Two Jehovah's Witness families stand firm for their controversial and misunderstood Christian faith.
The National AIDS Memorial Grove in Golden Gate Park is a memorial to those lost, and a testament to a community rallying against loss.
Andy Abrahams Wilson is the founder and president of Open Eye Pictures. He is an award-winning, Emmy-nominated producer and director of creative non-fiction films. Wilson received a BA in cultural anthropology from Northwestern University and an MA in visual anthropology from the University of Southern… California, where he studied at the USC Film School. His most recent production, the critically acclaimed and Oscar shortlisted Under Our Skin, is the recipient of seven Best Documentary awards at international film festivals. Past productions include the HBO special Bubbeh Lee & Me and Hope is the Thing with Feathers, broadcast on the Sundance Channel. Wilson is a past Budget Director of the film distribution cooperative New Day Films and member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
Tom Shepard has directed and produced documentaries for over 15 years. His film Scout's Honor won the Audience Award for Best Documentary and Freedom of Expression Award at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival. Scout's Honor was broadcast nationally on PBS when it opened P.O.V.'s 14th… season. In 2006, he co-directed and produced Knocking, a film about Jehovah's Witnesses, which broadcast nationally on the Independent Lens. Shepard helped coordinate national outreach campaigns for both of these films. He also has produced, directed and edited shorter films for the public television series Voting in America and Spark. Previously, Shepard worked as an editor at National Public Radio for Linda Wertheimer. At NPR, he co-produced Listening to America, an audio documentary on the history of public radio in America. He graduated from Stanford University, where he majored in biology and film. He is the former Chairman of New Day Films and lives in San Francisco.
More Americans have been lost to AIDS than in all the U.S. wars since 1900. And the pandemic has killed 22 million people worldwide. But few know about the existence of the National AIDS Memorial, a seven-acre grove hidden in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. The Grove chronicles this garden’s transformation from a neglected eyesore to landscaped sanctuary to national memorial. The film shows how a community in crisis found healing and remembrance, and how the seeds of a few visionary environmentalists blossomed into something larger than they could have imagined. But as the Grove’s stakeholders seek broader public recognition through an international design competition, a battle erupts over what constitutes an appropriate memorial for the AIDS pandemic. What does it mean to be a national memorial? And how do we mark a time of unimaginable loss?