James Wentzy is an AIDS activist and documentary filmmaker associated with ACT UP throughout the 1990s. He has been producer, director and editor for the weekly series AIDS Community Television (aka DIVA TV) since 1991, producing over 160 documentary programs, his own feature-length documentary Fight Back, Fight AIDS. He has documented over 700 hours of actions and demonstrations, conferences, and the communities’ cultural and artistic responses to AIDS. His footage frequently appears in others’ media documentaries. He worked as video archivist for the Estate Project’s AIDS Activist Video Preservation Project at the New York Public Library.
Excerpts of Wentzy’s videos were featured as part of COMPULSIVE PRACTICE, curated by Jean Carlomusto, Alexandra Juhasz, and Hugh Ryan for Visual AIDS in 2016. The program compiled compulsive, daily, and habitual video practices by nine artists and activists who live with their cameras as one way to manage, reflect upon, and change how they are deeply affected by HIV/AIDS.