Press Releases

  • LAURA POITRAS NAMED 2017 GUGGENHEIM HONOREE BY AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE

    AFI DOCS Will Celebrate Academy Award®-Winning Documentarian on June 16FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, MAY 23, 2017, WASHINGTON, DC — The American Film Institute (AFI) has announced that AFI DOCS will pay tribute to Laura Poitras — the groundbreaking filmmaker best known for her Academy Award®-winning Edward Snowden portrait CITIZENFOUR (2014) — as the festival's 2017 Charles Guggenheim Symposium honoree.Each year, the AFI DOCS Charles Guggenheim Symposium honors a master of the nonfiction art form.  Taking place at the Newseum on June 16, the Symposium will include an in-depth conversation with Poitras along with clips from her acclaimed works.  Poitras' latest film RISK (2016), a six-year project following WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, was released by Neon on May 5 and will air on Showtime this summer.  Poitras' impressive documentary catalog also includes THE OATH (2010), MY COUNTRY, MY COUNTRY (2006) and FLAG WARS (2003). "Poitras has the extraordinary instinct and ability to put her camera in the heart of history as it unfolds, regardless of the risk," said Michael Lumpkin, Director, AFI DOCS.  "Using her keen eye, Poitras reveals worlds just beyond what we can see.  We are honored to celebrate her remarkable career and dedication to the documentary form." Poitras' first feature-length documentary, FLAG WARS, was nominated for an Emmy® and won a Peabody Award, cementing her stature as a top-notch documentarian from the outset.  Next, she was nominated for a Best Documentary Feature Academy Award® for MY COUNTRY, MY COUNTRY, the first installment in her post-9/11 trilogy.  In 2015, Poitras won the Academy Award® for CITIZENFOUR.  That same year, Poitras co-founded Field of Vision, an entity that commissions and creates original short-form nonfiction films about global events. Poitras 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), Stanley Nelson (2015) and Werner Herzog (2016).AFI DOCS is proud to have AT&T return as this year's Presenting Sponsor.  Passes and tickets to AFI DOCS, including the Charles Guggenheim Symposium, are now on sale at AFI.com/afidocs.About AFI DOCSAFI DOCS is the American Film Institute's annual documentary festival in Washington, DC.  Presenting the year's best documentaries, AFI DOCS is the only festival in the U.S.

  • THE AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE ANNOUNCES AFI DOCS 2017 FORUM

    Forum Features Spotlight on Virtual Reality, Canadian Docs, Impact of Conservative Docs, Nonfiction Podcasts and More  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, MAY 22, 2017, WASHINGTON, DC — The American Film Institute (AFI) has announced the 2017 AFI DOCS Forum.  Open to all AFI DOCS passholders and festival filmmakers, the four-day Forum will take place June 15–18 at the AFI DOCS Festival Hub at the District Architecture Center in Washington, DC.  The Forum will present a variety of networking and professional development events for filmmakers, industry professionals and those with a passion for nonfiction storytelling.  Highlights include an examination of the rising surge of conservative documentaries, virtual reality presentations, talks on funding, female-focused docs and much more."We are excited to present a thought-provoking program of panels and presentations to attendees of the AFI DOCS Forum," said Michael Lumpkin, Director of AFI DOCS.  "Filmmakers and documentary film-lovers will convene to discuss the state of the industry, the latest trends and address the issues facing nonfiction storytellers today.  The Forum offers the unique opportunity to connect filmmakers and industry insiders outside of the movie theater."The Forum will offer presentations examining topics such as nonfiction storytelling in a "post-truth" world; emerging trends in documentary funding; and the latest programs to support women-centered initiatives in documentary filmmaking.Additional Forum programming includes a panel with AFI DOCS Canadian filmmakers to discuss Canada's role in creating the documentary form; a panel with short-documentary filmmakers and funders to discuss and support the model; a session with NPR on nonfiction podcasts; and a documentary case study and screening of the St.

  • AFI DOCS 2017 REVEALS FULL SLATE OF FILMS

    103 Films From 28 Countries Including Three World Premieres and 11 Spotlight Screenings Will Screen June 14–18 in Washington, DC, and Silver Spring, MDFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, MAY 12, 2017, WASHINGTON, DC — The American Film Institute (AFI) has announced the full slate of films for AFI DOCS 2017, a five-day documentary celebration in the nation's capital.  Each year, the festival is committed to providing artists with the opportunity to present powerfully told, artfully constructed stories — and to connect audiences and filmmakers with policy leaders.

