DAVID FRANCE (Director) is an Oscar-nominated filmmaker, New York Times bestselling author, and award-winning investigative journalist. His directorial debut, How To Survive a Plague, is hailed as an innovative and influential piece of storytelling and is regularly screened in university classrooms, and by community groups and AIDS service organizations. Appearing on over 20 “Best of the Year” lists, including Time and Entertainment Weekly, the documentary earned a GLAAD Awardand top honors from the Gotham Awards, the International Documentary Association, the New York Film Critics Circle, the Boston Society of Film Critics, and the Provincetown Film Festival, among many others. After a theatrical run reaching over 30 cities, How To Survive a Plague was aired on PBS’ Independent Lens, reaching an audience of millions and garnering Academy and Emmy nominations and a Peabody Award. His 2017 film, The Death & Life of Marsha P. Johnson, a Netflix Original Documentary, won numerous festival prizes and was awarded the Outfest “Freedom Award” and a special jury recognition from Sheffield International Documentary Festival. Critics put it on multiple “Best of the Year” lists (and gave it a 96% ranking on Rotten Tomatoes). David’s latest book, also titled How To Survive a Plague (Knopf, 2016), received the Baillie Gifford Prize for best nonfiction book published in the English Language. In addition, France has seen his journalistic work inspire several films, including the Peabody-winning Showtime film Soldier’s Girl, based on his New York Times Magazine story of the transgender girlfriend of a soldier killed in an anti-gay attack.
In Chechnya, LGBTQ activists operating in a secret network risk their lives in the fight against extreme repression. Intolerance and a government-directed campaign against LGBTQ people has made imprisonment, torture, and killings part of daily life. Through mutual respect and unhindered access, director David France has created an impactful film that tells the gripping and deeply agonizing story that everyone should know.
Winner, U.S. Documentary Competition Grand Jury Prize, Sundance Film Festival, 2020
Official Selection, Berlin International Film Festival, 2020