Press Releases

  • THE AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE ANNOUNCES AFI DOCS 2017 AUDIENCE AWARD WINNERS

    ***PHOTOS AVAILABLE AT AFIDOCSPRESS.AFI.COM***​Best Feature Goes to STEPBest Short Goes to FISH STORYMariska Hargitay, Bill Nye, Laura Poitras, Morgan Spurlockand More Celebrate Documentary Film at the 15th Edition of AFI DOCSFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — JUNE 19, 2017, WASHINGTON, DC — The American Film Institute has announced the AFI DOCS 2017 Audience Award winners, concluding the five-day festival in Washington, DC, and Silver Spring, MD.  This year's Audience Award for Best Feature went to STEP, directed by Amanda Lipitz.

  • AT&T RETURNS TO AFI DOCS AS PRESENTING SPONSOR

    Festival Sponsors Include Cultural Institutions, Major Companies and FoundationsFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, JUNE 2, 2017, WASHINGTON, DC — The American Film Institute (AFI) is proud to announce the sponsors for AFI DOCS 2017.

  • AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE ANNOUNCES AFI DOCS 2017 IMPACT LAB PARTICIPANTS

    Two-Day Intensive Leads to Greater Issue Advocacy, Grants and DistributionFive 2016 AFI DOCS/NBCUniversal Impact Grant Recipients Received Distribution DealsFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — May 30, 2017, WASHINGTON, DC — The American Film Institute (AFI) has announced this year's AFI DOCS Impact Lab participants.

  • 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.

2015 Press

  • 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.   Entries are now being accepted and filmmakers are invited to submit feature and short documentaries at AFI.com/AFIDOCS or through Withoutabox.com.  AFI DOCS presents a diverse slate of documentaries from around the world that convenes filmmakers with policymakers and opinion leaders in Washington, DC.  The 14th edition of AFI DOCS will have three submission date deadlines — early, regular and late — for both short films (40 minutes and under) and feature films.

  • AFI DOCS FILM FESTIVAL AUDIENCE AWARD WINNERS

    Best Feature goes to WHAT HAPPENED, MISS SIMONE?Best Short goes to A CONVERSATION WITH MY BLACK SON***PHOTOS AVAILABLE AT AFIDOCSPRESS.AFI.COM***Festival Convenes Global Filmmakers With U.S.

  • AFI DOCS OFFERS WEEKEND HIGHLIGHTS

    Saturday Spotlight Screenings: THE ARMOR OF LIGHT and World Premiere of FIRST AND 17Closing Night Screening of MAVIS! from filmmaker Jessica EdwardsWashington, DC, Saturday, June 20, 2015 — Weekend highlights include the world premiere of The Washington Post Strand film FIRST AND 17 from director Brad Horn and the Spotlight Screening of THE ARMOR OF LIGHT from director Abigail Disney.  AFI DOCS concludes the 2015 festival on Sunday night with the Closing Night Screening of MAVIS! and panel discussion with director Jessica Edwards and film subject Julian Bond. WORLD PREMIERE OF FIRST AND 17Saturday, June 20 at 3:15 p.m.

  • AFI DOCS OFFERS FRIDAY HIGHLIGHTS

    Pioneering Documentary Filmmaker Stanley Nelson to be Honored at the Guggenheim SymposiumSpotlight Screenings Include MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED and THE DIPLOMATDay Two of the Filmmaker ConferenceWashington, DC, Friday, June 19, 2015 — AFI DOCS presents a full schedule of Friday events that include the Charles Guggenheim Symposium celebrating Emmy Award®-winning documentarian Stanley Nelson.  The Guggenheim Symposium, which is free and open to the public, will include a presentation of Nelson’s work and a discussion and Q&A with the legendary filmmaker.  Also featured are Spotlight Screenings of MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED from director Greg Whiteley and THE DIPLOMAT from director David Holbrooke.  The two-day Filmmaker Conference concludes Friday at the Hotel Monaco.WHAT:           GUGGENHEIM SYMPOSIUM                     The Guggenheim Symposium will pay tribute to pioneering documentary filmmaker Stanley NelsonWHO:             Filmmaker Stanley Nelson, moderator Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post’s movie critic, Archivist of the United States David S.

