Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square


Year: 1998
Country: United States
Run Time: 96 minutes

In July 1997, the vessel Survivor entered the illustrious TransPac sailboat race, an "epic downwind sprint" crossing 2,200 miles of treacherous open water from Los Angeles to Hawaii - with an all gay, all HIV-positive crew. New pharmaceutical 'cocktails' and healthy attitudes brought many of these men out of their deathbeds and back into active regimens. But are they up for the ultimate sea trial? "The ocean doesn't discriminate," one teammate says. "The ocean takes you whether you have AIDS or not." With the names of 3,000 kindred AIDS fatalities painted on the hull of the boat (a hired 'hard-luck' craft which had failed to complete the TransPac once before) the Survivor sets out, the novice crew's optimism soon dampened by malfunctioning equipment, Hurricane Dolores, plummeting T-cell counts and the incipient madness of sheer isolation. Through it all, Bobby Houston kept his camera running (one stressed participant lashes out at it with his fists( to record an outstanding, harrowing log of heroism and endurance.

Bobby Houston

Robert Hudson

Bobby Houston

Michael Lorenzo

Principal Cast
Robert Hudson, John Plander, Mike Schmidt, Ted Taylor, Keith Ericson, Dennis Boecker, Bill Kijovsky, Steve Kovacev

Film Contact
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