Red Thread Productions has announced the upcoming release of a new feature-length documentary with a fresh take on the iconic AIDS Memorial Quilt. The Last One, set to launch later this month uncovers the birth of the quilt and its impact on politics, science and the media. Through activists like Cleve Jones, Patricia Nalls, and Julie Rhoad, the film explores the role the Quilt continues to play as a response to a disease that, while treatable for some, still affects vulnerable communities around the world.
“This film tells the story of the people the quilt memorializes, and the individuals who have spent their lives speaking out against the stigma of the epidemic,” said Nadine Licostie, Director of The Last One, and executive producer at Red Thread Productions. “It also examines how, despite ubiquitous prevention education and treatment options, that stigma still exists. Discrimination, limited access to affordable care, and lack of social status have led to 34 million infections worldwide, including 50,000 new cases per year in the U.S. alone.”
The quilt was conceived in 1987 "as a weapon against not only the disease but the cruelty and bigotry that the disease exposed," according to one of its founders, Cleve Jones. Now more than 50 miles long, the AIDS Memorial Quilt is a handmade testament to both the struggle of the early days of the epidemic and its continued impact, as panels representing lives lost to the disease continue to stream in from all over the world. The Last One frames the quest to sew the last panel into the Quilt, representing the end of AIDS.
The documentary is an official selection at the upcoming Santa Barbara International Film Festival and is also nominated for the Fund for Santa Barbara Social Justice Award for Documentary Film, for addressing a critical social and political justice issue. The festival runs from January 30 through February 9. The film also has a Kickstarter fundraising campaign which runs through February 4.