Posted by Larry Gleeson



AFI DOCS, the American Film Institute’s annual documentary celebration in the nation’s capital, has opened submissions and announced the dates for the 2021 edition of the festival. Now in its 19th year, AFI DOCS will be held June 22-27, 2021. The festival program presents the very best of contemporary non-fiction filmmaking from across the globe, including world and international premieres and works by master and emerging filmmakers alike. The AFI Festivals team is committed to achieving the same high standard of programming and engagement that has defined AFI DOCS over the years while planning a virtual and/or hybrid in-person festival experience for 2021. Submissions for 2021 AFI DOCS are now being accepted at

During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, AFI DOCS presented a successful virtual event with over 55 films from 11 countries – 61% directed by women – with a lineup that explored social and political issues in the US and across the world. A national audience of 20,000 attended the festival safely from home.

2020 program highlights included Special Presentation of Apple and A24’s award-winning film BOYS STATE, Ron Howard’s REBUILDING PARADISE, and world premieres of 9TO5: THE STORY OF A MOVEMENT, WHITE NOISE, and MIRACLE FISHING. The virtual experience also included over 50 intimate conversations with subjects from around the world such as Philippine Journalist Maria Ressa, who was convicted by a Manila court days before A THOUSAND CUTS screened at the festival, to a live Q&A of THE FIGHT with the ACLU’s lawyers focused on protecting civil rights and a call from President Carter during the live Q&A for Closing Night film JIMMY CARTER ROCK & ROLL PRESIDENT.

Stay tuned for more on the only festival in the U.S. dedicated to screenings and events that connect audiences, filmmakers, and policy leaders in the heart of our nation’s government!

ABOVE AND BEYOND NASA’S JOURNEY TO TOMORROW Filmmaker Rory Kennedy discusses her film at the AFI DOCS 2018. (Photo Credit Gediyon Kifle)



AFI DOCS is the American Film Institute’s annual documentary festival historically held in Washington, DC.  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 heart 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, Stanley Nelson and Frederick Wiseman.  Now in its 19th year, the festival will be held June 22-27, 2021. Visit and connect on,, and

About the American Film Institute (AFI)
Established in 1967, the American Film Institute is the nation’s non-profit organization dedicated to educating and inspiring artists and audiences through initiatives that champion the past, present and future of the moving image. AFI’s pioneering programs include filmmaker training at the AFI Conservatory; year-round exhibition at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center and at AFI Festivals across the nation; workshops aimed at increasing diversity in the storytelling community; honoring today’s masters through the AFI Life Achievement Award and AFI AWARDS; and scholarly efforts such as the AFI Catalog of Feature Films that uphold film history for future generations. Read about all of these programs and more at and follow us on social media at,, and

AFI President and CEO, Bob Gazzale, introduces the world premiere of PERSONAL STATEMENT at 2018 AFI DOCS opening night. (Photo credit, Tom Kochel).

(Source: Press release provided by AFI DOCS PR, Elizabeth Ward)


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