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.

STANLEY NELSON NAMED 2015 GUGGENHEIM HONOREE BY THE AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE

June 19th Free and Open to the Public Event at AFI DOCS Coincides with 60th Anniversary of the Murder of Emmett Till

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, MAY 6, 2015, WASHINGTON, DC – 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. 

Nelson's documentary THE MURDER OF EMMETT TILL (2003) won numerous awards, including an Emmy® for Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction Programming, the Sundance Film Festival 2003 Special Jury Prize and the George Foster Peabody Award.  The documentary aided in the U.S. Justice Department's decision to reopen the 1955 murder investigation of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African-American boy killed after allegedly flirting with a white woman, citing new evidence exposed in Nelson's film.  The Guggenheim Symposium, free and open to the public, will be held on Friday, June 19 at the National Archives' William G. McGowan Theater and includes a presentation of Nelson’s work and a discussion and Q&A with the filmmaker which will be moderated by The Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday.

The festival's 13th edition will run June 17-21 in Washington, DC and Silver Spring, MD.   The AFI DOCS Charles Guggenheim Symposium honors masters of the non-fiction art form who inspire audiences by documenting and exploring the human experience. 

"Stanley Nelson's masterful documentation of American history will continue to inspire audiences and young filmmakers for generations," said Michael Lumpkin, Director of AFI DOCS.  "We are proud to pay tribute to Nelson's vibrant career and his ability to provoke change through documentary filmmaking."  

AFI DOCS is proud to present Nelson's latest documentary THE BLACK PANTHERS: VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION as part of the 2015 program.  The film premiered this year at the Sundance Film Festival and PBS Distribution has announced it will open the film in select theaters in the fall of 2015.  Additionally, it will be featured as part of PBS' independent film series INDEPENDENT LENS in winter of 2016.

Nelson directed and produced JONESTOWN:  THE LIFE AND DEATH OF PEOPLES TEMPLE (2006), which was shortlisted for the Academy Award®.  Nelson's 2011 film FREEDOM RIDERS aired nationally on PBS to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Rides and received three Emmys®.  His achievements were recognized once more when he was awarded the 2013 National Humanities Medal from President Barack Obama.

Nelson's other works include his first documentary feature TWO DOLLARS AND A DREAM: THE STORY OF MADAME C.J. WALKER (1989), Emmy®-nominated THE BLACK PRESS: SOLDIERS WITHOUT SWORDS (1999), MARCUS GARVEY:  LOOK FOR ME IN THE WHIRLWIND (2000) and FREEDOM SUMMER (2014).  2004's BEYOND BROWN: PURSUING THE PROMISE was used by organizations such as the NAACP, the National Baptist Convention and the Children's Defense Fund, to reflect on the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education.

Nelson 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) and Alex Gibney (2014).

The Guggenheim Symposium is free and open to the public.  Tickets can be reserved at AFI.com/afidocs in late May.  At AFI DOCS this year, screenings and discussions will continue to connect audiences, artists, issue experts, film subjects and policy leaders.  Programs customized for filmmakers will be offered to unite the documentary community.

AFI DOCS is proud to have AT&T return as this year’s presenting sponsor.

In addition, AFI DOCS Official Sponsors include American Airlines — the official airline of AFI, NBCUniversal and VIZIO.

The Washington Post is the major media sponsor of AFI DOCS.

About the National Archives and Records Administration
The National Archives is an independent Federal agency that preserves and shares with the public records that trace the story of our nation, government and the American people.  From the Declaration of Independence to accounts of ordinary Americans, the holdings of the National Archives directly touch the lives of millions of people.  The National Archives carries out its mission through a nationwide network of archives, records centers, Presidential Libraries and online at http://www.archives.gov.

The Charles Guggenheim Center for the Documentary Film at the National Archives was established in 2004 in honor of four-time Oscar®-winner and past president of the National Archives Foundation, Charles Guggenheim.  The Center’s mission is to advance public understanding of the process, challenges and social impact of documentary filmmaking and to promote the education of young people and professionals.  The Center is both a living legacy of an internationally acclaimed producer and director and an extension of America's premier resource for documentary film research.

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.

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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