  • AFI DOCS 2017 ANNOUNCES OPENING AND CLOSING NIGHT FILMS

    Bryan Fogel's ICARUS and John Dorsey's YEAR OF THE SCABto Bookend Five-Day Festival AT&T Returns as Presenting Sponsor  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — MAY 4, 2017, WASHINGTON, DC — AFI DOCS, the American Film Institute's annual documentary celebration in the nation's capital, has announced the Opening and Closing Night films for its 15th annual edition.

Videos

FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS FOR FRIDAY INCLUDE

Academy Award®-winning Director Alex Gibney to Be Honored at

Guggenheim Symposium

Spotlight Screening: GLEN CAMPBELL…I’LL BE ME
AFI Catalyst Screening: THE HOMESTRETCH


Washington, DC, Friday, June 20, 2014 – Friday features a full day of films and events at AFI Docs 2014 including the Charles Guggenheim Symposium honoring Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney and the Spotlight Screening of GLEN CAMPBELL…I’LL BE ME, by filmmaker James Keach.  

WHAT:         GUGGENHEIM SYMPOSIUM

WHO:          Alex Gibney, Filmmaker

                   Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post (Moderator)

                   David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States

         Grace Guggenheim

                   Marian Guggenheim

WHEN:        Friday, June 20, 2014

                   6:00 p.m.


WHERE:      National Archives, 700 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20408



SPOTLIGHT SCREENING

WHAT:          GLEN CAMPBELL…I’LL BE ME


WHO:            James Keach, Filmmaker

            Trevor Albert, Producer

            Kayla Thornton, Co-Producer
            Kim Campbell, Film Subject and Glen Campbell’s Wife

                      Senator Edward Markey, Massachusetts

  Dr. Ron Petersen, Mayo Clinic Director of the Mayo Alzheimer’s     Disease Research Center


WHEN:            Friday, June 20, 2014

                       6:00 p.m. Press Check-in

                       6:15 p.m. Photo Opportunity

             7:30 p.m. Screening and Discussion

           

WHERE:          National Portrait Gallery, 8th and F Streets NW, Washington, DC 20001


Space is limited for screening.  All media may not be accommodated.  Media must RSVP to Christina Lee at christinalee@gwu.edu attend the screening or red carpet arrivals.

A LOOK BACK AT FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS

10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  Thursday, June 19 - Festival filmmakers met with senior policymakers across many disciplines at the U.S. Capitol. The program included a strategic overview of impact points in the policymaking process, advice on how to engage leaders in different sectors and case studies of films that have influenced public policies including THE INVISIBLE WAR and SEMPER FI. High-res photos are available for download in the pressroom of AFIDOCS.com.

CATALYST SCREENING IS LISTED BELOW AMONG OTHER FRIDAY EVENTS:

11:00 a.m. THE HOMESTRETCH

High School can be tough under any circumstances, but what if there is the added burden of having no consistent place to call home? This powerful film follows three homeless teens – Kasey, Anthony and Roque – as they share their struggles and victories while navigating their way through the Chicago Public School system.  Expected to participate in the post-screening discussion are filmmakers Kirsten Kelly and Anne de Mare; Maria Rivera and Anthony Lynch, film subjects; Darla Bardine, National Network for Youth; Ja’Sent Brown, Homeless Education State Coordinator, Division of Elementary and Secondary Education, DC Public Schools; and Jonathan Brice, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Elementary & Secondary Education at the US Department of Education. This screening is sponsored by The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

11:15 a.m. SHORTS PROGRAM: GONE HOLLYWOOD featuring: RONALD, THE PHOTO MAN, SHOWFOLK, THE CHILEAN ELVIS, CHERRY POP: THE STORY OF THE WORLD’S FANCIEST CAT, THE SECRET WORLD OF FOLEY.  Expected guests include CHERRY POP director Kareem Tabsch and Producer/editor Joey Daoud; CHILEAN ELVIS Director Marcelo Kiwi Beiger; SHOWFOLK Executive Producer Jennifer Clymer; and THE SECRET WORLD OF FOLEY Director Daniel Jewel.

