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

FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS FOR THE WEEKEND INCLUDE

Saturday Closing Night Film: LIFE ITSELF


Sunday Spotlight Screening: FREEDOM SUMMER


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, WASHINGTON, DC, June 21, 2014 – AFI DOCS presents a full weekend of films in Washington, DC and Silver Spring, MD including the Closing Night screening of LIFE ITSELF, directed by Steve James, and a Spotlight Screening of FREEDOM SUMMER, directed by Stanley Nelson.  


WHAT:                        LIFE ITSELF


WHO:                        Steve James, Filmmaker

                        William Nack, Film Subject

                        Jason Fraley, WTOP Film Critic (Moderator)


WHEN:                        Saturday, June 21, 2014

                        7:00 p.m. Press Check-in

7:15 p.m. Photo Opportunity

7:30 p.m. Screening


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


SUNDAY SPOTLIGHT SCREENING


WHAT:                      FREEDOM SUMMER


WHO:                        Stanley Nelson, Filmmaker

                                  Geoffrey Cowan, President,

                                 The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands

WHEN:                      Sunday, June 22, 2014

                                 4:15 p.m. Screening


WHERE:            Naval Heritage Center, 701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW,

                         Washington, DC 20004


Accredited media can use their pass to enter the screening but must arrive at least 15 minutes before the scheduled start time.  Non-accredited press wishing to attend should RSVP to Christina Lee at christinalee@gwu.edu.



A LOOK BACK AT FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS


Thursday, June 19, festival filmmakers attended the Policy Engagement Program on Capitol Hill where they met with senior officials to discuss social impact and the subjects presented in their films. Filmmakers met with former congressman Vin Weber; Sery Kim, Former Deputy Coalitions Director for the Romney Presidential Campaign and Counsel to Chairman Darrell Issa at the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee; Caren Street, Policy Advisor to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid; Ken Spain, Vice President at the Private Equity Growth Capital Council and Former Communications Director of the National Republican Congressional Committee; and Cameron French, Press Secretary at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Former Spokesperson for the Department of Education and the Obama Presidential Campaign. 

The Policy Engagement Program continued with a unique opportunity for AFI DOCS filmmakers to visit the White House on Friday morning.  There, filmmakers met with policymakers and discussed how documentaries can impact congressional programs, specifically the “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative.


High-res photos are available for download from both events in the pressroom of AFIDOCS.com.


OTHER SATURDAY EVENTS:


10:45 a.m. LAST DAYS IN VIETNAM
As the war in Vietnam draws to it’s inevitable close, the Northern Vietnamese army swiftly rolls toward Saigon. At the city’s U.S. Embassy, a small but dedicated crew of Americans must make some hard decisions in its attempts to protect the South Vietnamese allies it has been told to leave behind. Producer Keven McAlester will be in attendance for a post-screening Q&A with Director Rory Kennedy via SKYPE.


11:00 a.m. SLAYING THE BADGER

Greg LeMond was the first American to win the prestigious Tour de France. This engaging story looks back at the 1986 Tour in which LeMond went neck and neck with teammate, mentor and fierce competitor Bernard Hinault – nicknamed “The Badger” – whose promise to help LeMond win was abandoned in the heat of competition. This screening is sponsored by ESPN.

11:00 a.m. BRONX OBAMA w/ THE CHILEAN ELVIS

Louis Ortiz was an unemployed single father from the Bronx in 2008 when people noticed that he bore an uncanny resemblance to presidential hopeful Barack Obama. With Obama’s victory, Ortiz transformed himself into a professional lookalike, joined a motley group of political impersonators and began to chase an unlikely version of the American dream. Director Ryan Murdock and film subject Louis Ortiz will be in attendance.  This screening is sponsored by WHUT, Howard University Television.


11:00 a.m. THE SPECIAL NEED

Enea is in his late twenties and longs to experience the pleasures of a sexual relationship. However, the challenges of autism make finding the right mate difficult. In this sensitive and charming film, Enea enlists the help of his two closest friends and embarks on a road trip to seek help from sex workers.


11:15 p.m. 1971

In March of 1971, a break-in occurred at an FBI field office outside of Philadelphia, PA, that resulted in the theft of every single document contained within it.  The true nature of what was discovered within those files would soon prove to be more shocking than the very crime itself. Expected guests include Director Johanna Hamilton; and film subject Carl Stern.. This screening is sponsored by The Washington Post.


11:30 p.m. THE AGREEMENT w/ OF MANY

Some international skirmishes happen far from battlefields. They take place in quiet negotiating rooms. Yet no matter how unassuming those spaces may be, the players can be just as immovable as their armed equivalents. THE AGREEMENT takes viewers into one such discussion: the high-stakes Serbia-Kosovo negotiations to make Serbia’s EU candidacy possible. Expected guest includes OF MANY filmmaker Linda G. Mills.  This screening is sponsored by The Royal Danish Embassy.


