KILLING PATIENT ZERO Comes to Toronto
Fadoo Productions has announced that Killing Patient Zero, the documentary about the origins of the AIDS epidemic and the story of Gaetan Dugas, the man who was incorrectly accused of starting it all, written and directed by Laurie Lynd, will open theatrically in Toronto on July 26 through to August 1, 2019 at the Ted Rogers Cinema.There will be a Q&A with writer/director Laurie Lynd after the Friday, July 26, 6 PM screening.
Killing Patient Zero had a brilliant world premiere as a Special Presentation at Hot Docs 2019.Canadian distribution is handled by Blue Ice Docs Inc. and world sales are being handled by Kew Media Distribution.
In the 1970s, Quebecois flight attendant Gaetan Dugas was one of the first 57 AIDS cases reported to the Center for Disease Control (the CDC) in Atlanta. Unlike the other men on their radar, Dugas, an openly and unashamedly gay man, was able to provide the names of 72 of his former sex partners - and in so doing, landed in the middle of the CDC's famous Cluster Study, where, as Patient O (the letter, 'O' for 'Out of California') he was incorrectly referred to as Patient 0 (zero)- and wrongly accused as being the source of the US outbreak, thanks to San Francisco Chronicle journalist, Randy Shilts' ground-breaking 1987 book on the AIDS epidemic, And The Band Played On. In Shilts' work, Dugas comes across as a psychopath, willfully infecting other gay men.
Director Laurie Lynd conducted 40 interviews with friends and colleagues of both Dugas and Shilts (including Michael Denneny, the late journalist's long-time editor and publisher of Band, about the responsibility of advancing the Patient Zero story), doctors who were on the front lines of the emerging epidemic (who are characters in Band), as well as epidemiological biologist, Michael Worobey, whose re-examination of an old CDC sample of Dugas' blood produced startling and irrefutable results. We have also interviewed men and women who lived through that terrible time, most notably, Fran Lebowitz.Killing Patient Zero is produced by Corey Russell (Rush: Time Stands Still, Names on the Cup), and Allan Weinrib (Rush: Time Stands Still, Names on the Cup) of Fadoo Productions, with Christian Medawar (Infiniment Quebec, Les Porteurs d'espoir) and Yves Bisaillon (The Refugees of the Blue Planet, Just Watch Me: Trudeau and the 70's Generation) as Associate Producers and Trevor Birney (Emmy-nominated Elián, No Stone Unturned, Bobby Sands: 66 Days) of Fine Point Films serving as Executive Producer. The script is based on Richard McKay's ground-breaking book, Patient Zero and the Making of the AIDS Epidemic.
"In the year of the 50th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada, and on the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York City, and after the incredible response we received at Hot Docs, I'm delighted that Killing Patient Zero is getting a theatrical release. This film tells an all too timely tale of intolerance about the legacy of the homophobia of the late 20th century. It's a story that needed to be told and needs to be remembered," said Laurie Lynd.Cinematography by Paul Steinberg and editing by Trevor Ambrose (Schitt's Creek, Saturday Night Live). Killing Patient Zero is a Fadoo Production made in association with Fine Point Films and with participation from Kew Media Distribution, Ontario Creates, Hollywood Suite, Crave and Canal D.