December 1, 2023, which is also World AIDS Day, will see the Hulu debut of “Unexpected,” a short documentary about Black women living with HIV in the South.
Emmy-winning producer of “Abbott Elementary,” Sheryl Lee Ralph, and director Zeberiah Newman’s “Unexpected” film follows activists Masonia Traylor and Ciarra Ci Ci Covin as they establish an underground network to assist and support women living with HIV in the rural South.
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The 2023 edition of the Essence Film Festival marked the film’s Oscar-qualifying debut. It went on to win Silver at the Telly Awards and an Award of Excellence at the IMPACT Docs Awards and the Accolade Global Film Competition. The SCAD Savannah Film Festival, the DC Black Film Festival, the Black Women Film Network, the Detroit Black Film Festival, the Women’s Film Festival, and the Cleveland Film Festival have all shown it.
Ralph’s charitable organization, The DIVA Foundation, bought the movie.
On December 1, ABC-owned stations will webcast this year’s “DIVAS Simply Singing! Raising Health Awareness” charity performance. Renowned performers Ralph, Anthony Hamilton, Dianne Reeves, Amber Riley, and Saycon Sengbloh are featured in the hour-long special, which is powered by Gilead Sciences. Other guests include Cynthia Erivo, Jennifer Hudson, Tatyana Ali, Ken Allen, William Stanford Davis, Braddee Evans, Terri Shepherd, Robin Thede, and Lisa Ann Walter.
The event, which was recorded in front of a live audience at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles, featured honors for Tina Knowles and U.S. Representative Barbara Lee.
The DIVA Foundation executive director Norman Lee noted, “Our relationship with ABC-owned television stations and Hulu is a very important one because of our combined desire to amplify stories around health disparities, especially those affecting women in vulnerable communities.”
On Peacock, Jeffrey Schwartz’s “Commitment to Life,” a feature documentary documenting Hollywood’s early reaction to the AIDS crisis and the founding of AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA), will also debut in honor of World AIDS Day.
“Marty’s Place: Where Hope Lives,” a half-hour program produced by Plus Life Media, will premiere on December 2 on KGO. It will also be rebroadcast on KGO-TV and ABC’s Localish network.
The show, which is narrated by Karl Schmid of Plus Life and ABC7 LA, showcases Marty’s Place, a non-profit in San Francisco that offers a secure and encouraging environment to those living with HIV/AIDS. Paul Aguilar, Michael Rouppet, Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi, and California State Senator Scott Wiener are among the guests on the show.