UI-S hosts AIDS drama debut

A free screening of the Springfield-made short film, THIS LIFE AIN’T PRETTY, will take place tonight, Tuesday, December 1, 7 p.m., in Brookens Auditorium at the University of Illinois‘ capital city campus. Written and directed by Kimberly D. Conner for Predestined Arts & Entertainment, it shows what happens in the wake of a young mother’s discovery that she has contracted HIV from her estranged husband. The half-hour film stars Springfield resident Danielle Ward as Brittney, the lead character who succumbs to the virus at age 28, and is based on the life of Conner’s relative who suffered a similar fate, according to this State Journal-Register story from last week. With today being World AIDS Day, the timing of PRETTY‘s premiere is meant to call attention to the continual wide-ranging effects of the disease and how it can strike anyone – even an otherwise healthy, heterosexual person such as Brittney.

The project’s dedicated Web site features a few set pictures as well as a trailer. The company’s page details past and present endeavors from Conner, a screenwriter who also works for the Department of Health and Family Services, and her sister Candice, a grade school teacher. Both earned Bachelors of Arts degrees from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston.

A reception will precede the show, sponsored by the UI-S Diversity Center, at 6 p.m. in Brookens.

~ Jason Pankoke

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