So, my friends, it's World AIDS Day, which actually kicks off AIDS Awareness Month. I know this isn't usually the topic people want to consider during the holidays, but I'm actually kind of excited myself. The reason is because for the past year, I've been immersed in the topic of HIV prevention and the AIDS pandemic in Africa, thanks to Citygate Films' newest film, THE ROAD WE KNOW. More importantly, there's actually some good news on the horizon about reducing HIV infections!
And that's the message of THE ROAD WE KNOW. This film follows seven college students in Botswana who are boldly challenging conventional wisdom about AIDS in Africa to bring the low-cost, dignified message of sexual restaint to their younger peers. They were filmed in 2009 by my colleague, Suzanne Taylor, who directed and edited this production. Suzanne found out about them through the global missions fund of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta, GA. These Botswana college students are all Christians who are motivated by their faith to intervene in a crisis where one in four adults (ages 15 to 49) are infected with HIV. Can you imagine living among such an epidemic? It's almost unthinkable.
Yet as we were finishing the post-production on this project, we read a special report from the UNAIDS organization that talked about how young adults are leading the revolution in HIV prevention. In this 2010 report, UNAIDS could point to a 25 percent drop or more in new infections for young adults ages 15 to 24 in 15 of the most infected nations--primarily due to sexual behavior change! This confirmed that what we had documented in Botswana was not an isolated trend.
Today we are releasing this film. It won't be in theaters near you. It will, in fact, be even closer than that. Citygate Films has the privilege of participating in the beta project of an exciting innovation in online video viewing. We have teamed up with European technology company UbicMedia™ and its proprietary PUMit tool to allow audiences to digitally share our film, while simultaneously contributing to a fund to further develop youth HIV/AIDS prevention programs in Botswana. UbicMedia actually approached our film promotion team, CrowdStarter, to find an independent film to pioneer this technology and we were very pleased to be selected to be part of this beta project.
"Ubicmedia is working with leading U.S.-based entertainment networks and file-sharing and content management companies," says UbicMedia's Olivier Pfeiffer. "The global importance of the theme addressed by Suzanne Taylor in THE ROAD WE KNOW is a perfect fit to showcase the flexibility and the virality of our solution. We're all very happy to potentially increase the awareness around the cause and the amount of collected funds through the use of UbicMedia's technology."
So I'm asking you to check out our "Watch the Film, Save a Life" campaign--and then spread the good news about both the film and the youth revolution in HIV prevention! And if you are in the Marietta area, come on out tonight to the premiere screening at Johnson Ferry. It starts at 7:00 pm, it's free, and Suzanne will be there for a director Q&A afterward.
But no worries if you still prefer the big screen experience. You can arrange for the film and/or our team to come out for a community screening for your group. Details are on the film's website. Help us populate that screening map with some love for the film!
Watch the film, save a life!