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 ANNOUNCES ‘HOLBROOK/TWAIN: AN AMERICAN ODYSSEY’ AND ‘LIFE ITSELF’ AS OPENING AND CLOSING NIGHT SELECTIONS

Actor Hal Holbrook Introduces the World Premiere as Opening Night

America’s Movie Critic Roger Ebert is Celebrated as Closing Night

May 15, 2014, WASHINGTON, DC – AFI DOCS Documentary Festival announced the World Premiere of HOLBROOK/TWAIN: AN AMERICAN ODYSSEY and LIFE ITSELF as the Opening and Closing Night films, respectively, for this year’s installment of the festival. 

Actor Hal Holbrook will introduce the World Premiere and open AFI DOCS on June 18 at the Newseum.  HOLBROOK/TWAIN: AN AMERICAN ODYSSEY, directed by Scott Teems, celebrates Holbrook, the renowned performer of the one-man show, ”Mark Twain Tonight!”  The film is an intimate portrait of the actor and the play he has performed continuously over the past six decades.

LIFE ITSELF, directed by Steve James (HOOP DREAMS), pays tribute to the beloved movie critic Roger Ebert.  The film will be presented on June 21 at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.

“HOLBROOK/TWAIN and LIFE ITSELF invite audiences into the lives of two iconic individuals – Hal Holbrook and Roger Ebert,“ said Christine O’Malley, AFI DOCS Interim Festival Director.  “We are presenting their stories in landmark American venues dedicated to culture and history.  We could not be more thrilled to bookend the festival with these exceptional films.”

For 60 consecutive years, Holbrook has been touring with his Tony® and Emmy® Award-winning one-man show, ”Mark Twain Tonight!,“ in which he portrays the renowned American writer and satirist.  It is regarded as the longest-running one-man show in the history of theater.  In HOLBROOK/TWAIN: AN AMERICAN ODYSSEY, Teems (THAT EVENING SUN) takes audiences behind the scenes for an intimate peek at the actor’s life and to examine Mark Twain’s timeless influence in America.

“AFI DOCS is the ideal festival to premiere our film, because both Twain’s writings and Holbrook’s one-man masterpiece remain strikingly relevant and timely observations of this wonderful and conflicted country of ours,” said Teems.  “The themes and ideas presented in our film align beautifully with AFI DOCS, and we couldn’t be happier to premiere the film in Washington, DC.”

James’ documentary about Ebert, LIFE ITSELF, is a complete look at one of the nation’s most influential film critics.  Based on Ebert’s 2011 memoir of the same name, James paints a vivid portrait of the critic, whose genuine love of movies helped him remain a relevant voice in film even after his physical voice had been silenced from a devastating battle with cancer.

”We are thrilled to have our film selected as the Closing Night screening for AFI DOCS, a film festival with which I've had a long and wonderful relationship,” said James.  “Roger loved documentaries and, as a critic, had a profound impact on the success of so many of them over the years.  To be honored at one of the very best festivals devoted to the art form would have greatly pleased him.”

At AFI DOCS, screenings and discussions will continue to connect audiences, artists, issue experts, film subjects and policy leaders.  Tickets will be available in June, and details will be announced in the coming weeks at AFIDOCS.com.

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 of AFI DOCS.

About the Newseum
The mission of the Newseum is to champion the five freedoms of the First Amendment through education, information and entertainment.  One of the top attractions in Washington, DC, the Newseum’s 250,000-square-foot news museum offers visitors a state-of-the-art experience that blends news history with up-to-the-second technology and hands-on exhibits.  The Newseum Institute serves as a forum for First Amendment study, exploration and education.  The Newseum is a 501(c)(3) public charity funded by generous individuals, corporations and foundations, including the Freedom Forum.  For more information, visit newseum.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the National Portrait Gallery
The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery tells the history of America through the people who have shaped its culture.  Through the visual arts, performing arts and new media, the Portrait Gallery portrays poets and presidents, visionaries and villains, actors and activists whose lives tell the American story.  The National Portrait Gallery, part of the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture, is located at Eighth and F Streets NW, Washington, DC.  Smithsonian Information:  202.633.1000.  Website:  npg.si.edu. 

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, 301.651.5152 or lselman@AFI.com
Liza Ameen, American Film Institute, 323.856.7885 or lameen@AFI.com