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.
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 Hrsh, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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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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Lauren Selman, AFI DOCS PR, 301.651.5152 or LSelman@AFI.com
Sarah Ledesma, American Film Institute, 323.856.7871 or SLedesma@AFI.com