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London-banned HIV-AIDS film to be screened this week in New York

2016-10-18
 New York indie bookstore Bluestockings to screen two films, one banned twice in 2016 London film festivals
 Films challenge conventional views of HIV and AIDS treatment


October 18, 2016, London, UK. Press Dispensary. A renowned independent bookstore on New York's Lower East Side, Bluestockings, is to screen two award-winning documentary films this coming Saturday that have controversially been banned twice in London because they question the orthodox treatment of HIV and AIDS championed by the major pharmaceutical companies.

"Positive Hell", a 2014 documentary that has won both US and international awards, and the earlier "Positively False - Birth of a Heresy", invite audiences to rethink commonly held views of HIV and AIDS treatment, questioning how the HIV diagnosis is typically reached, the value of the costly, sometimes debilitating drugs intended to treat it, the motives of the drug companies and whether there is really a need for the hell suffered by many of those diagnosed in questionable circumstances as "HIV-positive", not least large populations in developing countries and the LGBTQI communities.

Positive Hell, which has so far been selected for seven international film festivals and was nominated for best documentary at Spain's Marbella International Film Festival, was selected for screening at the London International Film Festival last April but was cancelled by the festival at the last minute after threats of protests outside the venue and against the festival's sponsors, prompting allegations of censorial interference by AIDS  organisations funded by drug companies.

Against this background, London's Portobello Film Festival selected the film for a screening in September but again the film was pulled by the festival at the last minute after outside pressure.

The films' co-producer and writer , Joan Shenton, said: "Positive Hell is not a controversial film. It is a factual documentary charting the lives of five people who were diagnosed thirty years ago  as HIV-positive. They chose for various reasons not to take the antiretroviral drugs and went on to live normally for decades, not least having children who themselves are now healthy adults and HIV negative.

"Importantly, the film gives its subjects space to explain their opinions and their reasons for refusing the drug regime. Bluestockings will be giving people in New York the opportunity to hear and debate their opinions and we look forward to discovering what New Yorkers think."

In August this year, Positive Hell won star awards at the United Latino Festival and at The Indie Gathering, in Hudson, Ohio. As well as the nomination for best documentary at the Marbella International Film Festival, the film was also selected for the LA Cinefest, the Digital Griffix online festival and Indie Festival 01. Positively False was earlier also nominated for best documentary at the Marbella International Film Festival and at Switzerland's Lucerne International Film Festival. Both films were written, narrated and produced by Joan Shenton and directed and produced by Andi Reiss.

Bluestockings will be screening Positive Hell (30 minutes) and Positively False (90 minutes) on Saturday October 22 at 7pm. Details at http://bit.ly/PHBSevent . Veteran AIDS activist Bud Weiss, formerly of HEAL New York, will be attending to represent the filmmakers. For press tickets and interviews, contact Joan Shenton, details below.

- ends -

Notes for editors
For insight into London selections and bans, see press release archive at http://bit.ly/PosReleases .

About Positive Hell
Positive Hell is a 30 minute documentary written and narrated by journalist Joan Shenton and co-produced in 2015 with director Andi Reiss. It tells the stories of five individuals in the north of Spain who had been intravenous drug users or alcoholics in their teens. They had been treated in rehab units and had overcome their addictions but had tested "HIV" antibody positive.

Thirty years on, they were fit and well, despite no regime of antiviral medication. One of them, physician Dr Manuel Garrido, had never taken any antiviral medication, consciously swimming against the tide of HIV orthodoxy for three decades. Another, Manoel Penin, took antivirals for short periods of time but gave them up. Raquel Sanz stopped taking antivirals because they made her feel so ill. She married and had two daughters. Both daughters tested HIV antibody positive at birth and, as is common, lost their maternal antibodies at 18 months. Raquel's eldest daughter went on to have six children and her younger daughter followed a successful career. The daughters were immensely grateful to have been kept out of the "AIDS zone".

• Star award at United Latino Festival
• Star award at The Indie Gathering
• Nominated for best documentary at Marbella International Film Festival
• Selected for
- Los Angeles CineFest
- Digital Griffix online festival
- Indie Festival 01
• Selected for - then banned from - 2016 London Independent Film Festival
• Selected for - then banned from - 2016 Portobello Film Festival, London

Positive Hell may be viewed now at http://www.positivehell.com .

