|Winner: SPECIAL JURY PRIZE: WORLD SOCIAL IMPACT |
|Crew: ||Executive Producers: Christian Fiala - Producers: Joan Shenton - Screenwriters: Joan Shenton - Composer: Mark Wood
POSITIVE HELL is the story of five individuals who have defied their doctors and lived on for nearly thirty years with a diagnosis of death. The film highlights a network of people diagnosed HIV positive in the province of Galicia, Northern Spain.
How can this be? Haven't we been told that everyone who tests positive is sure to die? Do these people have a special magic gene that protects them against HIV? Or could it be that this death sentence has been mistaken all along?
The five protagonists describe their struggle to survive when faced with a death sentence, their experiences as social pariahs, their battles with doctors and the medical orthodoxy and their absolute conviction that the science behind AIDS is cruelly wrong.
Andi Reiss is an award winning independent documentary filmmaker who has found his reality through the lenses of contrast. He is a highly experienced and creative PD, with the rare combination of excellent storytelling, stunning photography and great people skills. Specialising in factual and observational documentary programmes, he is equally comfortable directing crews, in the edit and self-shooting. He has the ability to quickly adapt to any situation and develop and sustain relationships with contributors, crew and talent.
Many of his films have done well on the festival circuit and on television, and he's found success in the many genres he's crossed; film , photography, painting, drawing and technology. During his formative years in which he built a strong foundation, he wrote/produced and directed several diversified short films.
Andi served on the Committee of the Directors Guild between 2004 and 2010, and is a Trustee for the mental health charity Oxfordshire Mind.
My interest in documentary stems from the idea of being able to tell stories that may have
been hidden from the public for far too long.
Positive Hell is by no means a systematic dissection of the HIV/AIDS machine, but more a
defining dialogue between ordinary people. Throughout the years, they have lived in fear and
within a stereotype, yet inspired by their instincts and the courage and articulate arguments of
their network, they are amongst a number of growing voices internationally challenging the
Their analysis suggests the existence of an industry bias that cannot be explained by
standard assessment, and therefore, unless we develop a well-grounded understanding of
the true nature of personal opinion, we will almost always end up adopting distorted views.
In a postmodern belief system, which looks ironically like a doctrine, we must strive to
appreciate that all opinions should have the chance to be heard.