Press Releases

  • SIX DOCUMENTARY PROJECTS TO RECEIVE AFI DOCS/NBCUNIVERSAL IMPACT GRANTS

    Funding Goes to Participants of the AFI DOCS 2016 Impact LabSponsored by NBCUniversal LOS ANGELES, CA, December 15, 2016 — The American Film Institute announced today that six documentary projects that screened at AFI DOCS 2016 in Washington, DC, have been selected to receive funding from the AFI DOCS/NBCUniversal Impact Grants.

  • THE AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE ANNOUNCES AFI DOCS 2016 AUDIENCE AWARD WINNERS

    Best Feature Goes to MAYA ANGELOU: AND STILL I RISE Best Short Goes to SNAILS Festival Connects International Filmmakers with U.S.

  • THE AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE ANNOUNCES AFI DOCS 2016 FILMMAKER FORUM AND IMPACT LAB

    Filmmakers Will Connect With Industry Professionals and​National Opinion Leaders for a Series of Professional Development EventsFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — JUNE 17, 2016, WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the American Film Institute (AFI) announced the AFI DOCS 2016 Filmmaker Forum program and Impact Lab participants.

  • AT&T LEADS WIDE SUPPORT OF AFI DOCS 2016

    FESTIVAL SPONSORS INCLUDECORPORATIONS, CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS,PHILANTHROPISTS AND GOVERNMENT AGENCIES FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — MAY 18, 2016, WASHINGTON, DC — The American Film Institute (AFI) has announced the AFI DOCS 2016 festival sponsors.

  • THE AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE UNVEILS FULL SLATE OF AFI DOCS 2016 FILMS 

    94 Films from 30 Countries Include Three World Premieres Screening June 22–26 in Washington, DC, and Silver Spring, MD FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, MAY 9, 2016, WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the American Film Institute (AFI) announced the slate of films for AFI DOCS 2016, running June 22–26 in Washington, DC, and Silver Spring, MD.

  • WERNER HERZOG NAMED 2016 GUGGENHEIM HONOREE BY THE AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE

    AFI DOCS Will Tribute Herzog's Legendary Career on June 24FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — MAY 5, 2016, WASHINGTON, DC — The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today that AFI DOCS will pay tribute to renowned filmmaker Werner Herzog as the festival's 2016 Charles Guggenheim Symposium honoree. The AFI DOCS Charles Guggenheim Symposium honors documentary masters who have inspired audiences with their non-fiction stories of human experience.  Taking place at the Newseum on June 24 at 7:00 p.m., the Symposium will include a conversation with Herzog along with clips from his amazing documentary oeuvre.  Moderated by filmmaker Ramin Bahrani, the discussion will be followed by a screening of Herzog's latest documentary, LO AND BEHOLD, REVERIES OF THE CONNECTED WORLD.  Magnolia Pictures will open the film in select theaters in summer 2016."Whether exploring unseen corners of the world or contemplating technology in our lives, Werner Herzog's cinematic voice is unmistakably evocative," said Michael Lumpkin, Director of AFI DOCS.  "He wields a world-class power, using his artistry to provoke audiences into seeing their world from the most esoteric angles.  We are honored to celebrate his distinguished storytelling career."The Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker's vast documentary credits include INTO THE ABYSS (2011), CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS (2010), the Oscar®-nominated ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD (2007), GRIZZLY MAN (2005), THE WHITE DIAMOND (2004), the Emmy®-nominated LITTLE DIETER NEEDS TO FLY (1997), BELLS FROM THE DEEP (1993), FATA MORGANA (1971) and LAND OF SILENCE AND DARKNESS (1971).  Throughout his career, Herzog has received top honors from the Berlinale, the Cannes Film Festival, the Directors Guild of America and many more prestigious institutions, including the German Film Academy, which presented him with a lifetime achievement award in 2009.  In 2013, Herzog founded the Rogue Film School, through which he hosts a series of intimate seminars with aspiring filmmakers.Herzog joins a renowned list of Guggenheim Symposium honorees:  Charles Guggenheim (2003), Barbara Kopple (2004), Martin Scorsese (2006), Jonathan Demme (2007), Spike Lee (2008), Albert Maysles (2009), Frederick Wiseman (2010), Chris Hegedus and D A Pennebaker (2011), Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky (2012), Errol Morris (2013), Alex Gibney (2014) and Stanley Nelson (2015).AFI DOCS is proud to have AT&T return as this year's presenting sponsor.Tickets to AFI DOCS — including the Charles Guggenheim Symposium and Screening as well as the Opening Night and Closing Night Galas, will be available early to AFI members exclusively from May 9–17, and to the public on May 18.  Passes for AFI DOCS 2016 are now on sale at AFI.com/afidocs.  More information about AFI DOCS screenings and other special events will be announced in the coming weeks.About AFI DOCSAFI DOCS is the American Film Institute's annual documentary festival in the Washington, DC area.  Presenting the year's best documentaries, AFI DOCS is the only festival in the U.S.

