David France gets Academy Award mention

Staff report
It has been a truly remarkable week for a filmmaker David France, who splits his time between New Kingston and Manhattan. His film, “How to Survive a Plague” has been included on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences “Best Documentary” short list.

In other words, France could win an “Oscar.” His film is one of 15 from which the Academy may
decide to nominate for the most coveted prize in the motion picture industry.
“How to Survive a Plague” is, in the words of movie review website “Rotten Tomatoes,” the story of how two groups, Act-Up and Treatment and Action Group (TAG), turned AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition. “Rotten Tomatoes” gave the movie a remarkable 100 percent rating.

Remarkable achievement
Remarkable is a word worth repeating several times as this week “How to Survive a Plague” also became the first documentary to be named “The Best First Film” in the 70-year history of the New York Film Circle Critic’s Awards.

These are not the first honors for the film. It has already been named “Documentary of the Year” by Esquire magazine. It recently won the Gotham Best Documentary award.

France was also named Emerging Filmmaker of the Year by the International Documentary Association. And, “How to Survive a Plague” has been nominated for an Independent Spirit Best Documentary award. The movie has also won first prize in a number of film festivals.
The Oscar nominations will be announced on January 10. The Academy awards will be presented February 24.