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Maori Television Marks World AIDS Day 2006

Publicity Release
Tuesday November 21 2006

Maori Television Marks World AIDS Day 2006

Maori Television will screen two landmark films on AIDS in China and Africa in its International Documentary slot, Pakipumeka o te Ao, to commemorate WORLD AIDS DAY on December 1 2006.

Chinese documentary TO LIVE IS BETTER THAN TO DIE, about a rural family living with the disease, shows on Tuesday November 28 at 8.30 PM, followed by BIG BROTHER AIDS, featuring personal accounts of the African epidemic, on Tuesday December 5 at 8.30 PM.

TO LIVE IS BETTER THAN TO DIE is a heartbreaking story from Wenlou, a small village in central China, where 60 per cent of the villagers are infected with HIV because they made a little extra money selling their blood in the early 1990s.

Director Weijun Chen spent months in the village with Ma Shengyi and his young family. Ma Shengyi, his wife, and the two youngest of their three children are all infected.

In an application to the United Nations’ AIDS fund, Chinese authorities estimated a quarter of a million people in seven provinces were HIV-infected from giving blood. But the figure is thought to be much higher and any protests by villagers are quelled with force.

The documentary has been shown at top film events internationally, including the Sundance Festival.

BIG BROTHER AIDS, screening on Tuesday December 5 at 8.30 PM, focuses on AIDS in Uganda, an African country where the youth has been decimated by the disease.

Henry Hudson Luyomba is 23-years-old and his powerful testimony of discovering and learning to accept his HIV status takes viewers on an emotional journey.

A few months prior to the production of the film, Henry flew from Kampala to Johannesburg to realise his lifelong ambition of interviewing Nelson Mandela about HIV/AIDS as part of an MTV special.

BIG BROTHER AIDS also follows Mama Joyce, a nurse working in one of the Kampala slums where AIDS has spread like wildfire.

Mark WORLD AIDS DAY with Maori Television when TO LIVE IS BETTER THAN TO DIE (Tuesday November 28 at 8.30 PM) and BIG BROTHER AIDS (Tuesday December 5 at 8.30 PM) screen in its International Documentary slot, Pakipumeka o Te Ao.


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