Los Angeles – April 20, 2011 – Red Flag Releasing announced today that it has acquired “WE WERE HERE,” produced and directed by David Weissman and editor/co-director Bill Weber. The film recently world premiered at the Sundance Film Festival followed by the Berlin International Film Festival. Red Flag will theatrically release the film in September 2011.
WE WERE HERE is the first documentary to take a deep and reflective look back at the impact of the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco when it was first identified 30 years ago this year. It explores how the City’s inhabitants were affected by, and responded to the calamitous epidemic. WE WERE HERE reaches beyond San Francisco and the human toll of AIDS itself. It is an inspirational film that speaks to the human capacity of individuals to rise to the occasion, and to the incredible collective power of a community coming together with love, compassion, and determination.
Red Flag Releasing will distribute the film in partnership with the filmmakers, The Film Collaborative, New Video and PBS’ Independent Lens, creating a release pattern fitting for this incredibly moving look into the tragedy and eventual triumph of a community organizing to respond to the AIDS epidemic. The film’s release will include theatrical, OnDemand, DVD, digital download channels, and television (in spring 2012), as well as an educational/non-theatrical outreach component through New Yorker Films. The film’s worldwide producer’s rep Jonathan Dana and TFC’s Orly Ravid orchestrated the deals.
David Weissman and Bill Weber previously made the acclaimed 2001 documentary, The Cockettes, also repped by Dana, which chronicled San Francisco’s legendary theater troupe of hippies and drag queens from 1969 – 1972. WE WERE HERE revisits the city a decade later, as its flourishing gay community is hit with an unimaginable disaster.
“We Were Here” richly deserves the first class treatment it will receive across all windows and platforms – a real ‘Distribution 2.0’ strategy in action. We couldn’t be happier,” said Dana.
“I felt strongly that this film needed to be made by someone who’d lived through the onset of AIDS – the horror, and beauty – of those years. So it’s deeply gratifying to have partners in distribution who fully share my passion that this history not be forgotten.” said Weissman.
“We are proud to be releasing this powerful film. It is an affirmation of the community’s great strides over the last 30 years, and honors the many friends we’ve lost along the way,” said Paul Federbush of Red Flag Releasing.
“We were deeply moved by WE WERE HERE at its premiere, when we committed to helping David and Bill reach a larger home audience through digital and DVD release,” said Mark Kashden, V.P. Acquisitions, New Video. “We look forward to working with such capable partners on a successful campaign.”
“Independent Lens is extremely pleased to present the television premiere of David Weissman’s deeply moving, seminal film,” said Lois Vossen, Independent Lens Series Producer. “WE WERE HERE is a brave testament to millions of Americans who suffered from HIV AIDS, and to the extraordinary men and women who cared for them. Like The Times of Harvey Milk, this unflinching, important film will become a touchstone for future generations looking to understand this historic time.”