1:15 p.m. E-TEAM

With international conflicts raging, Human Rights Watch sends its specially-trained Emergencies Team to the frontlines of Syria and Libya to document human rights abuses and capture the world’s attention. These courageous and fiercely dedicated individuals regularly risk their lives to report on atrocities that would otherwise go undocumented. Director Ross Kauffman will be in attendance for a post-screening Q&A with film subject Fred Abrahams via SKYPE.


1:15 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.


1:30 p.m. HAPPY VALLEY

During the Penn State scandal, the media focused on the accused and the university. They missed the private tragedies: the community questioning its perceived identity, the Paternos watching their reputation slide, and Jerry Sandusky’s adopted son losing his family. Bridging the public and private dramas, HAPPY VALLEY reexamines the scandal and its aftermath. Filmmaker Amir Bar-Lev will be in attendance.


1:45 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.


1:45 p.m. I AM BIG BIRD: THE CAROLL SPINNEY STORY

Big Bird has been an iconic and beloved figure to all since SESAME STREET first aired in 1969. But who is the man in the Big Bird suit? This delightful film tells the story of Caroll Spinney, the amiable Muppeteer who has filled Big Bird’s huge orange feet for over 40 years. Expected guests include Director/Producer Dave LaMattina; Executive Producer Clay Frost; and film subjects Caroll Spinney and Debra Spinney.


2:00 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.


3:45 p.m. THE INTERNET’S OWN BOY

At 13, Aaron Swartz co-authored the Web’s RSS format. His passion to liberate information ended tragically when a disconsolate Swartz killed himself at 26 while facing federal charges regarding his attempt to replicate a proprietary database. Swartz’s inspiring life saga celebrates extraordinary accomplishment and laments the stinging absence of an unswerving visionary. Filmmaker Brian Knappenberger will be in attendance. This screening is sponsored by The Washington Post.


3:45 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.


4:15 p.m. THE NEWBURGH STING

In 2009, the FBI uncovered a Muslim terror cell plotting to attack a synagogue and U.S. military aircraft. Closer analysis, including FBI hidden-camera footage, raises substantive doubts: were these four men tenacious terrorists or merely hapless targets of entrapment caught up in a post-9/11 hunt for “red meat” to mollify a traumatized nation?  Filmmakers David Heilbroner and Kate Davis will be in attendance.


4:15 p.m. HOW I GOT OVER w/ WHAT’S AN EPI?

Fifteen formerly homeless women in the Washington, DC, area come together to share their harrowing life stories, bravely setting out on the path to addiction recovery. Collaborating on an original play that they will perform at the Kennedy Center, these strong and courageous women tap into artistic talents they never knew they had. Expected guests include HOW I GOT OVER Director Nicole Boxer; Editor Michelle Witten; Editorial Consultant Douglas Blush; and film subjects Deb Gottesman, Thomas Workman, La Juana Clarke, Lolita Mitchell, Rose Shaw, Valerie Williams, Cheryl Barnes, Shevanda Brantly, Tonya Stokes, Petrina Thomas and Tacarra Wilkins; and WHAT’S AN EPI? Director Shelly Ortiz and film subject Epi Ortiz.


4:30 p.m. MUDBLOODS

In the whimsical world of her wildly successful Harry Potter books author J. K. Rowling invented the thrilling – but imaginary –sport of Quidditch. With Potter fans reaching adulthood, Quidditch has turned into a real sport that has taken college campuses by storm thanks to some creative minds and entrepreneurial spirit. Expected guests include Director Farzad Sangari; Producer Eric Martin; and subject Tom Marks.

4:30 p.m. DIOR AND I w/ THE WORLD OF ADRIEN

Much is afoot in the iconic House of Dior, as newly hired Artistic Director Raf Simons has only eight weeks to present his first haute couture collection. The unconventional Simons collaborates with Dior’s unflagging and enchanting veteran atelier seamstresses, marking the auspicious arrival of a formidable fashion persona. This screening is sponsored by The Wall Street Journal.


6:15 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.


6:30 p.m. WHEN THE GARDEN WAS EDEN w/ THE HOME TEAM

The time was the late 1960s and the “Garden” was Madison Square Garden in this fond look back at the New York Knicks basketball team, which meant little to New Yorkers at the time. But, with new coaching and a band of talented players with personality, the team turned the sport around for the city. Expected guests include WHEN THE GARDEN WAS EDEN Director Michael Rapaport; Producer Jason Berg; THE HOME TEAM Director Joshua Seftel; Executive Producer Jill Landaker Grunes; and Producer Erika Frankel. This screening is sponsored by ESPN.