  • AFI DOCS 2016 ANNOUNCES OPENING AND CLOSING NIGHT FILMS

    NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE OF ALEX GIBNEY'S ZERO DAYS OPENS FESTIVALNORMAN LEAR: JUST ANOTHER VERSION OF YOU CLOSES FIVE-DAY EVENT AT&T Returns as Presenting Sponsor Newseum Joins as Official Gala Screening Partner FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – APRIL 25, 2016, WASHINGTON, DC – Today, AFI DOCS, the American Film Institute’s annual documentary celebration held June 22–26, 2016, in the nation’s capital, announced the festival’s Opening and Closing Night films.

  • AFI DOCS 2016 ANNOUNCES DATES AND CALL FOR ENTRIES

    14th Annual Documentary Festival Will Bring TogetherFilmmakers and Our Nation’s LeadersJune 22–26, 2016FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, October 16, 2015, Los Angeles, CA — The American Film Institute’s (AFI) documentary film festival, AFI DOCS 2016, will take place in the nation’s capital June 22–26, 2016.

Videos

AFI DOCS PRESENTED BY AUDI OFFERS THURSDAY HIGHLIGHTS

Gala Screening: HERBLOCK – THE BLACK & THE WHITE

All-Day Forum:  AFI Catalyst Sessions: The Art of Moving Reality

First-Ever:  AFI DOCS Film and Politics Bootcamp on Capitol Hill

Washington, DC, Thursday, June 20, 2013 – AFI DOCS presented by Audi presents a full schedule of events that includes the festival’s gala screening of HERBLOCK – THE BLACK & THE WHITE, directed by Michael Stevens; four AFI Catalyst Sessions dedicated to public discourse and the inaugural AFI DOCS Film and Politics Bootcamp which brings filmmakers to the U.S. Capitol Building to meet with members of Congress.  These events and the festival screenings further AFI DOCS’ mission to bring filmmakers, our nation’s leaders and audiences together in the heart of Washington, DC.

WHAT:         HERBLOCK – THE BLACK & THE WHITE 

Filmmaker Michael Stevens paints a lively portrait of influential Washington Post editorial cartoonist Herbert Block whose distinguished 55-year career spanning 13 presidents earned him three Pulitzer Prizes and the Medal of Freedom.  Luminaries, including Carl Bernstein, Lewis Black, Ben Bradlee, Ted Koppel, Jon Stewart and Bob Woodward contribute their insights into Block’s life, work and indelible influence.  The film’s director, Michael Stevens, and producer George Stevens, Jr., Founder of the American Film Institute, will attend along with notables in the film.

WHO:          Michael Stevens, Filmmaker
                   George Stevens Jr., Producer, AFI Founder
                   Bob Gazzale, President & CEO, American Film Institute                                          Notable subjects featured in the film

WHEN:        Thursday, June 20, 2013
                   6:45 p.m. Press Check in
                   7:15 p.m. Photo Opportunity
                   7:30 p.m. Screening

WHERE:      Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC

Space is limited for screening and reception.  All media may not be accommodated.  Media wishing to attend the screening or red carpet arrivals should RSVP to Lauren Selman at lhg5003@gmail.com.

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

OTHER THURSDAY EVENTS:

10:00 a.m. Filmmaker Ariana Delawari and producers Yasmine Delawari Johnson and Emily Lynch present WE CAME HOME.  Afghan-American musician, Ariana Delawari, shares the personal story of how she re-connected with her homeland in this thought-provoking film.  Born in Los Angeles, Delawari’s life is turned upside down after 9/11.  When her parents move back to Kabul, she spends a decade documenting their transition and her own awakening, through music, to her Afghan heritage.

10:00 a.m. WHAT IS AN AMERICAN? (Immigration Catalyst Session)

As an extension of the AFI DOCS feature DOCUMENTED, an esteemed collection of our Nation's top policymakers and immigration reform advocates join to discuss and debate Immigration Reform and its role in America's present political culture.  Featuring Jim Avila, Senior National Correspondent for ABC News, Jose Antonio Vargas (Filmmaker, DOCUMENTED), Maria Teresa Kumar, Founding Executive Director of Voto Latino.

10:00 a.m. FILM AND POLITICS BOOTCAMP ON THE HILL.  The Bootcamp gives filmmakers a behind the scenes look at how Washington works as well as an opportunity to meet with DC insiders from the major sectors of influence in Washington.  The Workshops will be held at the U.S. Capitol Building and hosted by Members of Congress, followed by lunch and opportunities to engage directly with relevant policy makers.

11:15 a.m. Filmmaker Camilla Magid presents 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.  North American Premiere.

11:45 a.m. WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION? (Education Catalyst Session)

Educators and policymakers assemble to discuss the state of education reform in America.  The panel will focus on issues surrounding the High School Drop-Out Crisis and discuss solutions looking towards the future.  Featuring Former West Virginia Gov. Bob Wise, President of the Alliance for Excellent Education, Bernardo Ruiz(filmmaker, THE GRADUATES), Dennis Van Roekel, President, National Education Association and Sarita Brown, President of Excelencia in Education (TBC)

12:00 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.

