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.

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ALEX GIBNEY NAMED 2014 GUGGENHEIM HONOREE BY THE AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE

Filmmakers and Policy Leaders to Attend June 20, 2014 AFI DOCS Charles Guggenheim Symposium at the National Archives in Washington, DC

MAY 1, 2014 WASHINGTON, DC – The American Film Institute announced today that AFI DOCS will pay tribute to Academy Award® winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney as its 2014 AFI DOCS Charles Guggenheim honoree during its 12th edition held June 18-22, 2014 in Washington, DC and Silver Spring, MD.  

The AFI DOCS Charles Guggenheim Symposium honors masters of the non-fiction art form who inspire audiences by documenting and exploring the human experience.  The Guggenheim Symposium will be held on Friday, June 20 at the National Archives' William G. McGowan Theater and includes a presentation of Gibney’s work and a moderator-led discussion and Q&A with Gibney.

“Alex Gibney’s personal drive to find and expose truth in film makes him one of the most important documentarians of this and any generation,” said Christine O’Malley, Interim Director, AFI DOCS.  “His films have etched a place in American history, both as compelling independent storytelling and journalism, so it particularly fitting that AFI pay tribute to him in Washington and at the National Archives.”

Gibney’s 2007 film, TAXI TO THE DARK SIDE, received an Oscar® for Best Feature-Length Documentary, a Best Director nomination from the Director’s Guild of America, as well as a Writers Guild of America Award for Best Documentary Screenplay.  His devotion to telling the story of the central character Dilawar earned not only the enduring respect of the filmmaking community, but of policymakers grappling with the issue of torture and the conduct of the U.S. military in the last decade.

Gibney received his first Academy Award® nomination for ENRON: THE SMARTEST GUYS IN THE ROOM (2005). He also served as an Executive Producer on the Academy Award®-nominated NO END IN SIGHT (2007), the same year TAXI TO THE DARK SIDE won the Oscar® for Best Feature-Length Documentary.

Other films include GONZO: THE LIFE AND WORK OF DR. HUNTER S. THOMPSON; CLIENT 9: THE RISE & FALL OF ELIOT SPITZER and PARK AVENUE: MONEY, POWER AND THE AMERICAN DREAM. WE STEAL SECRETS: THE STORY OF WIKILEAKS won the Producer’s Guild Award for Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures and the WGA’s prestigious Paul Selvin Award.  The film was also nominated for British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) best documentary. CATCHING HELL, produced for ESPN, was nominated for a Sports Emmy® for Outstanding Sports Documentary.  MEA MAXIMA CULPA: SILENCE IN THE HOUSE OF GOD, won a 2013 Peabody Award, was shortlisted for a 2012 Academy Award® and won three Primetime 2013 Emmy® Awards.  Gibney’s latest film, THE ARMSTRONG LIE, was nominated for the BAFTA’s best documentary.  He is also currently producing a four-hour documentary about Frank Sinatra for HBO.

Gibney joins a legendary list of Guggenheim honorees, each a master of documentary film: 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) and Errol Morris (2013).

The Guggenheim Symposium is one of many unique facets of AFI DOCS’ robust program that includes screenings of the year’s best documentaries across a wide variety of topics.  For the past 11 years, AFI DOCS has built a solid reputation with filmmakers, industry leaders and audiences as a leading festival known for its programming and superior exhibition experience.

Tickets to the Guggenheim Symposium and festival events will be available in June.  At AFI DOCS this year, screenings and discussions will continue to connect audiences, artists, issue experts, film subjects and policy leaders.  Programs customized for filmmakers will be offered to unite the documentary community.  Details will be announced in the coming weeks at AFIDOCS.com.

American Airlines, the official airline of AFI, is a proud sponsor of AFI DOCS.

The Washington Post is proud to be a major media sponsor of AFI DOCS.


About the National Archives and Records Administration
The Charles Guggenheim Center for the Documentary Film at the National Archives was established in 2004 in honor of four-time Oscar®- winner and past president of the Foundation for the National Archives, Charles Guggenheim. The Center’s mission is to advance public understanding of the process, challenges, and social impact of documentary filmmaking and to promote the education of young people and professionals. The Center is both a living legacy of an internationally acclaimed producer and director and an extension of America's premier resource for documentary film research.

The National Archives is an independent Federal agency that preserves and shares with the public records that trace the story of our nation, government, and the American people. From the Declaration of Independence to accounts of ordinary Americans, the holdings of the National Archives directly touch the lives of millions of people.  The National Archives, as the nation’s record keeper, holds one of the world's largest moving image repositories, with more than 360,000 reels of motion picture film titles. The National Archives carries out its mission through a nationwide network of archives, records centers, and Presidential Libraries, and online at http://www.archives.gov.


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
Liza Ameen, American Film Institute, 323.856.7885 or LAmeen@AFI.com