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 OFFERS THURSDAY HIGHLIGHTS

Programming includes world premieres of THE THREE HIKERS and Discovery's RISE: THE PROMISE OF MY BROTHER'S KEEPER

Day One of the Filmmaker Conference

Washington, 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.  Opening remarks provided by Counselor David Best, Head Public Diplomacy and Cultural Affairs, Embassy of Switzerland.  Panel moderated by The Washington Post Foreign Affairs Reporter Ishaan Tharoor.

WHEN:                       Thursday, June 18, 2015
                                  7:30 p.m.   Press check-in
                                  8:00 p.m   Photo opportunity
                                  8:30 p.m.   Screening begins
                                  10:11 p.m. Panel

WHERE: Naval Heritage Center, 701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC

Space is limited for the screening.  Media wishing to attend the screening should RSVP to gabrielle@prcollaborative.com or afidocspr@gmail.com.

WORLD PREMIERE OF DISCOVERY’S RISE: THE PROMISE OF MY BROTHER’S KEEPER

6:00 p.m.  RISE: THE PROMISE OF MY BROTHER'S KEEPER at the Newseum’s Annenberg Theater.  Take a journey into President Obama’s challenge that implements a community-level cradle-to-college-and-career strategy, particularly for boys and young men of color.  Expected guests include director Dawn Porter.

FILMMAKER CONFERENCE:  DAY ONE

9:00 a.m–5:00 p.m.  Festival filmmakers and industry professionals will meet in the Paris Ballroom at the Hotel Monaco, 700 F St. NW, Washington, DC for day one of the two-day Filmmaker Conference.  Thursday's Filmmaker Conference schedule will include:

Keynote: Executive Producer Raney Aronson-Rath, FRONTLINE

The Filmmaker as Journalist — Managing Risk in Investigative Documentary Work Sponsored by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
A panel with leaders from across the industry will discuss legal, ethical and personal risks taken on by filmmakers producing content for public media.

Going Native:  Producing Documentary for Web and the Innovative Work of NPR Visuals
NPR Senior Interaction Designer Wes Lindamood will present his award-winning digital project “Planet Money Makes a T-Shirt” made in collaboration with NPR's Planet Money.  The program will also include a panel discussion with Lindamood and a documentary filmmaker moderated by NPR's Producer-Editor Claire O'Neill.

IMPACT 2.0 — The Power of Documentary Presented in Association with Picture Motion
The session will draw on core components of the AFI DOCS IMPACT LAB and bring together legislators, strategies and corporate leaders for a discussion about the power of film to catalyze change.

Photos and a recap from the day’s events will be made available for download in the pressroom of AFI.com/AFIDOCS.

A LOOK BACK AT WEDNESDAY'S HIGHLIGHTS

Wednesday, June 17, AFI DOCS kicked of its 13th edition at the Newseum with the Opening Night Gala and screening of Robert Gordon and Academy Award®-winning director Morgan Neville's BEST OF ENEMIES.  A panel discussion with the filmmakers moderated by Kristin Roberts, National Journal managing editor, and a reception followed the screening.

OTHER THURSDAY EVENTS:

12:00 p.m.  TYKE ELEPHANT OUTLAW
LANDMARK E STREET CINEMA
After years of mistreatment, Tyke the circus elephant goes on a rampage in this tragic and unforgettable tale of performing-animal abuse.  Expected guests include directors Susan Lambert and Stefan Moore.

12:15 p.m.  SHORTS PROGRAM 2:  WHAT REMAINS
LANDMARK E STREET CINEMA
Featuring:  MEND AND MAKE DO, BODY TEAM 12, LOSERS — A FILM ABOUT LOSS, DEAR ARAUCARIA, A STRONG BEAT, WHO STOLE THE RUBY SLIPPERS?, THE LAST REEL.  Expected guests include BODY TEAM 12 director David Darg and producer Bryn Mooser; DEAR ARAUCARIA director Matt Houghton and producer Zoe Potkin; A STRONG BEAT director Daniel Addelson and film subject Erin Roberts; WHO STOLE THE RUBY SLIPPERS? director Theodore James and producer Bruna Raynaud-Matsin.

1:00 p.m.  FRAME BY FRAME
AFI SILVER THEATRE 1
Four photojournalists in Afghanistan work to re-establish a free press after years of oppression under the Taliban regime.  Expected guests include co-directors Alexandria Bombach and Mo Scarpelli, photojournalist Najibullah Musafer and associate producer Baktash Ahadi.

1:15 p.m.  BEST OF ENEMIES
AFI SILVER THEATRE 2
In the summer of 1968, the media landscape changed forever when ABC hired two politically opposed intellectuals — Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley, Jr. — to debate the issues of the day on live television.  Expected guests include directors Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon.

1:30 p.m.  CITY OF GOLD
AFI SILVER THEATRE 3
Join Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold as he ventures off the beaten path in search of the most adventurous cuisine that Los Angeles has to offer and enjoy the fascinating personal stories that are often served up for dessert. 

2:00 p.m.  I WANT TO BE A KING
LANDMARK E STREET CINEMA
Abbas runs a B&B-like tourist destination out of his Iranian home, but with the success of his business, his plans grow increasingly ambitious and outlandish.