12:00 p.m. SHORTS PROGRAM: ODDS AND ENDS featuring: YOU WON’T REGRET THAT TATTOO, 21 DAYS, THE VISIT, LOUIS THE FERRIS WHEEL KID, WILD BOAR.  Expected guests include 21 DAYS Director Damian Kocur and film subject Michal Romanowicz; THE VISIT Director Matej Bobrik; WILD BOAR Director Willem Baptist; YOU WON'T REGRET THAT TATTOO Director Angie Bird and Executive Producer, Michelle Woodward. This screening is sponsored by The Embassy of the Republic of Poland.

12:00 p.m. SHORTS PROGRAM: TIME WILL TELL featuring: OUR COURSE, THE LION’S MOUTH OPENS, JOANNA. Expected guests include JOANNA Director Aneta Kopacz; and OUR CURSE Cinematographer/Subject Magda Hueckel. This screening is sponsored by The Embassy of the Republic of Poland.

12:15 p.m. THE SEARCH FOR GENERAL TSO w/ MI HUA GAO (OR THE CHINESE RICE KRISPIES SQUARE)

One of the most popular dishes in Chinese restaurants in America is the deep fried, slightly spicy dish known as General Tso’s Chicken. But who exactly is General Tso, and why is this menu item named after him? Filmmaker Ian Cheney takes us on a mouth-watering journey to the root of this amusing mystery. Filmmaker Ian Cheney takes us on a mouth-watering journey to the root of this amusing mystery. THE SEARCH FOR GENERAL TSO filmmaker Ian Cheny and MI HUA GAO (OR THE RICE KRISPIES SQUARE) filmmaker Justin Nagy will be in attendance.

1:30 p.m. SOFT VENGENCE: ALBIE SACHS AND THE NEW SOUTH AFRICA

In 1955, the People’s Congress declared, “South Africa belongs to all who live in it.” SOFT VENGEANCE focuses on Albie Sachs, a leading member of the National Conference in South Africa who was forced into exile for many years.  Director Abby Ginzberg recounts Albie’s story through personal interviews and historical footage. Expected guests include Director Abby Ginzberg; Associate Producer Kevin Gordon; and South African Ambassador Ebrahim Rasool.

2:15 p.m. THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS

In 2005, the gifted Scottish musician, Edwyn Collins, suffered two devastating cerebral hemorrhages that left him with large gaps in his memory and trouble with the most basic language. This inventive film artfully puts the viewer inside Collins’ experience as he fights back from the brink of death. Director James Hall will be in attendance.

2:15 p.m. APOLLONIAN STORY w/ FOUNDRY

For over 40 years, Nissim has been chipping away at a seaside limestone cliff just north of Tel Aviv. Though continually under construction, the intricate home he has built for himself is truly incredible. When his son comes to help for the summer, eccentricities arise that surely predate his work of passion. Expected guests include APOLLONIAN STORY Director/Producer Ilan Moskovitch; Director Dan Bronfeld; and Executive Producer Arpi Shotigian; and FOUNDRY Director Oliver Cheetham; and Executive Creative Director Paul Slater. This screening is sponsored by The Embassy of Israel.

2:30 p.m. ALFRED & JAKOBINE

In 1955, passionate newlyweds Alfred and Jakobine bought a beat-up old taxi cab and embarked on a memorable trip around the world. When Alfred abruptly left the marriage, it left Jakobine heartbroken. Forty years later, Alfred decides to restore their old taxi and deliver it to Jakobine as a surprise. Filmmaker Jonathan Howells will be in attendance.

3:45 p.m. WHITEY: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA V. JAMES J. BULGER

For decades legendary gangster James “Whitey” Bulger ruled South Boston with seemingly free reign. After spending 16 years in hiding, however, Bulger is finally put on trial to answer for his crimes. Filmmaker Joe Berlinger sheds new light on Bulger’s notorious history amid allegations of deep corruption within law enforcement. Filmmaker Joe Berlinger will be in attendance.

3:45 p.m. ALIVE INSIDE: A STORY OF MUSIC & MEMORY w/ A PLACE CALLED PLUTO

Millions of elderly Americans suffer from the debilitating effects of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. In this moving film, social worker Dan Cohen experiments with a music-based program to help these patients unlock deeply buried memories and emotions that had long been forgotten. The results will astound you. Expected guest includes A PLACE CALLED PLUTO Executive Producer David Shenk. This screening is sponsored by Trish and George Vradenburg, Us Against Alzheimer’s.

4:30 p.m. MISCONCEPTION

From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Jessica Yu comes this intriguing look at the attitudes surrounding population growth in different areas of the world. Tied together by the fascinating observations of statistics expert Hans Rosling, the film follows three individuals who have a personal stake in population growth within their homelands. Expected guests include Director Jessica Yu and Producer Elise Pearlstein.

