5B is the inspirational story of everyday heroes who took extraordinary action to comfort, protect and care for the patients of the first HIV/AIDS ward unit in the United States at San Francisco General Hospital. 5B is stirringly told through first-person testimony of the nurses and caregivers who built Ward 5B in 1983, their patients, loved ones, and staff who volunteered to create care practices based in humanity and holistic well-being during a time of great uncertainty. The result is an uplifting yet candid and bittersweet monument to a pivotal moment in American history and a celebration of quiet heroes’ worthy of renewed recognition.
The documentary will support (RED)’s fight to end AIDS, with a portion of 5B’s net proceeds going to support the work of the Global Fund – the recipient of all (RED) monies. Additionally, the release will bring awareness to the HIV/AIDS issue ahead of the sixth Global Fund Replenishment this coming October.
Presented by RYOT, a Verizon Media company, 5B premiered at the 2019 Festival de Cannes on Thursday, May 16 as an Official Special Screening. Following, the film will have its Los Angeles premiere in partnership with LA Pride as part of Verizon’s ground-breaking inaugural title sponsorship of the annual event. The premiere will be hosted on opening night, June 7, prior to the performance of headliner Paula Abdul, on the festival’s Plaza Stage.
In support of 5B and (RED), celebrities Julianne Moore, Miles Teller, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, and Keiynan Lonsdale, among others will attend the Cannes premiere alongside co-director Dan Krauss and the original Ward 5B nurses and other participants featured in the film .
“Some stories have the special ability to remind us of the best in humanity and push us to find the best in ourselves and one another — 5B is one of those stories,” says Hayley Pappas, Head of RYOT Films at Verizon Media’s RYOT. “With great delicacy and craft, 5B takes us back to a defining moment in history and invites us to walk alongside the ordinary people who rose to extraordinary circumstances. We’re honored and privileged to be able to share their story, and we hope this film is able to continue their legacy of service.”
“5B is an important documentary that shines a light on the extraordinary nurses, caregivers and family members that built Ward 5B, and uses their powerful story to generate money for the Global Fund to help finance HIV/AIDS programs today,” said Jennifer Lotito, Chief Operating Officer at (RED).
For the film’s theatrical release on June 14, Verizon Media will activate its ecosystem to raise awareness and inspire change on this critically important issue and uplifting film. Verizon Media has engaged Vertical Entertainment to distribute the film. A full home entertainment release will follow this fall, along with global international theatrical releases in the lead-up to the annual Global Replenishment Conference in October.
Co-directed by Dan Krauss and featuring Sasha Cuttler, Alison Moed, Mary Magee, Cliff Morrison, Hank Plante III, Rita Rockett, Guy Vandenberg and other heroes of Ward 5B, 5B is presented by RYOT, a Verizon Media company.