The Grove

The National AIDS Memorial Grove in Golden Gate Park is a memorial to those lost, and a testament to a community rallying against loss.

Film Signature Image
PBS Plus Presentation
Premiere Date
December 1, 2011
60 minutes
Funding Initiative
Open Call

Andy Abrahams Wilson

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 Show more 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. Show less

filmmaker Tom Shepard

Tom Shepard

For 20 years, filmmaker Tom Shepard has produced, directed, edited, and distributed documentary films. Four of his feature projects – Scout's Honor, Knocking, Whiz Kids and The Grove– have aired nationally on PBS (including POV, Independent Lens and PBS Plus). Coverage of his work has been featured prominently in the U.S. and foreign press, including Show more reviews of three of his films in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and Boston Globe among others. Shepard’s films have played in more than 150 film festivals worldwide – including Full Frame, SilverDocs and the Sundance Film Festival (where he won two top awards for Scout's Honor in 2001.) Shepard is the former Chairman of New Day Films and regularly teaches documentary film in California and Colorado. In 2013, he founded the Youth Documentary Academy ( which trains high school students from underserved communities how to produce and direct documentary films. He graduated from Stanford University where he studied human biology and film. Show less

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The Film

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?