NBCUniversal Acquires Documentary COMMITMENT TO LIFE About Early Days of HIV/AIDS Epidemic
Premieres on Peacock on Dec. 1, World AIDS Day; Cable Network Debut Set for Early 2024 on MSNBC
Emmy Award-Winning Documentarian Jeremy Schwarz Directs; Featured Interviews Include Karamo Brown, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Jonathan Murray, Melissa Rivers, Bruce Vilanch, HIV/AIDS Activists and Physicians
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – Nov. 10, 2023 – NBCUniversal has acquired the feature-length “Commitment to Life” about the pivotal role Los Angeles played in the fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
The film will premiere on Peacock on World AIDS Day (Dec. 1) followed by its cable network debut on MSNBC in early 2024.
Directed by Emmy Award-winning documentarian Jeffrey Schwarz (“Vito”), “Commitment to Life” gives a historical account of the intrepid group of Angelenos, including doctors, bar owners, activists, studio moguls and celebrities, who changed the course of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
The documentary intertwines historical archives and new interviews with Alison Arngrim, Karamo Brown, Dr. Michael Gottlieb, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Jonathan Murray, Melissa Rivers and Bruce Vilanch, as well as HIV/AIDS activists, Stephen Bennett, Robert Contreras, Bill Misenhimer, Torie Osborn, Rev. Steve Pieters, Jewel Thais-Williams, Bamby Salcedo and Phill Wilson.
“‘Commitment to Life’ give us an opportunity to shine a light on the history of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the people who laid the groundwork for awareness, prevention and treatment,” said Val Boreland, Executive Vice President, Entertainment Content Acquisitions, NBCUniversal Entertainment. “Our hope is that the premieres on Peacock and MSNBC will inspire our viewers to take action on World AIDS Day and beyond.”
“There are now two generations of LGBTQ+ Americans that have – thankfully – little or no personal knowledge of the horrors of the AIDS epidemic. But they need to know the history; to hear the stories of the extraordinary pain and loss of those years, but also the stories of the amazing and heroic actions in response,” said Craig E. Thompson, CEO of APLA Health. “This documentary celebrates the unique contributions of Los Angeles to this overall story.”
The film, which was produced by APLA Health, is executive produced by Ron Sylvester, and produced by Aimée Flaherty. More information can be found on the film’s website.
In addition to “Commitment to Life,” Peacock will also have the following films and documentaries available to stream to commemorate World AIDS Day. They provide a view of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, its global impact and the ongoing efforts to raise awareness and fight the disease:
- “5B”: An inspiring documentary that pays tribute to the nurses and caregivers who established the first AIDS ward unit in the United States.
- “1985”: A poignant feature-length drama about a man’s journey back to his Texas hometown to disclose his AIDS diagnosis to his estranged, conservative parents.
- “After Louie”: A drama about Sam, an artist and activist living through the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, as he navigates the complexities of an intergenerational relationship.
- “Angels in the Dust”: A touching documentary about Marion Cloete and her family who helped orphaned South African children affected by HIV/AIDS.
- “Doin’ My Drugs”: A documentary about musician Thomas Muchimba Buttenschøn, who was born with HIV, and his mission to wipe out the HIV/AIDS epidemic in his native Zambia.
- “Jeffrey”: A heartwarming romantic comedy that challenges misconceptions about HIV/AIDS.
- “Mapplethorpe”: A glimpse into the life of renowned photographer Robert Mapplethorpe and his art during the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
- “My Brother’s Keeper”: A dramatic film about twin brothers fighting against insurance companies and societal stigma to battle HIV/AIDS together.
- “Killing Patient Zero”: A gripping documentary about Gaetan Dugas, who was wrongly identified as “patient zero” during the early days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.