Buddies, Arthur Bressan Jr’s ground-breaking dramedy from 1985 can lay claim to being the first feature film produced about the AIDS crisis. The film tells the story of David, a 25-year-old gay New Yorker who volunteers to be a supportive ‘buddy’, or trained friend, to Robert, a 32-year-old gay activist hospitalised with AIDS and abandoned by friends and family after his diagnosis.
David and Robert are initially wary of each other, but soon connect through a series of intimate and revealing discussions. A tender and loving friendship develops between the two men, who are eventually forced to confront the inevitability of Robert’s illness.
Buddies has played to audiences around the world and received critical acclaim for its fine performances and the powerful poignancy of its story. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see a brand new 2K restoration of this classic of independent queer cinema.
"Buddies ends with an inspiring moment - how could it not? But its greatest power is how Bressan humanizes people with AIDS and tells a story that people needed to see - and still do." - Gay City News
Film followed by panel discussion HIV: From 1985 to Now and Beyond featuring experts from Bobby Goldsmith Foundation and ACON
Facilitator: Brandon Bear
Brandon is the Manager, Policy, Strategy and Research at ACON. Previously he has worked in project and people management at the Council for Intellectual Disability, Batyr and Yfoundations. He is an active volunteer, having over 10 years’ experience working with community organisations and boards including Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, The NSW Association for Youth Health and Camp Goodtime, a residential camp for children and young people affected by HIV.
Panellist: Brent Mackie
Brent Mackie is currently the Associate Director, Policy, Strategy and Research at ACON, having returned to ACON from working with the NSW Government over 5 years ago. Brent has worked for more than 30 years HIV and sexual health, LGBTI health and wellbeing, drug and alcohol, and the community and population health fields in both government and non-government organisations. Brent has also a long history of volunteering and participation in LGBTI community groups and organisations and was both a Community Support Network Career and an Ankali Project volunteer during the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Panelist: Andrew Buchanan
Andrew is the Compliance, Research and Operations Manager at BGF, and has 7 years’ experience working in the HIV sector, both on the client side and in the backroom. Andrew is also an Ankali volunteer with over 10 years of providing client support, and he has been with his current client for the past 5 years.
Panelist: David Polson
David is a long-term client of BGF and has been HIV positive for 34 years. David has put himself through 28 drug trials to help advance the search for an HIV treatment or cure and he represents a generation that is the first to face what ageing with HIV looks like.