Press Releases


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    "Meet the Press" Presents a Strand of Four Films Moderated by NBC News Journalists,Including Moderator Chuck Todd FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — JUNE 13, 2018, WASHINGTON, DC — The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today that NBC News' "Meet the Press" has joined AFI DOCS 2018 as a media sponsor.


    FESTIVAL SPONSORS INCLUDECORPORATIONS, CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS,ARTS ASSOCIATIONS AND PHILANTHROPISTSFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — June 13, 2018, WASHINGTON, DC — The American Film Institute (AFI) has announced the AFI DOCS 2018 festival sponsors — with AT&T returning this year as Presenting Sponsor, which represents the top level of support.


    Four Features and One Short Selected for the AFI DOCS Impact Lab FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — JUNE 5, 2018, WASHINGTON, DC — AFI DOCS — the American Film Institute's five-day documentary film festival in the nation's capital, supported by Presenting Sponsor AT&T — has announced the five films selected for the fourth annual AFI DOCS Impact Lab in partnership with RABEN_IMPACT.


    AFI DOCS Forum Will Feature Discussions on the Rise of Short Filmmaking, the State of Documentary Filmmaking in the DC Region, Resources for Filmmakers and More FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — MAY 23, 2018, WASHINGTON, DC — AFI DOCS — the American Film Institute's five-day documentary film festival in the nation's capital, supported by Presenting Sponsor AT&T — has announced its 2018 Forum.


    AFI DOCS Will Celebrate Academy Award®-Nominated Filmmaker on June 14 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — MAY 18, 2018, WASHINGTON, DC — AFI DOCS — the American Film Institute's five-day documentary film festival in the nation's capital, supported by Presenting Sponsor AT&T — has announced that it will pay tribute to Steve James as the 2018 Charles Guggenheim Symposium honoree.


    AFI DOCS 2018UNVEILS FULL SLATE OF FILMS 92 Films From 22 Countries, Including Five World Premieres,Will Screen June 13–17 in Washington, DC, and Silver Spring, MD FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — MAY 11, 2018, WASHINGTON, DC — AFI DOCS has announced its full slate of films for 2018 — with AT&T returning as Presenting Sponsor of the American Film Institute's five-day documentary film festival in the nation's capital.


    PERSONAL STATEMENT and UNITED SKATES to Bookend Five-Day Festival in Nation's Capital AT&T Returns as Presenting Sponsor FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — MAY 4, 2018, WASHINGTON, DC — AFI DOCS has announced its Opening and Closing Night films, and Centerpiece and Special Screenings — with AT&T returning as Presenting Sponsor of the festival for the fifth consecutive year.


Errol Morris Honored at Guggenheim Symposium

World Premiere of DOCUMENTED

by Pulitzer Prize Winner Jose Antonio Vargas

Washington, DC, Friday, June 21, 2013 – AFI DOCS presented by Audi offers a full schedule of Friday events of which highlights are the Charles Guggenheim Symposium celebrating Errol Morris, one of the most significant and original voices in documentary cinema and the world premiere of DOCUMENTED by Pulitzer Prize winner Jose Antonio Vargas.   These Friday events and screenings further AFI DOCS mission to bring filmmakers, our nation’s leaders and audiences together in the heart of Washington, DC.


This annual award honors the legacy of the late four-time Academy®Award-winning filmmaker Charles Guggenheim.  This year the Symposium celebrates Errol Morris by featuring a series of excerpts of his work.  He will be joined on stage by the Washington Post’s chief film critic Ann Hornaday to discuss his career.  His films include A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME (1991); FAST, CHEAP AND OUT OF CONTROL (1997); THE FOG OF WAR: ELEVEN LESSONS FROM THE LIFE OF ROBERT S. MCNAMARA (2003); GATES OF HEAVEN (1978); STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE (2009); THE THIN BLUE LINE (1988); and VERNON, FLORIDA (1981).

WHO:           Errol Morris, Filmmaker
                    Ann Hornaday, Film Critic at The Washington Post, Moderator
                    Bob Gazzale, President & CEO, American Film Institute
                     Sky Sitney, Festival Director
WHEN:         Friday, June 21, 2013
                    5:30 p.m.  Press Check-in
                    5:45 p.m.  Photo Opportunity
                    6:00 p.m.  Screening and Discussion

WHERE:       National Archives, 700 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC

Space is limited for screening.  All media may not be accommodated.  Media wishing to attend the screening or red carpet arrivals should RSVP to Molly Ellison at [email protected]

American Airlines, the official airline of AFI, is a proud sponsor of AFI Docs presented by Audi.