12:15 p.m. Filmmaker Marc Wiese presents CAMP 14: TOTAL CONTROL ZONE. Little is known about the shadowy world of North Korea, but former prisoner Shin Dong-hyuk has lived to tell his harrowing story.  Born inside a North Korean “death camp,” Shin knew of no other reality beyond the barbed-wire fences that encompassed a life of fear, hard labor, starvation and torture.

1:15 p.m. Filmmaker Matt Wolf and co-producer Andrew Goldman present TEENAGE. Those magical and often difficult years between childhood and adulthood didn’t always have a label.  In fact, the word “teenager” didn’t even exist until 1945.  This fascinating documentary, based on the Jon Savage book of the same name, illuminates the period in which teenagers emerged to claim their unique place in history.

1:30 p.m. WHAT IS INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY? (Intellectual Property Catalyst Session)

Leaders from political, legislative and artistic sectors join to discuss the future of Intellectual Property rights in America's evolving digital culture.  Featuring John Simson, American University Business School, Grammy Foundation and Patricia Aufderheide, Professor in the School of Communication at American University and Director of the Center for Social Media.

3:00 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, John Appel’s powerful film WRONG TIME WRONG PLACE takes a haunting look at the result of being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

3:00 p.m. Filmmakers Banker White and Anna Fitch present THE GENIUS OF MARIAN. White’s mother Pam is slowly succumbing to Alzheimer’s disease, which is the same fate that befell her own mother Marian, a noted artist, before her.  In this intimate portrait of a woman at her most vulnerable, Pam works to help preserve a meaningful personal legacy before it is too late.

3:15 p.m. SHORTS PROGRAM 1: TRUTH BE TOLD featuring: NOT ANYMORE: A STORY OF A REVOLUTION, OUTLAWED IN PAKISTAN and STRAIGHT WITH YOU. 

3:15 p.m. WHAT IS THE FUNCTION OF HUMOR IN POLITICS? (Catalyst Session)

Celebrating AFI DOCS' featured screening of HERBLOCK - THE BLACK & THE WHITE, tracing the life and legacy of editorial cartoonist Herbert Block, a distinguished panel of artists, journalists and politicians join to discuss to discuss the role of humor in politics and how poking fun at our democracy influences the national conversation.  Featuring George Stevens, Jr. (Producer, HERBLOCK), Nick Galifianakis, cartoonist, writer and columnist for the Washington Post, Jason Grumet, President, Bipartisan Policy Center, and Mike Farah, President of Production, Funny or Die.

3:30 p.m. Filmmakers Patrick Creadon, Christine O'Malley and film subjects present IF YOU BUILD IT. A David and Goliath story for the recession era, IF YOU BUILD IT documents a year in the innovative “Studio H” architectural program.  The film examines the work of Emily Pilloton and Matt Miller who give the teens of a crumbling rural town a chance to build a better future. Jen Hughes, a design specialist for National Education Association (NEA), moderates a post-screening discussion with the filmmakers and subjects (pending).

5:30 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.

5:30 p.m. SHORTS PROGRAM 2: LIFE AND DEATH featuring: THE OTHER DAVE, SLOMO, VULTURES OF TIBET, WE WILL LIVE AGAIN and WHEN THE SONG DIES.

6:00 p.m. Filmmakers Samantha Buck and Danielle DiGiacomo and subject Janet Mino present BEST KEPT SECRET, introduced by Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ). Erik, Rahamid and Kareem, among others, have found an unexpected haven in a Newark, New Jersey public high school where a fiercely dedicated staff supports students such as themselves with autism and learning disabilities.  Looming over them, however, is a ticking clock where at the age of 21 they will “age out.”  After the screening, Erik Scott Badesch, President & COO of Autism Society, filmmakers and subjects will take part in a Q&A session.

7:45 p.m. Filmmaker Greg “Freddy” Camalier presents MUSCLE SHOALS. Filmmaker Greg “Freddy” Camalier chronicles the unique sound that emerged from the Deep South of 1960s America that would attract some of the most diverse musical talent of the time.  The place was Muscle Shoals, Alabama and this is the story of how its sound, and the people who created it, left its mark on music history. 

7:45 p.m. In EXPEDITION TO THE END OF THE WORLD filmmaker, Daniel Dencik follows a motley crew of scientists and artists as they set sail for the frozen fjords of Northeast Greenland, which are accessible only because of the melting ice cap.  The stunning, unexplored landscapes of the Arctic form the backdrop of this madcap expedition to the end of the world.

8:45 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.

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 AFI.com/AFIDOCS and connect on twitter.com/AFIDOCS, facebook.com/AFIDOCS and youtube.com/AFI.

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 AFI.com or connect with AFI at twitter.com/AmericanFilm, facebook.com/AmericanFilmInstitute and youtube.com/AFI.

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 audiusa.com or audiusanews.com for more information regarding Audi vehicle and business issues.