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.

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. and International Leaders

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Washington, DC, June 22, 2015 — AFI DOCS announced today its Audience Award winners, concluding the five-day festival in the Washington, DC area.  This year’s Audience Award for Best Feature went to WHAT HAPPENED, MISS SIMONE? directed by Liz Garbus (THE FARM: ANGOLA, USA). This year’s Audience Award for Best Short went to A CONVERSATION WITH MY BLACK SON directed by Blair Foster (TAXI TO THE DARK SIDE, co-producer) and Geeta Gandbhir (BY THE PEOPLE: THE ELECTION OF BARACK OBAMA, editor).  With 81 films from 25 countries, the festival brought together artists, national policy and opinion leaders along with global representatives.

AFI DOCS attendees included America’s greatest documentary filmmakers, including Alex Gibney, Barbara Kopple, Stanley Nelson and Morgan Neville.

National leaders in attendance included White House Cabinet Secretary and Chair of MBK Task Force Broderick Johnson, U.S. Representative Steve Cohen, U.S. Representative Ted Lieu, civil rights leader Julian Bond, former U.S. Representative Mary Bono, Federal Communications Commission Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony S. Fauci and former Governor of West Virginia and President of the Alliance for Excellent Education Bob Wise.

Global leaders at AFI DOCS included the Ambassador of Kuwait H.E. Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Ambassador of Jordan Dr. Alia Hatoug Bouran, Ambassador of Lebanon Antoine Chedid and Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, Anne Patterson. 

Joining the opinion leaders were distinguished journalists:  Executive Producer of PBS’s FRONTLINE Raney Aronson-Rath, Margaret Brennan of CBS News, The Atlantic’s Steve Clemons and Ta-Nehisi Coates, former ABC News anchor Sam Donaldson, Bloomberg View’s Al Hunt and PBS NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff.

MORE ABOUT THE WINNING FILMS:

WHAT HAPPENED, MISS SIMONE?
Nina Simone earned her moniker as the “High Priestess of Soul.”  Trained as a classical pianist in North Carolina when racism was open and rampant, Simone drew upon her struggles as she became one of jazz music’s most beloved and complex figures.  Director Liz Garbus offers access into Simone’s most intimate thoughts through her own words as the influential chanteuse became a leading voice for the civil rights movement of the late 1960s.  Despite her enormous talent, however, Simone battled worsening demons that ultimately drove her into a life of seclusion in Liberia and France.

A CONVERSATION WITH MY BLACK SON
The short film features a group of racially diverse parents discussing the importance of having a conversation with their young black sons about racism and interacting with the police.

AT&T is the presenting sponsor of AFI DOCS 2015.  AFI's official airline, American Airlines, returned as an Official Sponsor of the festival.  Official Sponsors include the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, VIZIO and NBCUniversal.  The Washington Post is proud to be a major media sponsor and presenter of The Washington Post Film Strand.  Additional Major Sponsors include Amtrak, the Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands, CYM Media & Entertainment, Discovery Communications, The Fledgling Fund, HBO, Maryland Film Office, Netflix, PBS, SonicPool and Sony.

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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, Errol Morris, D A Pennebaker and Frederick Wiseman.  Now in 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/afidocs, facebook.com/afidocs and youtube.com/AFI.

About the American Film Institute
AFI is America’s promise to preserve the heritage 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 the 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 twitter.com/AmericanFilm, facebook.com/AmericanFilmInstitute and youtube.com/AFI.

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CONTACT:
Gabrielle Flamand, AFI DOCS PR, 202.339.9598 or gabrielle@prcollaborative.com
Liza Ameen, American Film Institute, 323.856.7885 or LAmeen@AFI.com