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.

Videos

AFI DOCS 2015 ANNOUNCES DATES AND CALL FOR ENTRIES

The American Film Institute’s 13th Annual Documentary Festival
Will Be Held June 17-21, 2015

LOS 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 shorts
  • January 30, 2015 - Regular submission deadline for both features and shorts
  • March 2, 2015 - Late submission deadline for both features and shorts
  • June 17–21, 2015 - AFI DOCS

AFI DOCS is the only festival in the U.S. to offer a connection between audiences, policy leaders and filmmakers in our nation’s capital.  

This promise is fulfilled by the AFI DOCS Filmmaker Engagement Program, a series of professional development sessions that bring together the nation’s leaders and the nation’s leading artists.  The program includes both a Policy Engagement Series — an opportunity for festival filmmakers to meet with congressional and federal agency staff and Impact Panels dedicated to helping filmmakers amplify their message within stakeholder communities.

The 2014 festival opened with HOLBROOK/TWAIN: AN AMERICAN ODYSSEY (DIR Scott Teems) and closed with LIFE ITSELF (DIR Steve James).  The annual AFI DOCS Charles Guggenheim Symposium honored Alex Gibney; Spotlight Screenings included E-TEAM (DIRS Katy Chevigny and Ross Kauffman), FREEDOM SUMMER (DIR Stanley Nelson) and GLEN CAMPBELL…I’LL BE ME (DIR James Keach).  Catalyst Screenings included THE INTERNET’S OWN BOY (DIR Brian Knappenberger), IVORY TOWER (DIR Andrew Rossi), THE HOMESTRETCH (DIRS Anna deMare and Kirsten Kelly) and THE NEWBURGH STING (DIRS Kate Davis and David Heilbroner).  Notable films included HAPPY VALLEY (DIR Amir Bar-Lev), LAST DAYS IN VIETNAM (DIR Rory Kennedy) and VIRUNGA (DIR Orlando von Einsiedel).

Filmmakers can e-mail programming@AFIDOCS.com for more information about the submissions process.

Film stills and photos from the 2014 edition of the festival and the official AFI DOCS logo are available for press use only and can be downloaded at: http://afidocspress.afi.com/afi-images .

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 approaching its 13th year, the festival will be held June 17-21, 2015 in landmark Washington, DC, venues and the historic AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring, MD.  Visit AFI.com/AFIDOCS and connect on twitter.com/AFIDOCSfacebook.com/AFIDOCS and youtube.com/AFI.

About the American Film Institute
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; 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, which have introduced and reintroduced classic American movies to millions of film lovers; year-round and special event exhibition through AFI FEST presented by Audi, AFI DOCS and the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center; 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/AmericanFilmInstitutetwitter.com/AmericanFilm and youtube.com/AFI.


CONTACT:  Sarah Ledesma, American Film Institute, 323.856.7871 or SLedesma@AFI.com