Press Releases


    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 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.


    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.


    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.


    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.





WASHINGTON, DC, June 2, 2014 – The American Film Institute announced today that AT&T will join AFI DOCS 2014, the Institute’s documentary festival in the Washington, DC area, as presenting sponsor.  Support of the five-day celebration, which runs June 18–22, also comes from a wide range of corporations, philanthropists and government agencies.  Their sponsorship affirms the ever-growing power of documentary film.  Tickets to screenings and events go on sale today.

“We salute AT&T for recognizing the power of documentary film and its potential to inspire change,” said Bob Gazzale, President and CEO, American Film Institute.  “Thanks for their support – and the support from all our sponsors – AFI DOCS can provide an exhilarating exploration of important true stories told by artists from around the world.  With screenings in our nation’s capital, the issues raised by these films have the greatest opportunity for impact with our nation’s leaders.”

American Airlines is the Official Airline of AFI and a sponsor of the festival.  Official Sponsors include Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Stella Artois.  Major Sponsors include Amtrak, CYM Media & Entertainment, The DC Office of Motion Picture and Television Development, Indie DCP and the Maryland Film Office.  The Hotel George and Hotel Monaco are the Official Hotels of AFI DOCS.  Sony is a Featured Sponsor of the festival.  The Washington Post is the Major Media Sponsor.  

Returning sponsors also include Clyde’s Restaurant Group, Greater Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce, Google, Variety, Video Labs, WAMU 88.5 – American University Radio, WHUT Howard University Television and YELP.

New sponsors this year include The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands, CNN Films, Downtown Silver Spring, Embassy of the Republic of Poland, The Fledgling Fund, Gibson Guitar Showroom, HBO Documentary Films, IndieFlix, Indiewire, International Documentary Association, Mercury Public Affairs, Oyamel Cocina Mexicana, Penn Social, Royal Danish Embassy, Uber, The Wall Street Journal and WTOP. 

In addition to supporting the presentation of films, Impact Panels and Catalyst Screenings, sponsors provide strategic goods and services to filmmakers and festival attendees throughout the week.  Participation ranges from sponsoring specific film screenings and receptions to outfitting venues with technology infrastructure and creating event spaces.  Sponsors also participate in the national and local promotion of the festival.

Presenting Sponsor:  AT&T
Official Sponsors:  Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Stella Artois
Major Sponsors:  Amtrak, CYM Media & Entertainment, The DC Office of Motion Picture and Television Development, Indie DCP, Maryland Film Office
Featured Sponsor:  Sony
Supporting Sponsors:  Clyde’s Restaurant Group, Downtown Silver Spring, Google, Greater Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce, International Documentary Association, Mercury Public Affairs, Uber, Video Labs
Official Media Sponsors:  Variety, The Wall Street Journal, WHUT Howard University Television
Major Media Sponsor:  The Washington Post
Affiliate Media Sponsors:  The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands, IndieFlix, Indiewire,
WAMU 88.5 – American University Radio, WTOP, YELP
Screen Partners:  CNN Films, HBO Documentary Films
Cultural Sponsors:  Embassy of Israel, Embassy of the Republic of Poland, Royal Danish Embassy
Official Airline:  American Airlines
Official Hotels:  Hotel George, Hotel Monaco
Venue Partners: Gibson Guitar Showroom, Oyamel Cocina Mexicana, Penn Social

Generous individual and foundation support is provided by:
Official Festival Underwriters: Stephanie & Hunter Hunt
Major Festival Underwriters:  Embrey Family Foundation, The Fledgling Fund
Festival Underwriters:  Tod & Sally MacKenzie, Nell Minow, George & Tricia Vradenburg 

The AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center and its programs benefit from major support from Montgomery County, Maryland and the American Film Institute.  The AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center also is funded in part by an operating grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive.

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 or follow our news on Twitter at @ATT, on Facebook at and YouTube at  © 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.

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 and connect on, and

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 or connect with AFI at, and

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Lauren Selman, AFI DOCS PR, 301.651.5152 or
Liza Ameen, American Film Institute, 323.856.7885 or