11:00 a.m. Filmmakers Amy Browne, Tony Hale, Jeremy Kaplan and Brian Wilson present A WILL FOR THE WOODS.  As lymphoma thwarts all attempts at treatment, Clark Wang makes his funeral plans.  Rather than preserve his body with toxic chemicals, his last wish is for a “green” burial.  Environmental preservation takes on a poignant intimacy in this touching portrait of a multi-faceted, ebullient advocate and his final legacy.  Mark Harris, an environmental journalist and the author of the most prominent book on this issue "Grave Matters," moderates a post-screening discussion with the filmmakers and subjects.

11:30 a.m. Filmmaker Camilla Magid presents the North American Premiere of WHITE BLACK BOY.  The sun is among the least of his worries for Shida, a Tanzanian boy with albinism.  Because witchdoctors believe in the mystical power of albinos’ limbs, the white-skinned are often hunted for a bounty.  WHITE BLACK BOY looks at Shida’s first year at a boarding school, where he is momentarily safe from harm.

12:00 p.m. Filmmaker Bill Siegel and subject Tom Krattenmaker present THE TRIALS OF MUHAMMAD ALI.  When charismatic fighter Cassius Clay embraced Islam and renamed himself Muhammad Ali, the boxing icon came under fire for refusing to serve in the Vietnam War.  This enlightening film examines the tumultuous period in Ali’s life that saw him forced into a legal battle with the U.S. government that almost cost him his livelihood.

12:30 p.m. In THE MACHINE WHICH MAKES EVERYTHING DISAPPEAR, a film director puts out a casting call for local townspeople in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, and the taped “auditions” become the springboard for filmmaker Tinatin Gurchiani’s portrait of contemporary Eurasian life.  As the citizens open up with surprising intimacy, the filmmaker follows some of them in their real lives with fascinating results.

1:30 p.m. On July 22, 2011, Norway experienced its deadliest attack on native soil since World War II.  Through intimate interviews with survivors of the tragedy and the families of victims, filmmaker John Appel’s powerful WRONG TIME WRONG PLACE takes a haunting look at the result of being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

2:15 p.m. In RENT A FAMILY, INC., filmmaker Kaspar Astrup documents a service in Japan that provides actors to stand in for family members, their presence providing support at negotiations and filling weddings.  Struggling and depressed, Ryuichi runs one such company, sending himself to fill in for those who need family members and, in many ways, to get away from his own. East Coast Premiere.

2:15 p.m. Filmmaker Cecilia Peck and subjects Linor Abargil and Debra Little present BRAVE MISS WORLD.  Two months before she was crowned Miss World in 1998, Linor Abargil, an Israeli beauty queen, was raped in a violent attack by an acquaintance.  Ten years later she is ready to talk about her ordeal as she travels the world to hear the stories of other rape victims and help them speak out.

3:00 p.m. APPROVED FOR ADOPTION by filmmakers Jung and Laurent Boileau. Skilled Korean graphic novelist Jung was only five years old when he was adopted by a Belgian family who raised him as one of their own.  Through a mixture of live action footage and his own beautiful animation, the adult Jung shares his story of growing up in a world where he always felt different.

3:45 p.m. Filmmakers AJ Schnack and David Wilson present WE ALWAYS LIE TO STRANGERS. Branson, Missouri, is one of America's most popular tourist destinations where people from all over the country flock to enjoy a return to old-fashioned down-home wholesome entertainment.  Amid the abundance of kitschy stage and music shows are an eclectic group of talented performers who have dedicated themselves to the show business Mecca of the Midwest.  Come meet the colorful people who call Branson home and must cope with an uncertain future as the town faces economic adversity.

4:30 p.m. Filmmakers Jeff Reichert and Farihah Zaman present REMOTE AREA MEDICAL. People wait for more than a day outside the Bristol Motor Speedway, lining up not for tickets but for necessary medical and dental procedures that are otherwise beyond their means.  Telling stories from those who rely on the clinics, REMOTE AREA MEDICAL serves as a sobering look at life for the uninsured.

5:00 p.m. Filmmaker Dawn Porter and co-producer Summer Damon present GIDEON’S ARMY. In this smart, insightful documentary, Porter sheds light on the plight of one of our country’s most valuable and unsung warriors: the public defender.  Following a small group of dedicated public defenders in the South, GIDEON’S ARMY highlights the daily battles they face within a flawed legal system.  Ailsa Chang, Congressional reporter NPR's Washington Desk, moderates a post-screening discussion with the filmmakers and special guests.

5:15 p.m. Filmmaker Grace Lee presents AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY: THE EVOLUTION OF GRACE LEE BOGGS.  Lee set out in search of other Asian American women bearing the same name and found Grace Lee Boggs, a 97-year-old Chinese American philosopher, activist and force of nature whose remarkable life and work traversed the major social movements of the last century and warranted a film of her own.

