Mimi Benson
Mimi Benson

Filmmaker Rohan Spong is set to premiere his documentary All the Way Through The Evening for World AIDS day.

All The Way Through Evening is an engaging and poignant film that chronicles a downtown New York classical arts community in the early 1980s; the era when a deadly, silent killer began to sweep the city and ravage the gay world.

Mimi’s “Benson AIDS Series” is an annual concert of works by her friends, all composers, who were lost to HIV/AIDS.  Mimi has performed this concert for over twenty years on December 1st (World AIDS Day) in Manhattan.

Accompanied by the moving music of those composers lost, All The Way Through Evening remembers this tragedy with candid interviews from friends, family and the lovers that survived it.

On his experience making the film, Spong recalls, “It was like looking through a keyhole to another time and another place, I could tell there were some really important memories there – this film has an unusual angle because I’m definitely a young outsider looking in.”

On framing the documentary around the music, Spong says, “I saw it as a way of helping audiences emotionally connect with the early era of HIV/AIDS.”

Spong first met Mimi in 2009, when she recorded music for an earlier film project.  He was fascinated by her stories and returned to New York between 2010 and early 2012, where he filmed her concert and interviewed Mimi and her circle of musicians.  Over the course of the period, the two have become firm friends.

The film received a standing ovation when it premiered in the East Village New York on World AIDS Day 2011 and has been screened at a number of international film festivals, including NYC Downtown film Festival (Special Jury Prize Winner), Dublin GAZE film Festival (Closing night film) and Birmingham SHOUT film Festival (Audience Choice award for best documentary feature).

In recent years, Spong has received high acclaim for his debut documentary, “T is for Teacher” (2009lauded by two Australian reviewers as among the best work to screen in Australian cinemas that year) and continues to produce and direct independent documentary projects internationally.