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 THURSDAY INCLUDE

The Spotlight Screening of E-TEAM

Three AFI Catalyst Screenings

The Second Annual Policy Engagement Program on Capitol Hill

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, WASHINGTON, DC, Thursday, June 19, 2014 – AFI DOCS presents a full schedule of events that includes the festival’s Spotlight Screening of E-TEAM, directed by Katy Chevigny and Ross Kauffman; three AFI Catalyst Screenings dedicated to public discourse and the second annual Policy Engagement Program, which brings filmmakers to the U.S. Capitol Building.  These events and festival screenings further AFI DOCS’ goal to bring filmmakers, our nation’s leaders and audiences together in the heart of Washington, DC.


WHAT:         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.


WHO:              Katy Chevigny, Filmmaker, Producer

                       Ross Kauffman, Filmmaker, Producer

                       Michael Hirsh, Politico Magazine

                       Carroll Bogert, Human Rights Watch and Film Subject


WHEN:             Thursday, June 19, 2014

                        6:15 p.m. Press Check-in

              6:45 p.m. Photo Opportunity

              7:00 p.m. Screening


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


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

SECOND ANNUAL POLICY ENGAGEMENT PROGRAM

10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  Festival filmmakers will meet with senior policymakers across many disciplines at the U.S. Capitol. The program will include 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. It will help identify opportunities for filmmakers to increase the impact of their own films by building relationships with political leaders and organizations. Photos and a recap will be made available for download in the pressroom of AFIDOCS.com.

CATALYST SCREENINGS ARE LISTED BELOW AMONG OTHER THURSDAY EVENTS:

1:15 p.m. SHORTS PROGRAM 1: FACE THE MUSIC featuring: SATI, BEYOND RECOGNITION, AMANDA F***ING PALMER ON THE ROCKS, A PARADISE, FAST ICE: RESCUE FROM ANTARCTICA.  Expected guests include BEYOND RECOGNITION Director Sam Thonis, Stephen Greenwood, Producer, Samantha Mason, Senior Rights Specialist and Katie Drummond, Editorial Lead; 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.

1:30 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. Expected guests include Director Alan Hicks and film subject Justin Kauflin.

1:30 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. The Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty will moderate a panel including film Director Johanna Hamilton; and subjects Betty Medsger, John Raines, Bonnie Raines, Fritz Schwartz, and Carl Stern. This screening is sponsored by The Washington Post.

1:30 p.m. SHORTS PROGRAM 2: 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.

1:30 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. Dana Priest of The Washington Post will moderate a discussion with Director James Spione. This screening is sponsored by The Washington Post.

1:45 p.m.  SHORTS PROGRAM 3: 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.

3:45 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 filmmakers Frank Keraudren and Allison Berg.

3:45 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 guests include OF MANY filmmaker Linda G. Mills, Producer Danielle Emery, Artistic Director Peter Goldrich, and film subjects Khalid Latif and Yehuda Sarna. This screening is sponsored by The Royal Danish Embassy.

4:00 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. Expected guests include filmmaker Greg Barker and co-Producer Razan Ghalayini.

4:00 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?  Expected to participate in the post-screening discussion are co-directors Kate Davis and David Heilbroner; moderator Mark Leibovich, Chief National Correspondent, New York Times Magazine; Nihad Awad, Executive Director and Founder, Council on American - Islamic Relations; Salam al-Marayati, President, Muslim Public Affairs Council; Sam Braverman, film subject and attorney; and Mike German, Brennan Center for Justice Fellow.

4:15 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.

4:15 p.m. IVORY TOWER

Over the past 30 years the cost of higher education has increased at an alarming rate along with the mounting burden of student loan debt needed to fund a traditional college experience. Filmmaker Andrew Rossi probes the future of higher education and investigates alternatives to the traditional four-year university. Expected to participate in the post-screening discussion are filmmaker Andrew Rossi; Anthony Carnevale, Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University; Jeff Selingo, author, College (Un)Bound and contributing editor, The Chronicle of Higher Education; and moderator Christine Romans, EARLY START (CNN).

6:15 p.m. THE FIX

After years of heroin addiction, a young father from the Bronx tries to turn his life around. With the support of former junkies in his community, he works towards creating effective solutions to help empower those fighting the deadly grasp of drug addiction. Expected guests include filmmaker Laura Naylor, DP/Editor Leland James, Music Supervisor Trey Beck, and film subject Junior Alcantara.

6:15 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.

6:30 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. DIOR AND I filmmaker Frederic Tcheng will be in attendance. This screening is sponsored by The Wall Street Journal.

6:45 p.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. Director/Producers Anne de Mare and Kirsten Kelly will be in attendance with film subects Anthony Lynch, Maria Rivera, Roque Sanchez, Kasey White, Associate Producers Elizabeth Hemmerdinger and Will Thwaites and Impact Producer Erin Sorenson. This screening is sponsored by The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

7:15 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. Expected to participate in the post-screening discussion are moderator Cecilia Kang, The Washington Post; filmmaker Brian Knappenberger; David Segal, Demand Progress; and Ben Wikler, host of The Good Fight. This screening is sponsored by The Washington Post.

8:30 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.

9:00 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.

9:00 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. THE SEARCH FOR GENERAL TSO filmmaker Ian Cheny and MI HUA GAO (OR THE RICE KRISPIES SQUARE) filmmaker Justin Nagy will be in attendance.

9:15 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.

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