festival.

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