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Winners of
African-American AIDS film competition announced

Winners of
African-American AIDS film competition announced

Black Entertainment Television, the Black AIDS Institute, Kaiser Family Foundation, and the YWCA on Monday announced the winners of the second annual Rap-It-Up/Black AIDS Short Subject Film Competition. After reviewing more than 200 screenplays, the judging committee unanimously chose the screenplays Let's Talk and Multitude of Mercies as winners of the competition.

Multitude of Mercies, written by Washington, D.C., residents Drew Anderson, Justin Follin, Charneice Fox, and Michelle Sewell, focuses on how a young African-American minister deals with HIV in his church. Let's Talk, written by Los Angeles resident Michelle Lynne Coons, portrays how couples starting a relationship address HIV issues.

Both screenplays will be made into short films, which will debut on BET on World AIDS Day on December 1 and also will be shown on National HIV Testing Day on June 27, 2006.

The RIU/BASS Film Competition was first launched in January 2004 to raise awareness about HIV prevention, testing, treatment, and the impact of HIV in African-American communities. The competition is part of BET's Rap-It-Up initiative, launched in 1998 in conjunction with the Kaiser Family Foundation, which aims to educate young African-Americans about HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

"It will require a diversity of black voices to end the AIDS epidemic in black communities," said Phill Wilson, executive director of the Black AIDS Institute, in a press release. "The RIU/BASS film competition is an attempt to provide a creative forum for some of those voices. Both Multitude of Mercies and Let's Talk add a much-needed perspective to the HIV/AIDS discourse in black America."

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