4:30 p.m. AN HONEST LIAR

James “The Amazing” Randi has been mastering the art of illusion and sleight of hand to entertain audiences for over half a century. When he sees magicians’ tricks of the trade being used by con artists like faith healers and psychics to bilk the masses, however, Randi dedicates himself to exposing them. Expected guests include Director/Producer Justin Weinstein; Executive Producer Stephanie Levy; and film subjects James "The Amazing" Randi and Devyi Pena.

4:45 p.m. THE HAND THAT FEEDS

This inspiring film focuses on a group of employees at a popular New York City eatery, many of whom are undocumented and vulnerable to being exploited. When they stand up to management to fight for better wages and working conditions, they learn how to empower themselves and emerge as leaders. Expected guests include Director/Producers Rachel Lears and Robin Blotnick; and film subjects Ben Dictor and Mahoma Lopez.

4:45 p.m. BACK ON BOARD

In 1988, Greg Louganis became the first male athlete in history to sweep the diving events in consecutive Olympic games. Despite his success, Louganis’ real challenges were still to come. Director Cheryl Furjanic’s film gives us an intimate glimpse into the life of one of the world’s greatest champions. Expected guests include Director Cheryl Furjanic; Producer Will Sweeney; and film subjects Greg Louganis and Coach Ron O'Brien. This screening is sponsored by Amtrak.

6:00 p.m. GUGGENHEIM SYMPOSIUM

6:15 p.m. DINOSAUR 13

In 1990, a team of scientists from South Dakota’s Black Hills Institute stumbled onto a spectacular discovery – the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus rex specimen ever found. Nicknamed “Sue”, the T. rex soon became the center of a messy custody battle involving landowners and the federal government. Expected guests include Director Todd Miller; and subjects Kristin Donnan Standard and Pete Larson.

6:30 p.m. 112 WEDDINGS

Acclaimed filmmaker Doug Block started filming people’s wedding videos 20 years ago as a way to make extra money. Whatever became of those hopeful brides and grooms? In this funny and often touching film, Block tracks down several of them to find out if marriage was everything they dreamed it would be. Filmmaker Doug Block will be in attendance. This screening is sponsored by American Airlines.

7:00 p.m. DANGEROUS ACTS STARRING THE UNSTABLE ELEMENTS OF BELARUS

Go behind the scenes of the Belarus Free Theatre, an award-winning troupe of underground performers who dare to tackle dangerous topics that can easily put them behind bars. In the midst of an unstable political climate, these brave performers are constantly torn between fighting artistic censorship and worrying about their families’ safety. Expected guests include Director Madeleine Sackler and film subject Oleg Sidorchik.
7:00 p.m. BUTTERFLY GIRL

Abbie Evans’ coming-of-age struggle is complicated by a rare life-threatening skin disorder, Epidermolysis Bullosa, which makes her body as fragile as butterfly wings. Alternately snarky and self-deprecating, optimistic and reckless, Evans is ready to assert her independence and break free from her stalwart parents in this unsentimental, yet moving portrait. Expected guests include Director/Producer Cary Bell via SKYPE; Producer/Editor Jessica Miller; and Producer Susan Grossman.

7:15 p.m. POINT AND SHOOT

Matt VanDyke, a young man from the suburbs of Baltimore, dreamed about a life of adventure that seemed outside his grasp. When VanDyke decided to turn his fantasies into reality, he soon found his life heading toward a winding path that led to the front lines of the 2011 Libyan Revolution. Expected guests include Director Marshall Curry; Producer Elizabeth Martin; and film subjects Matthew VanDyke and Lauren Fischer.

7:30 p.m. GLEN CAMPBELL…I’LL BE ME

This screening is sponsored by Trish and George Vradenburg, Us Against Alzheimer’s.

9:00 p.m. THE SUPREME PRICE

In 1993, Nigeria elected M.K.O. Abiola as president, ending the reign of military leadership. Shortly after the presidential election, Abiola was imprisoned and his wife, Kudirat, became the leader of the Nigerian pro-democracy movement. THE SUPREME PRICE weaves the past and the present of the Abiola family through the eyes of their daughter, Hafsat Abiola. Expected guests include Director Joanna Lipper; Associate Producer Martha Skolnik; and film subject Hafsat Abiola.

