ABC Studios has acquired the rights to the Oscar-nominated documentary film How To Survive A Plague for a possible ABC miniseries, which would be executive produced by the docu’s writer-director David France and producers Howard Gertler and John Lyons. The documentary revolves around controversial AIDS activists who infiltrated the pharmaceutical industry and helped identify promising new drugs, moving them from experimental trials to patients in record time.
Ari Karpel and David Mermelstein are AwardsLine contributors
From the homemade, unpolished qualities of 5 Broken Cameras and The Gatekeepers to the journalism of How To Survive A Plague and the investigations of The Invisible War and Searching For Sugar Man, this year’s documentary feature nominees traverse challenging and rewarding territory. Here’s a look at the films from which voters must choose.
The homemade quality that permeates 5 Broken Cameras is its greatest strength. For what this plainspoken documentary lacks in polish, it makes up for in heartfelt emotion. The film centers on the life of its filmmaker, Emad Burnat, a Palestinian resident of Bil’in, a village in the occupied West Bank near the Israeli border. It opens with the birth of Burnat’s son Gibreel in 2005. Then, paralleling the first few years of Gibreel’s life, the film charts the hardships endured by the village as it copes with the erection of a barrier, built by Israel, that separates Bil’in from its olives groves.
“I just started to film and document my people’s nonviolent struggles in the village in 2005”, Burnat says, speaking recently by phone from Bil’in. “I decided to take part with my camera. I used it for many purposes. I was the only one in my village with a camera. I used it to …