  • AFI DOCS OFFERS THURSDAY HIGHLIGHTS

    Programming includes world premieres of THE THREE HIKERS and Discovery's RISE: THE PROMISE OF MY BROTHER'S KEEPERDay One of the Filmmaker ConferenceWashington, DC, Thursday, June 18, 2015 — AFI DOCS presents a full schedule of Thursday’s events including the world premieres of THE THREE HIKERS and RISE: THE PROMISE OF MY BROTHER’S KEEPER and day one of the Filmmaker Conference.  These events and festival screenings further the mission of AFI DOCS:  to bring filmmakers, our nation's leaders and audiences together in the heart of Washington, DC.WHAT:    THE THREE HIKERS, from The Washington Post Film Strand In 2009, when American hikers Sarah Shourd, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal mistakenly wandered off the beaten path near Iraq’s poorly marked border with Iran, they quickly experienced the draconian consequences of their error.WHO:    THE THREE HIKERS director Natalie Avital, film subjects Josh Fattal and Nora Shourd, mother of hiker Sarah Shourd.

  • AT&T LEADS WIDE SUPPORT OF AFI DOCS 2015

    FESTIVAL SPONSORS INCLUDE CORPORATIONS, PHILANTHROPISTS, ARTS ASSOCIATIONS, GOVERNMENT AGENCIESFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, June 9, 2015, WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the American Film Institute (AFI) announced AFI DOCS’ 2015 festival support that includes returning presenting sponsor AT&T, major corporations, arts associations, philanthropists and government agencies.  The documentary film festival will run June 17–21 in Washington, DC and Silver Spring, MD.“AT&T recognizes the power of documentary film and stands with AFI to ensure it is celebrated in a manner worthy,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI President and CEO.

  • THE AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE UNVEILS FULL SLATE OF AFI DOCS 2015 FILMS

    81 Films from 25 Countries Including Four World Premieres to Screen June 17–21 in Washington, DC and Silver Spring, MDFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, MAY 20, 2015, WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the American Film Institute (AFI) announced the slate of films for the AFI DOCS 2015 Film Festival, running June 17–21 in Washington, DC and Silver Spring, MD.  The 13th edition of the festival showcases 81 films representing 25 countries, including four world premieres, three U.S.

  • THE AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE ANNOUNCES AFI DOCS OPENING AND CLOSING NIGHT FILMS

    Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville's BEST OF ENEMIES and Jessica Edwards' MAVIS! to Bookend AFI DOCS 2015MAY 12, 2015, WASHINGTON, DC - Today, the American Film Institute (AFI) announced Magnolia Pictures’ BEST OF ENEMIES, from director Robert Gordon and Academy Award®-winning director Morgan Neville (20 FEET FROM STARDOM), as the Opening Night film at AFI DOCS.  HBO’s MAVIS! from AFI DOCS alumna director Jessica Edwards has been named the Closing Night film selection.AFI DOCS kicks off on June 17 with the Opening Night Gala and screening of BEST OF ENEMIES at the Newseum, followed by a discussion and Q&A with filmmakers Gordon and Neville.

  • STANLEY NELSON NAMED 2015 GUGGENHEIM HONOREE BY THE AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE

    The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today that AFI DOCS will pay tribute to pioneering documentary filmmaker Stanley Nelson as its 2015 Charles Guggenheim Symposium honoree.

  • AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE APPOINTS MICHAEL LUMPKIN DIRECTOR OF AFI DOCS

    AT&T Returns to AFI DOCS 2015 as Presenting SponsorFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, DECEMBER 11, 2014 – Los Angeles, CA – The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today the appointment of producer and the Executive Director of the International Documentary Association (IDA) Michael Lumpkin as Director of AFI DOCS, the Institute’s annual documentary festival in Washington, DC.

  • AFI DOCS 2015 ANNOUNCES DATES AND CALL FOR ENTRIES

    The American Film Institute’s 13th Annual Documentary FestivalWill Be Held June 17-21, 2015LOS ANGELES, CA, October 8, 2014 – The American Film Institute’s international documentary film festival, AFI DOCS 2015 will take place June 17–21, 2015 in and around the nation’s capital – with the goal to inspire change by bringing together the nation’s leaders and leading artists.  Located in Washington, DC’s Penn Quarter, as well as the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring, MD, AFI DOCS continues the American Film Institute’s legacy in Washington, DC where it was born of a presidential mandate in 1965.  AFI DOCS presents a diverse slate of documentaries ranging in topics from national politics, education and health to music, sports, nature and culture.Submissions are now open and filmmakers are invited to submit feature and short documentaries at AFI.com/AFIDOCS or through Withoutabox.com. This year AFI DOCS will have three deadlines – early, regular and late submission dates for both short films (40 minutes and under) and feature films.December 12, 2014 - Early submission deadline for both features and shortsJanuary 30, 2015 - Regular submission deadline for both features and shortsMarch 2, 2015 - Late submission deadline for both features and shortsJune 17–21, 2015 - AFI DOCSAFI DOCS is the only festival in the U.S.