6:45 p.m. SLINGSHOT

Dean Kamen invented the Segway and lives in a house with secret passages and a heliport. His latest passion: the SlingShot water purification system created to obliterate half of human illness. Kamen reminisces about accepting dyslexia, foregoing parenthood and losing his brother to cancer, while lamenting he has only one lifetime for inventing. Expected guests include Filmmaker Paul Lazarus; Producer Barry Opper; and Associate Producer Douglas Blush.


7:00 p.m. SILENCED

The term “whistleblower” is usually attached to controversy, and those who expose misconduct within an organization often stand to lose everything. Filmmaker James Spione looks at the post-9/11 crackdown on those who attempt to lift the veil on U.S. national security practices and the devastating costs that come with telling the truth. Expected guests include Director James Spione; film subjects Jesselyn Radack and Thomas Drake via SKYPE; and subject John Kiriakou's wife. This screening is sponsored by The Washington Post.


7:30 p.m. THE OVERNIGHTERS

Each day busloads of men arrive in the towns of North Dakota in search of jobs. They find scarce housing, employment hassles and a hostile citizenry. Trying to practice the compassion he preaches, Jay Reinke uses his church as a home for these men while his parishioners and neighbors grow frustrated with him. Filmmaker Jesse Moss will be included in a post-screening Q&A via Skype.


9:00 p.m. WE ARE THE GIANT

The recent Arab Spring uprisings were often organized by young people who embraced the tools of social media to communicate and call for lasting change within their governments. This powerful and inspiring film talks to some of these young activists to discover what drives them forward despite great personal risk.


9:00 p.m. UKRAINE IS NOT A BROTHEL

Ukraine’s feminist group FEMEN creates quite a stir when the women demonstrate topless across European borders to protest against the patriarchal regime in their native country. As the protests gain international attention, however, questions grow as to whom is the real driving force behind these outspoken women and their campaign for change.


9:15 p.m. KEEP ON KEEPIN’ ON

Jazz trumpet legend Clark Terry has performed with such greats as Count Basie and Duke Ellington and acted as mentor to Miles Davis and Quincy Jones. When he meets blind piano prodigy Justin Kaulflin, Terry works with him to pass on some of his musical gift and help Kaulflin find his own voice. Filmmaker Alan Hicks and film subject Justin Kaulfin will be in attendance.


9:30 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.


SUNDAY EVENTS:


10:45 a.m. SHORTS PROGRAM: TIME WILL TELL featuring: OUR CURSE, 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.


11:00 a.m. I AM BIG BIRD: THE CAROLL SPINNEY STORY

Big Bird has been an iconic and beloved figure to all since SESAME STREET first aired in 1969. But who is the man in the Big Bird suit? This delightful film tells the story of Caroll Spinney, the amiable Muppeteer who has filled Big Bird’s huge orange feet for over 40 years. Expected guests include Director/Producer Dave LaMattina; Executive Producer Clay Frost; and film subjects Caroll Spinney and Debra Spinney.


11:00 a.m. SHORTS PROGRAM: FACE THE MUSIC featuring: SATI, BEYOND RECOGNITION, AMANDA F***ING PALMER ON THE ROCKS, A PARADISE, FAST ICE: RESCUE FROM ANTARCTICA. Expected guests include FAST ICE Director Laurence Topham; A PARADISE Director Jayisha Patel; and SATI Director Bartek Swiderski. This screening is sponsored by The Embassy of the Republic of Poland.


11:00 a.m. WHEN THE GARDEN WAS EDEN w/ THE HOME TEAM

The time was the late 1960s and the “Garden” was Madison Square Garden in this fond look back at the New York Knicks basketball team, which meant little to New Yorkers at the time. But, with new coaching and a band of talented players with personality, the team turned the sport around for the city. Expected guests include WHEN THE GARDEN WAS EDEN Director Michael Rapaport; Producer Jason Berg; THE HOME TEAM Director Joshua Seftel; Executive Producer Jill Landaker Grunes; and Producer Erika Frankel. This screening is sponsored by ESPN.


11:15 p.m. HOW I GOT OVER w/ WHAT’S AN EPI?

Fifteen formerly homeless women in the Washington, DC, area come together to share their harrowing life stories, bravely setting out on the path to addiction recovery. Collaborating on an original play that they will perform at the Kennedy Center, these strong and courageous women tap into artistic talents they never knew they had. Expected guests include HOW I GOT OVER Director Nicole Boxer; Editor Michelle Witten; Editorial Consultant Douglas Blush; and film subjects Deb Gottesman, Thomas Workman, La Juana Clarke, Lolita Mitchell, Rose Shaw, Valerie Williams, Cheryl Barnes, Shevanda Brantly, Tonya Stokes, Petrina Thomas and Tacarra Wilkins; and WHAT’S AN EPI? Director Shelly Ortiz and film subject Epi Ortiz.


1:00 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 film subject Mark Landis; and FONT MEN Directors Dress Code aka Dan Covert and Andre Andreev.


