AIDS, still

Nov 29, 2004

Thursday of this week is World AIDS Day, and dammit if it isn’t as important as ever to think about what’s happening in our world. The New York Times ran a long, front-page feature about the continued toll of HIV/AIDS on Southern Africa.

And here’s some good news from Bob Bilheimer, director of A Closer Walk:

Dear Friends,

I am pleased to let you know that the world television premiere of A Closer Walk is on World AIDS Day, Dec 1, 2004, on the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC 1).

A Closer Walk on SABC 1 will be an uninterrupted prime time broadcast from 9 – 10:30 pm. The sponsors are General Motors, and the SABC itself. We have been told that the audience for this broadcast will be at least 12 – 16 million people throughout Southern Africa.

I am also pleased to let you know that on January 15, 2005, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation will also be airing a prime time broacast of A Closer Walk from 7 – 9 pm—and again and 10 pm—on CBC Newsworld. This broadcast will include at half-hour follow-up discussion program produced by the CBC. General Motors is sponsoring this broadcast as well.

The broadcasts in South Africa and Canada mark the beginning of a global television campaign that will include other countries in Africa, Australia, Japan, India, China, South America, Europe, and the United States in 2005. We expect to reach hundreds of millions of people, and will let you know as we firm up specific air dates throughout the coming year. Do feel free to share this news with colleagues and friends wherever they may be.

I am sad that A Closer Walk’s depiction of the harsh realities of global AIDS and its underlying causes appears to be as timely as it was when we first began sharing the film with the international AIDS community two years ago. Indeed, on several fronts, the situation appears to have worsened considerably. I hope and pray that the broadcasts of A Closer Walk on television networks around the world will help create the sea-change in public opinion, the re-ordering of priorities, and the re-affirmation of basic human values that are so despereately needed at this point in the struggle. For our part, we will continue to walk the walk, and help in any way we can.

All the best,

Bob Bilheimer

Anton Zuiker

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