The movement to research and stop AIDS would have gone nowhere had it not been for the movie stars, models, and designers who decided, five years into the retrovirus's first rampage, to grab the spotlight and turn it onto the then-nascent cause. And they did it the only way they knew how, fabulously.
Thus, the birth of the AIDS Project Los Angeles' Commitment to Life fashion show, an annual event that brought the most famous, talented, and headline grabbing icons of the day together and helped spark massive amounts of action from Sunset Boulevard to Main Street. The show was the AIDS event of the era, and filmmaker Afonso Salcedo, a former Pixar employee, hopes to bring this oft-forgotten moment into the present with a film called There Was Magic.
Currently in production, Salcedo needs $53,000 for licensing fees, travel expenses, post-production costs and editing. So, like so many enterprising creators before him, Salcedo's turning to Kickstarter, ie: the public, to help him finish the job. The filmmaker explains the project's origins and goals.
"I've been working on this film for nearly a year. After reading Heavenly Bodies: Remembering Hollywood and Fashion's Favorite AIDS Benefit, written by Michael Anketell, who founded the event in 1986, I became enormously interested in the back story of all ten shows--how they came to be and the incredible talent that supported them. When I sat down with Michael for the first time, I began to understand the history and struggles of that era (1986-1996) the staggering toll it was taking in Hollywood, the fashion industry and in almost every corner of the world. .... There Was Magic will provide a nostalgic, moving and entertaining look back at some of the most breathtaking and ambitious fashion shows ever mounted--magical moments in time caught on film and not seen since they were live shows. With your help, reaching or even surpassing the goal on Kickstarter is essential in bringing this film across the finish line."
If you want to learn more about Hollywood's early AIDS activism and see fabulous footage from the shows themselves -- including clips of legendary drag queen Lypsinka (above) bringing down the house -- head on over to Kickstarter to help Salcedo achieve his goal by July 3rd.