“Attempted Murderer…” – That’s what some called William Brawner, the subject of the new feature documentary “25 To Life” – a young African American man who contracted HIV at just 18 months old, something which he and his immediate family kept a secret for some 25 Years; from his friends, extended family members, and lovers, many who Brawner had unprotected sex with.
Finally, at 27 years old, William decided to publicly disclose his secret to the shock and anger of many friends, family, and past girlfriends.
The film, which we first profiled 3 years ago on this blog, attracted the attention of the SimonSays Entertainment production company (responsible for acclaimed films like “Night Catches Us,” “Gun Hill Road,” “Blue Caprice” and “Mother Of George”), who signed on to produce the documentary last fall, directed by Mike Brown, and produced by Yvonne M. Shirley.
The film follows William Brawner as he confronts his promiscuous past, and tries to forge a new open honest life with his HIV negative wife.
This will be SimonSays’ first documentary production; the company co-financed the film along with an all-star lineup of funders in the Ford Foundation, the Sundance Institute, Cinereach, Good Pitch, IFP, Firelight Media Lab and Tribeca All Access.
The film will make its world premiere this weekend at the 2014 American Black Film Festival (ABFF), presented by Film Life, Inc., which has relocated to New York City this year, kicking off tonight, and running through 22.
You can keep up with the project’s travels via its website: www.25tolifefilmsite.com.
Ahead of its ABFF premiere, watch an extended trailer below: