5B (film)

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5B is a 2019 American documentary film co-directed by Dan Krauss about the efforts of a group of nurses and caregivers who opened the first AIDS ward in the world at San Francisco General Hospital and changed the way patients were cared for[1] in the 1980’s AIDS epidemic.

Verizon Media, with the help of Academy Award-Winner Julianne Moore, announced during its Newfront event[2] late April 30, 2019 in New York that it acquired and plans to release the HIV/AIDS crisis documentary 5B.

The film premiered[3] at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival on May 16, 2019, LA Pride on June 7, 2019 and release nationwide June 14, 2019 in select theaters. 5B is presented by RYOT, a Verizon Media company.

“We believe in empowering and bringing communities together, and elevating voices that deserve to be heard,” Guru Gowrappan, CEO of Verizon Media, said in a statement[4]. “The heroes of 5B will continue to inspire the next generation of leaders and Verizon Media is proud to help champion that mission across its global footprint in support of this groundbreaking film.”

Plot summary[edit]

5B[5] is the inspirational story of everyday heroes, nurses and caregivers who took extraordinary action to comfort, protect and care for the patients of the first AIDS ward unit in the United States. 5B is stirringly told through first-person testimony of these nurses and caregivers who built Ward 5B in 1983 at San Francisco General Hospital, their patients, loved ones, and staff who volunteered to create care practices based in humanity and holistic well-being during a time of great uncertainty. The result is an uplifting yet candid and bittersweet monument to a pivotal moment in American history and a celebration of quiet heroes, nurses and caregivers worthy of renewed recognition.


David Rooney wrote in The Hollywood Reporter: "As much as 5B is defined by the still-resonating sorrow of so many deaths, and the conflicted feelings of survivors from decimated communities left with few friends their own age, it's also an uplifting film about profound human decency and generosity of spirit."[6] Guy Lodge of Variety called the film a "straight-for-the-tear-ducts documentary, which seeks first-hand inspiration and optimism amid the wreckage of an unavoidably bleak chapter in recent American history."[7]


Alison Moed Paolercio
Cliff Morrison
David Denmark
Mary Magee
Sasha Cuttler
Guy Vandenberg
Dr. Paul Volberding
Dr. Lorraine Day
Rita Rockett
Hank Plante
Steve Williams
Mary Asbury
Leah Cleveland
Harry Breaux[8]
George Kelly[9]


5B was featured[10] and was the closing film in the San Francisco Doc Stories 2018 film festival. The film premiered at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival on May 16, 2019, set for American premiere at LA Pride on June 7, 2019 and releases nationwide on June 14, 2019 in select theaters.


  1. ^ Bishop, Katherine (December 14, 1985). "Ward 5B: A model of care for AIDS". New York Times.
  2. ^ Hays, Kali (May 1, 2019). "Hulu Touts Major Stars, Verizon Media Shifts 'Intention' at NewFronts". Womens Wear Daily.
  3. ^ Kaufman, Amy (May 15, 2019). "Inside Opening Nigt at the Cannes Film Festival". Los Angeles Times.
  4. ^ Rodriguez, Matthew (April 30, 2019). "New Documentary '5B' Chronicles History of San Francisco HIV/AIDS Ward". Out Magazine.
  5. ^ Williams, Trey (April 30, 2019). "Dan Krauss Documentary '5B' About the HIV/AIDS Epidemic Acquired by Verizon Media". The Wrap.
  6. ^ Rooney, David (May 18, 2019). "'5B': Film Review | Cannes 2019". The Hollywood Reporter.
  7. ^ Lodge, Guy (May 17, 2019). "Cannes Film Review: '5B'". Variety.
  8. ^ Allday, Erin (March 2016). "Harry Breaux". SF Chronicle.
  9. ^ Parekh, Smit (December 14, 2018). "George Kelly - A Lontime AIDS Survivor". Bay News Now.
  10. ^ Staff, Examiner (November 6, 2018). "Doc Stories Premieres AIDS Ward Movie '5B'". San Francisco Chronicle.

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