It’s My Life

Directed by Brian Tilley
Produced by Philip Brooks & Steven Markovitz
South Africa



Zackie Achmat is an AIDS activist who refuses to take anti-retrovirals until they are made freely available. After defeating the multi-national drug companies, he takes on the South African government for its confusing policies around HIV/AIDS. When Zackie gets ill, his provocative position is not one all his friends and colleagues support. Everyone wants to know why he refuses to take the medicines that would let him lead a healthier life. Shot over five months, personal and public images are interwoven to provide an intimate look at an internationally profiled defiance campaign and the complexities of its leading figure.


Red Ribbon for the Special Jury Citation, Amsterdam Int'l Documentary Festival, 2001

Award of the National Committee against AIDS, Ouagadougou Panafrican Film and Television Festival, 2003

Special Award for Human Rights Awareness, Prague One World International Human Rights Film Festival, 2002

Prix des Droits Humains at Cinema Africain et Creole, Montreal, Canada 2002

Award at the Vue De Afrique festival, Canada, 2002

IDFA, in the feature length competition for the Joris Ivens prize


CISMA Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, 2001

Brussels Gay & Lesbian Festival, Belgium, 2002

Double Take Documentary Film Festival, North Carolina, USA, 2002

African Studies Association Film Festival, USA, 2002 & 2003

Torino Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, Italy, 2001

Paris Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, France, 2001

Festival Cinema Africano Milano, Italy, 2002

DoubleTake Documentary Film Festival, USA, 2002

San Francisco Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, USA, 2002

OutFest, Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, USA, 2002

Vision du Reel, Switzerland, 2002

Norwegian Documentary Festival, 2002

Inside Out Film Festival Toronto, Canada, 2002

Human Rights Festival, Seoul, South Korea, 2002

Afrovibes Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2002

Commonwealth Film Festival, Manchester, UK, 2002

The New York International Documentary Festival, USA, 2002

Durban International Film Festival, South Africa, 2002

Rio African Film Festival (Festival African Visions), Brazil, 2003

Act Up Drase Hellas, Athens, Greece, 2004

Jakarta Gay & Lesbian Festival, Indonesia, 2004

International Human Rights Festival Kiev Ukraine, 2004


Currently not for distribution in South Africa