The upcoming feature documentary “Desert Migration,” about aging, HIV, and long-term survival with AIDS, is entering the last week of its Indiegogo campaign; Stage One completed filming in October 2013, and the producers are seeking funds to shoot Stage Two and begin editing.
Watch the new promotional trailer below.
A collaboration between the HIV Story Project, 13th Gen, and Best Revenge Productions, “Desert Migration” centers around a group of men in Palm Springs who were part of the first generation of AIDS patients.
When they first became ill, there were no treatments for HIV/AIDS; unlike those before them, medical breakthroughs did come in time to prolong their lives, but the medications were by necessity rushed to market, resulting in large numbers of patients who had no choice but to depend on drugs with effects that were never studied long-term.
Film producer Daniel F. Cardone, who is friends with many in the area, told 429Magazine back in November:
On the whole, even if you’re part of the gay community, you’ve moved on to the next cause. But HIV is still around, AIDS is still around, and people living with HIV are growing older and finding themselves confronted with an increasing number of problems caused by either the medications or the virus itself.
Every time they take their pills, every time they go to the doctor, every time they wake up with some mystery ailment or pain—they are reminded of what they’ve lost, what they’ve been through and what they have still to go through.
A press release for the film states:
In recent years, the conversation about aging with HIV has steadily grown in volume, especially as people over 50 years of age have become the largest demographic living with the virus in the United States. DESERT MIGRATION is the first comprehensive documentary to join the national zeitgeist on this important topic by focusing on a diverse group of gay, HIV+ men who have chosen Palm Springs, CA as the place to live out their sunset years.
DESERT MIGRATION examines the lives of these men; their history, their present, and their possible futures as they struggle to come to terms with the second chance they have been given thanks to advancements in HIV treatment. Faced with their own mortality and the inevitable wear and tear on their bodies from both the virus and the medications designed to save them, how do they strive to create a life of value? Their stories illuminate how people across the US and the world are struggling as they age with the virus and the damage it has caused.
The fundraising campaign began on November 12, 2013, and runs until January 11. They’re aiming to raise $30,000 in total, but as of January 6, they have just under $10,000. Because they’re working together with the HIV Story Project, a registered non-profit, all donations are tax-deductible.
The documentary is also not all they’re working on. According to the official page on Indiegogo, “we are establishing social media platforms to draw attention to the subject of aging with HIV/AIDS. These platforms will allow people to tell their own stories, as well as find information, networks and educational resources. We hope that ‘Desert Migration’ will be a powerful springboard for an ongoing public discussion on aging with HIV/AIDS.”