9:00 p.m. Outdoor Screening: SHUT UP AND PLAY THE HITS

This captivating film documents the high-energy farewell concert of alternative band LCD Soundsystem at Madison Square Garden on April 2, 2011. Punctuated by a frank conversation with front man James Murphy about the reasons he chose to go out on top, this is a can’t-miss for music fans. This screening is sponsored by Downtown Silver Spring.

9:00 p.m. ART AND CRAFT w/ FONT MEN

For 30 years, Mark Landis, one of the most skilled art forgers in U.S. history, has used his astonishing talent to duplicate the work of famous artists and dupe museum curators nationwide. Diagnosed with schizophrenia, this eccentric forger isn’t in it for the money – he prefers to donate his work.  Expected guests include ART AND CRAFT Directors Sam Cullman, Jennifer Grausman and co-Director Mark Becker; and FONT MEN Directors Dress Code aka Dan Covert and Andre Andreev.

9:15 p.m. ACTRESS

After landing a part on THE WIRE, actress Brandy Burre’s career was rising fast, but she gave it up for the real life role of wife and mother in upstate New York. Now, Burre is eager to find her way back into acting, but at what cost to her family? Film subject Brandy Burre will be in attendance.

9:15 p.m. VIRUNGA

In the DRC exists Africa’s oldest national park containing the last natural habitat for endangered mountain gorillas. As civil unrest grows within the Congo, a British oil company pursues efforts to drill within the park. VIRUNGA highlights the small number of dedicated individuals fighting to secure the park’s borders. Director Orlando von Einsiedel and Producer Joanna Natasegara will be in attendance.

9:30 p.m. HEAVEN ADORES YOU

When singer/songwriter Elliott Smith died in 2003, it devastated the indie rock community. Smith, best known for the Academy Award®--nominated song, "Miss Misery," was a trailblazer for Portland's indie scene in the '90s. Through interviews with friends and archival footage, Nickolas Rossi's film proves a heartfelt tribute to Smith’s legacy and music. Expected guests include Director/Producer Nickolas Rossi; and Producers Marc Smolowitz and Kevin Moyer.

AT&T is the presenting sponsor of AFI DOCS 2014.  American Airlines is the official airline of AFI and a proud sponsor of the festival.  The Washington Post is proud to be a major media sponsor.  Additional major sponsors include ABC News, Center for Public Broadcasting, Stephanie and Hunter Hunt and Stella Artois.

About AT&T Inc.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company and one of the most honored companies in the world. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and internationally.  With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation’s most reliable 4G LTE network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. A leader in mobile Internet, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide of any U.S. carrier, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries.  It also offers advanced TV service with the AT&T U-verse® brand.  The company’s suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world.  Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at http://www.att.com/aboutus or follow our news on Twitter at @ATT, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/att and YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/att.  © 2014 AT&T Intellectual Property.  All rights reserved.  AT&T, the AT&T logo and all other marks contained herein are trademarks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies. All other marks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.  Reliability claim based on data transfer completion rates on nationwide 4G LTE networks. 4G LTE availability varies.

About AFI DOCS

AFI 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. dedicated to screenings and events that connect audiences, filmmakers and policy leaders in the seat of our nation’s government.  The AFI DOCS advisory board includes Ken Burns, Davis Guggenheim, Chris Hegedus, Werner Herzog, Barbara Kopple, Spike Lee, Albert Maysles, Errol Morris, D A Pennebaker and Frederick Wiseman.  Now in its 12th year, the festival will be held June 18-22, 2014, in landmark Washington, DC, venues and the historic AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring, MD.  Visit AFI.com/AFIDOCS and connect on twitter.com/AFIDOCS, facebook.com/AFIDOCS and youtube.com/AFI.

About the American Film Institute
The American Film Institute, founded in the White House Rose Garden in 1965, is an educational arts organization committed to excellence in film.  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 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 42nd 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; year-round exhibition through AFI Fest presented by Audi, AFI Docs and the AFI Silver Theatre; and educating the next generation of storytellers at the world renowned AFI Conservatory.  For more information about AFI, visit AFI.com or connect with AFI at facebook.com/AmericanFilmInstitute, twitter.com/AmericanFilm and youtube.com/AFI.

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CONTACT: 

Lauren Selman, AFI DOCS PR, 301.651.5152 or LSelman@AFI.com

Sarah Ledesma, American Film Institute, 323.856.7871 or SLedesma@AFI.com