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.

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AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE APPOINTS MICHAEL LUMPKIN DIRECTOR OF AFI DOCS

AT&T Returns to AFI DOCS 2015 as Presenting Sponsor

FOR 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. Also announced today is the return of AT&T as the festival’s presenting sponsor.  

With nearly three decades of experience in the film community as a producer, documentarian and Executive Director of IDA, Lumpkin brings a versatile perspective to AFI DOCS, a well-rounded appreciation for the impact of the art form and a thorough understanding of AFI.

“Michael is uniquely qualified to lead AFI DOCS into the future,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI President & CEO. “His is a life lived at the heart of the documentary community, and we are proud to know he’ll be overseeing AFI’s efforts to bring together America’s leading artists with its nation’s leaders - elevating the art form’s ability to effect change.”

“I’m honored to be joining one of the world’s top film organizations and expanding the rich history and proud tradition of AFI DOCS,” said Lumpkin. “Six wonderful years at IDA solidified my passion for documentary films, and I look forward to bringing that passion to AFI.”

Lumpkin has served for six years as the Executive Director of IDA, a non-profit membership organization dedicated to building and serving the needs of a thriving documentary culture. Through its programs, IDA provides resources, creates community, and defends rights and freedoms for documentary artists, activists and journalists. Lumpkin had previously served for more than 25 years as both Executive Director of Frameline and Festival Director for the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival. He has also been a member of Frameline's Board of Directors and co-produced the highly acclaimed documentary THE CELLULOID CLOSET.  Michael has participated as a juror for the Sundance Film Festival and served in an advisory capacity for numerous film festivals around the world.

“AT&T’s renewed commitment as presenting sponsor underscores their commitment to the arts in America and their unique ability to bring us all together as one global audience,” said Gazzale. “Their support will continue to forge AFI DOCS forward.”

“We are proud to continue our support for AFI DOCS, which offers tremendous value to the entertainment industry and society – with the potential to inspire important change,” said Lori Lee, Senior Executive Vice President - Home Solutions, AT&T. “And we congratulate Michael Lumpkin on his appointment as Director of AFI DOCS.”

About AT&T
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company and one of the most honored companies in the world. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and internationally.  With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation’s most reliable 4G LTE network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. A leader in mobile Internet, AT&T also offers the best global wireless coverage, based on offering roaming in more countries than any other U.S. based carrier and offers the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV service with the AT&T U-verse® brand. The company’s suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world.

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About AFI DOCS
AFI DOCS is the American Film Institute’s annual documentary festival in Washington, DC, area. Presenting the year’s best documentaries, AFI DOCS is also 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 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 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; 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.

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RSVP IS REQUIRED FOR PARTICIPATION IN THE
​TELEPHONE PRESS CONFERENCE

ON DECEMBER 12, 2014 AT 9AM PT/ NOON ET

RSVP AND MEDIA CONTACTS:

Renee Tsao, PR Collaborative, 202.339.9598, renee@prcollaborative.com

Liza deVilla Ameen, AFI, 323.856.7885, LAmeen@AFI.com