1:30 p.m. THE OVERNIGHTERS

Each day busloads of men arrive in the towns of North Dakota in search of jobs. They find scarce housing, employment hassles and a hostile citizenry. Trying to practice the compassion he preaches, Jay Reinke uses his church as a home for these men while his parishioners and neighbors grow frustrated with him. Filmmaker Jesse Moss will be included in a post-screening Q&A via Skype.


1:30 p.m. MUDBLOODS

In the whimsical world of her wildly successful Harry Potter books author J. K. Rowling invented the thrilling – but imaginary –sport of Quidditch. With Potter fans reaching adulthood, Quidditch has turned into a real sport that has taken college campuses by storm thanks to some creative minds and entrepreneurial spirit. Expected guests include Director Farzad Sangari; Producer Eric Martin; and subject Tom Marks.


1:30 p.m. SLINGSHOT

Dean Kamen invented the Segway and lives in a house with secret passages and a heliport. His latest passion: the SlingShot water purification system created to obliterate half of human illness. Kamen reminisces about accepting dyslexia, foregoing parenthood and losing his brother to cancer, while lamenting he has only one lifetime for inventing. Expected guests include Filmmaker Paul Lazarus; Producer Barry Opper; and Associate Producer Douglas Blush.


2:00 p.m. THE SPECIAL NEED

Enea is in his late twenties and longs to experience the pleasures of a sexual relationship. However, the challenges of autism make finding the right mate difficult. In this sensitive and charming film, Enea enlists the help of his two closest friends and embarks on a road trip to seek help from sex workers.


3:30 p.m. BRONX OBAMA w/ THE CHILEAN ELVIS

Louis Ortiz was an unemployed single father from the Bronx in 2008 when people noticed that he bore an uncanny resemblance to presidential hopeful Barack Obama. With Obama’s victory, Ortiz transformed himself into a professional lookalike, joined a motley group of political impersonators and began to chase an unlikely version of the American dream. Expected guests include filmmaker Ryan Murdock and film subject Louis Ortiz.  This screening is sponsored by WHUT, Howard University Television.


4:00 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.


4:00 p.m. SLAYING THE BADGER

Greg LeMond was the first American to win the prestigious Tour de France. This engaging story looks back at the 1986 Tour in which LeMond went neck and neck with teammate, mentor and fierce competitor Bernard Hinault – nicknamed “The Badger” – whose promise to help LeMond win was abandoned in the heat of competition. This screening is sponsored by ESPN.


4:15 p.m. HOLBROOK/TWAIN: AN AMERICAN ODYSSEY

For 60 years, actor Hal Holbrook has been touring with his award-winning one-man show, “Mark Twain Tonight!,” in which he portrays the beloved American writer and satirist before sold-out crowds. Filmmaker Scott Teems takes us behind the scenes with Holbrook for an intimate peek at Twain’s continuing influence on our culture and the dedicated actor who brings him to life. Director Scott Teems will be in attendance.


4:15 p.m. FREEDOM SUMMER

In the summer of 1964, hundreds of student volunteers from across the U.S. spent 10 weeks in Mississippi in an historic effort to shatter the foundations of white supremacy. This inspiring film tells the searing story of those volatile and violent months and reminds us of the risks and sacrifices involved in ending segregation.


6:00 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.


6:15 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.


6:30 p.m. HAPPY VALLEY

During the Penn State scandal, the media focused on the accused and the university. They missed the private tragedies: the community questioning its perceived identity, the Paternos watching their reputation slide, and Jerry Sandusky’s adopted son losing his family. Bridging the public and private dramas, HAPPY VALLEY reexamines the scandal and its aftermath. Filmmaker Amir-Bar Lev will be in attendance.


6:45 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.


7:30 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 guest includes Director Jessica Yu.


8:15 p.m. LAST DAYS IN VIETNAM

As the war in Vietnam draws to it’s inevitable close, the Northern Vietnamese army swiftly rolls toward Saigon. At the city’s U.S. Embassy, a small but dedicated crew of Americans must make some hard decisions in its attempts to protect the South Vietnamese allies it has been told to leave behind. Producer Keven McAlester will be in attendance.


8:30 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; Executive Producer Andrea Meditch; and film subject Andrei Sannikov via Skype.


9:00 p.m. THE DOG

Based on true events, the classic film DOG DAY AFTERNOON tells the story of a bank robbery gone awry. Combining present-day interviews and archival footage, THE DOG introduces us to John Wojtowicz – the real-life inspiration for Al Pacino's character – while presenting a fascinating snapshot of New York City's LGBT liberation movement of the 1970s. Expected guests include Director Allison Berg and Director/Producer Frank Keraudren.


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.

# # #


CONTACT: 

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

Sarah Ledesma, American Film Institute, 323.856.7885 or SLedesma@AFI.com