6:30 p.m. Filmmaker Dan Krauss and subjects Eric Montalvo and Dr. Stephen Xenakis present THE KILL TEAM. A powerful portrait of wartime atrocities and the men who commit them, this riveting film focuses on an American platoon in Afghanistan who waged a campaign of terror against the Afghani civilians they were sworn to protect.   A chilling look at the madness of war that very few will forget.

6:45 p.m. Filmmaker Gabriela Cowperthwaite presents BLACKFISH.  When SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau was mauled to death by a “killer whale,” the tragedy was dismissed as a freak accident.  In actuality, it was one of many such violent incidents between well-meaning trainers and wild orcas living in captivity.  BLACKFISH takes an unflinching look at the disturbing practices that keep marine parks in business.

7:30 p.m. Filmmaker Lucy Walker presents THE CRASH REEL.  A mere two months before the 2010 Winter Olympics, game-changing pro snowboarder Kevin Pearce suffered a traumatic brain injury that derailed his life, career and a much-anticipated rivalry with competitor Shaun White.  Oscar®-nominee Lucy Walker’s engaging, intimate portrayal of Pearce’s recuperation explores the understated heroism of a recovering champion.

8:00 p.m. Filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas presents the World Premiere of DOCUMENTED.  In 2011, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas outed himself as an undocumented immigrant in The New York Times Magazine.  DOCUMENTED chronicles the aftermath as he travels around the country as an immigration reform activist and provocateur, lands a historic Time magazine cover story; and unexpectedly re-connects with his mother in the Philippines, whom he hasn't seen in nearly 20 years.  Juan Williams, political analyst for Fox News Channel, moderates a post-screening discussion with the filmmaker and other members of the production team.

8:45 p.m. Filmmaker Lotfy Nathan presents 12 O’CLOCK BOYS.  Cruising recklessly through the streets of Baltimore, notorious dirt bike gang, the 12 O’Clock Boys, are heroes to some and a menace to others.  Director Lotfy Nathan’s debut feature follows a young boy named Pug over the course of several years as he strives to be accepted into their world.

9:00 p.m. Filmmaker Zachary Heinzerling presents CUTIE AND THE BOXER. When Noriko moved to New York City, her plans to study art were derailed by love.  Now, 40 years into her marriage to Ushio, a painter many years her senior, Noriko seeks her own artistic identity as her 80-year-old husband struggles to establish his legacy.  This is a poignant portrait of marriage, sacrifice, aging and dedication.

10:15 p.m. Filmmaker Tom Berninger presents MISTAKEN FOR STRANGERS.  This hilarious film follows indie band The National on the road for a year through the eyes of singer Matt Berninger’s bumbling brother, Tom.  As tensions boil, the film Tom meant to make falls apart, and what evolves is a touching, authentic, and delightfully wry portrait of two brothers who could not be more different.

About AFI DOCS presented by Audi
AFI DOCS presented by Audi (formerly Silverdocs) is an internationally recognized event that honors excellence in filmmaking, supports the diverse voices and free expression of independent storytellers and celebrates the power of documentary to improve our understanding of the world.  Now in its 11th year, the festival is embarking on a transformational chapter in its history with an expansion into landmark Washington, DC venues and with the AFI Catalyst Sessions which serve as stimuli for national public discourse and an opportunity to engage our nations leaders with filmmakers striving to shine a light on the greatest issues of today.  The festival historically has attracted over 27,000 documentary enthusiasts, policy-makers and thought leaders.  Visit and connect on, and

About the American Film Institute
AFI is America’s promise to preserve the history of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work and to educate the next generation of storytellers.  AFI provides leadership in film, television and digital media and is dedicated to initiatives that engage the past, the present and the future of the moving image arts.  AFI programs include the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and AFI Archive, which preserve film heritage for future generations; the AFI Life Achievement Award – the highest honor for a career in film – now in its 41st year; AFI Awards, honoring the most outstanding motion pictures and television programs of the year; AFI’s 100 YEARS…100 MOVIES television events and movie reference lists, which have introduced and reintroduced classic American movies to millions of film lovers; year-round and special event exhibition through AFI Fest presented by Audi, AFI Docs presented by Audi and the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center; and educating the next generation of storytellers at the world renowned AFI Conservatory, renowned for the quality of its instructors and speakers, and its notable alumni. 

For more information about AFI, visit or connect with AFI at, and

About Audi
Audi of America, Inc. and its U.S. dealers offer a full line of German-engineered luxury vehicles.  AUDI AG is among the most successful luxury automotive brands globally.  Audi was a top-performing luxury brand in Europe during 2012, and broke all-time company sales records in the U.S.  Through 2016, AUDI AG will invest about $17 billion on new products, facilities and technologies.  Visit or for more information regarding Audi vehicle and business issues.