2:30 p.m.  INDIA'S DAUGHTER
LANDMARK E STREET CINEMA
INDIA’S DAUGHTER tells the tragic story of a 2012 gang rape and murder of a medical student and presents a searing indictment of the culture of misogyny behind the assault.  Expected guests include director Leslee Udwin.

3:15 p.m.  CARTEL LAND
AFI SILVER THEATRE 1
A citizen vigilante group in Mexico fights back against the encroaching drug cartels, which have brought widespread fear, violence and corruption to the area for years.  Expected guests include director Matthew Heineman.

3:45 p.m.  FROM THIS DAY FORWARD
AFI SILVER THEATRE 3
Filmmaker Sharon Shattuck explores her father’s gender identity struggles and how her parents have remained married through it all.  Expected guests include director Sharon Shattuck and producer Martha Shane.

4:00 p.m.  DRONE
LANDMARK E STREET CINEMA
Drone technology has been a highly controversial issue in recent years as it has come to define the modern War on Terror.  Expected guests include director Tonje Hessen Schei, producer Jonathan Lie and film subject Brandon Bryant.

4:00 p.m.  THE BLACK PANTHERS:  VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION
AFI SILVER THEATRE 2
Director Stanley Nelson offers a fascinating account of activist group the Black Panthers and its place in America’s history.  Expected guests include director and Guggenheim Honoree Stanley Nelson and producer Laurens Grant.

4:30 p.m.  THE STORM MAKERS
LANDMARK E STREET CINEMA
Through revealing interviews with victims and perpetrators, filmmaker Guillaume Suon exposes the human-trafficking industry in Cambodia that ensnares tens of thousands of victims annually.

6:00 p.m.  THE WOLFPACK
LANDMARK E STREET CINEMA
Tucked inside an apartment in Manhattan’s Lower East Side live the Angulo siblings, a tight-knit group who have barely left home due to the overbearing hand of their father.  They spend countless hours re-creating scenes from their favorite movies, which have shaped their view of the outside world.

6:00 p.m.  REQUIEM FOR THE AMERICAN DREAM
NAVAL HERITAGE CENTER
Noam Chomsky offers a riveting discourse on income inequality and its devastating effects, which threaten to erode democracy itself.  Expected guests include directors Peter Hutchison, Kelly Nyks and Jared P. Scott.

6:00 p.m.  HOT TYPE: 150 YEARS OF THE NATION
AFI SILVER THEATRE 1
Two-time Oscar® winner Barbara Kopple tracks the iconic progressive weekly The Nation from its 1865 founding by abolitionist Republicans to present-day challenges facing print media of all stripes.  Expected guests include director Barbara Kopple and The Nation’s assistant Washington editor Zoe Carpenter.

6:00 p.m.  WELCOME TO LEITH
AFI SILVER THEATRE 3
When notorious white supremacist Craig Cobb decides to settle in Leith, North Dakota, the townspeople work together to evict their unwanted neighbor.  Expected guests include directors Michael Beach Nichols and Christopher K. Walker.

6:30 p.m.  THE LOOK OF SILENCE
LANDMARK E STREET CINEMA
In his follow-up to THE ACT OF KILLING, director Joshua Oppenheimer continues to unearth the ghosts of Indonesia’s violent past, shifting his focus from the perpetrators to those left in the aftermath.

7:00 p.m.  PROPHET'S PREY
AFI SILVER THEATRE 2
Filmmaker Amy Berg examines the alarming allegations surrounding the rogue polygamist religious sect known as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) and its incarcerated leader, Warren Jeffs.  Expected guests include producer Katherine LeBlond.

8:15 p.m.  OUT TO WIN
AFI SILVER THEATRE 3
The world of professional sports has long been dogged by a reputation of homophobia, steeped in the fear that openly gay players provide a potential “distraction” to the other teammates.  However, times are changing.  Expected guests include director Malcolm Ingram and executive producer Sarath Samarasekera.

8:30 p.m.  3 1/2 MINUTES, TEN BULLETS
LANDMARK E STREET CINEMA
The 2012 murder of African-American teen Jordan Davis by a middle-aged white man, following an argument over loud music, sparked a national debate about Florida’s controversial “stand your ground” law.  Q&A with director Marc Silver and film subjects Ron Davis and Lucy McBath, moderated by The Atlantic's Ta-Nehisi Coates.

8:30 p.m.  DRUNK STONED BRILLIANT DEAD: THE STORY OF THE NATIONAL LAMPOON
AFI SILVER THEATRE 1
Take a fascinating look into the history of National Lampoon, the hilariously twisted, profane and influential humor magazine that launched an astounding number of successful comedy careers.  Expected guests include director Douglas Tirola.

9:00 p.m.  LISTEN TO ME MARLON
LANDMARK E STREET CINEMA
Drawing on hundreds of hours of previously unheard personal audio recordings, filmmaker Stevan Riley lets actor Marlon Brando tell his extraordinary life’s journey from beyond the grave.

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 and presenter of The Washington Post Film Strand at AFI DOCS.

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
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 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 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 43rd 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 twitter.com/AmericanFilm, facebook.com/AmericanFilmInstitute and youtube.com/AFI.

###

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