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“How To Survive A Plague” cast members to attend screening, panel discussion

LOS ANGELES -- Peter Staley and Garance Franke-Ruta, cast members of the Oscar-nominated documentary film "How To Survive A Plague," will participate in a screening and panel discussion presented by AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) on Wednesday, June 12, at 7:30 pm at the Silver Screen Theater in the Pacific Design Center.

The special “One City One Pride” event is presented by Collective Effect at APLA, and is sponsored by the City of West Hollywood and Symphonic Love Foundation.

A reception featuring a historical archive that highlights APLA's 30 years of service begins at 6 pm at the Pacific Design Center, followed by the film screening at 7:30. The post-screening panel will be moderated by West Hollywood City Councilmember John Duran, and will include other local experts to provide an L.A. perspective on past and future of HIV/AIDS activism. Tickets are available HERE for $15.

Hailed by The New York Times as “a model for the here and now of how social change occurs,” “How To Survive A Plague” is on the top 10 lists of more than 20 major publications across the nation, earning 12 nominations and seven wins during the 2012-13 film season, including a nomination for Best Documentary Feature at the 85th Oscars.

The film is the story of two coalitions — ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group) — whose activism and innovation turned AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition. With unfettered access to a treasure trove of never-before-seen archival footage from the 1980s and '90s, filmmaker and director David France puts the viewer smack in the middle of the controversial actions, the heated meetings, the heartbreaking failures, and the exultant breakthroughs of heroes in the making.

Staley is the principal focus of “How To Survive A Plague,” having left a successful career on Wall Street to become an AIDS and gay rights activist, first as a member of ACT UP New York, then as the founding director of TAG (Treatment Action Group). Staley also served on the board of the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) for 13 years and founded AIDSmeds.com.

Garance Franke-Ruta (ACT UP/ TAG) left high school after two years, and eventually moved to New York in 1988. She pressured pharmaceutical companies to test and market drugs for people with AIDS under a plan she co-founded titled Countdown 18 Months. Franke-Ruta, a graduate of Harvard University, is the politics editor for The Atlantic Online whose work also appears in Salon, The Washington Monthly, The New Republic, Legal Affairs, National Journal and Utne Reader.