POSITIVE HELL - film documentary
Year : 2014                                                    
Length: 30 mins
Format: HD
Writer and narrator: Joan Shenton
Music: Mark Wood
Associate producer: Mark Wood
Producers: Andi Reiss and Joan Shenton
Director, cinematographer and editor: Andi Reiss
© 2014 Meditel Productions and Yellow Media Entertainment


About Positively False - Birth of a Heresy
Positively False - Birth of a Heresy is a 90 minute documentary also written and narrated by journalist Joan Shenton and co-produced in 2015 with director Andi Reiss. The film was
nominated for best documentary, Lucerne International Film Festival, October 2011
and Marbella International Film Festival, 3-8 October 2012.

It traces the challenge over the past 29 years to the scientific orthodoxy which maintains that HIV is the cause of AIDS. Joan Shenton reaches back to 1987 through her extensive archive of broadcast and non-broadcast video material and combines it with current footage. She shows how dissident scientists, journalists and activists have voiced their concerns about the way the infectious hypothesis for AIDS took over from the toxic one and highlights the impact the dogma surrounding a viral cause for AIDS has had on people's lives. The film travels through Africa, Europe and the United States revealing the way plague terror, financial objectives and scientific skullduggery have led to tragic examples of toxicity and death from antiviral drugs, social stigma, broken families, fear of sex, homophobia and imprisonment.

POSITIVELY FALSE - BIRTH OF A HERESY
Year : 2012
Length: 90 mins
Format: HD
Writer and narrator: Joan Shenton
Music: Mark Wood
Producers: Andi Reiss and Joan Shenton
Director, cinematographer and editor: Andi Reiss
© Meditel Productions and Yellow Media Entertainment

Joan Shenton's accompanying book, "Positively False - Exposing the Myths around HIV and AIDS" is available in soft back, Kindle and EPUB formats from Amazon.
Print ISBN 9781503030886
ISBN-10: 1503030881
ISBN-13: 978-1503030886

For further information, please contact:
Joan Shenton
Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7727 6301 / + 44 (0) 7957 585 515
Email:

Film site: www.positivehell.com
Event details: http://bit.ly/PHBSevent

Media contacts

Joan Shenton
Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7727 6301 / + 44 (0) 7957 585 515
Email:

Film site: www.positivehell.com
Event details: http://bit.ly/PHBSevent

Keywords/tags
HIV dissent HIV myths HIV diagnosis AIDS diagnosis Positively False Positive Hell Bluestockings London International Film Festival Portobello Film Festival Joan Shenton Andi Reiss film screening film censorship HIV AIDS protest

Short permalink: http://bit.ly/PHUKBluestockings

Images for download
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Joan Shenton, Positively False and Positive Hell

Joan Shenton, Positively False and Positive Hell
Joan Shenton, Positively False and Positive Hell
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Joan Shenton, Positively False and Positive Hell

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LA Cinefest selection

LA Cinefest selection
LA Cinefest selection
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LA Cinefest selection

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London Independent Film Festival 2016 selection

London Independent Film Festival 2016 selection
London Independent Film Festival 2016 selection
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London Independent Film Festival 2016 selection

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Marbella Film festival nomination

Marbella Film festival nomination
Marbella Film festival nomination
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Marbella Film festival nomination

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Positive Hell flyer

Positive Hell flyer
Positive Hell flyer
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Positive Hell flyer

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The Indie Gathering Star Award

The Indie Gathering Star Award
The Indie Gathering Star Award
The Indie Gathering Star Award for documentary film Positive Hell, August 2016
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The Indie Gathering Star Award

The Indie Gathering Star Award for documentary film Positive Hell, August 2016

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United Latino film festival Star Award

United Latino film festival Star Award
United Latino film festival Star Award
United Latino film festival Star Award for documentary film Positive Hell, August 2016
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United Latino film festival Star Award

United Latino film festival Star Award for documentary film Positive Hell, August 2016

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