Category Archives: television

The 72nd Berlin International Film Festival Will Be In-person

Posted by Larry Gleeson

The 72nd Berlin International Film Festival will take place from February 10 to 20, 2022 as an in-person event. The European Film Market (February 10-17, 2022), the Berlinale Co-Production Market (February 12-16, 2022), Berlinale Talents (February 12-17, 2022) and the World Cinema Fund will focus on on-site offerings.

 

“We’re very pleased to bring the festival back to the big screen in February: with a multifaceted program, the red carpet, stars and the amazing Berlinale audiences,” commented the directors of the Berlinale, Mariette Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian. “The need for a physical festival experience and face-to-face encounters is strongly evident in both the industry and the public. The experiences of the last months have shown that on-location events can take place safely and successfully, and how important they are for dialogue and exchange.”

 

Festival Directors Chatrian and Rissenbeek. (Photo by Alexander Janetzko, courtesy of Berlin International Film Festival)

The health of all guests and the festival staff is at the center of planning. The hygiene measures at the festival and EFM are designed to ensure the safe participation of all guests. More information on the Covid regulations and on the online ticketing process will be announced in the first half of November.

The main festival venue will once again be the Berlinale Palast at Potsdamer Platz, where also the Press Centre, service facilities and other festival cinemas are located. As in past years, the Berlinale will present films at numerous cinemas city-wide, and Berlinale Goes Kiez will also be bringing the 2022 festival to various local neighborhood cinemas in Berlin.

The size of the film program will be roughly similarly to the pre-Covid, 2020 festival edition. Therefore, short films will be included in the 2022 Generation program again.

The European Film Market will take place from February 10 to 17, once again with its exhibition venues Gropius Bau and the Marriott Hotel, this year under the motto ‘It all (re)starts here’. Besides serving as a platform for licensing commerce, including numerous market screenings at the nearby cinemas and online on the EFM website, as usual, the market will be an arena for innovation and change in the age of digital transformation in the film and media industries. With its own special location at Potsdamer Platz and a multitude of hybrid individual events on the current status quo and industry trends, the 2022 “EFM Industry Sessions” will also provide opportunities for personal networking. In addition, the “Berlinale Series Market” (February 14 to 16) will host a selection of market screenings and a high-calibre conference program on the subject ‘High-End Series’.

 

The 2022 Berlinale Co-Production Market will expand its on-location events to include digital access, enabling participants who don’t make the trip to Berlin to follow the bulk of the program. The one-on-one meetings in Berlin will be supplemented with additional online ones.

For its 20th edition, Berlinale Talents is planning a program of talks and discussions open to the public at the HAU Hebbel am Ufer theatres, supplemented by live streams and interactive formats. The 200 invited talents will primarily be participating on-site, with the mentor programs in project and script development also taking place online during the run-up.

The annual WCF Day is the think tank of the World Cinema Fund, which successfully supports film production in regions with fragile film infrastructures, year round, with its increasingly differentiated funding program (WCF, WCF Europe, WCF Africa, WCF ACP). The WCF Day (date TBC) is planned as a hybrid event during the 2022 festival.

 

AFI FEST 2021 Lineup Announced

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Featuring 115 titles, the 2021 American Film Institute’s AFI Fest  will showcase internationally acclaimed and award-winning films, including Sony Pictures Classics’ PARALLEL MOTHERS, written and directed by Academy Award® winner Pedro Almodóvar, which will screen as a Red Carpet Premiere at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre on Saturday, November 13. The film joins the previously announced Red Carpet Premiere titles which include Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award® winner Lin-Manuel Miranda’s tick, tick…BOOM!, Reinaldo Marcus Green’s KING RICHARD starring Will Smith, Academy Award® winner Halle Berry’s directorial debut BRUISED and Academy Award®  winner Benjamin Cleary’s feature directorial debut SWAN SONG.

The complete AFI FEST program represents 50 countries and includes six World Premieres, and of the 115 titles, 51% are directed by women, 40% directed by BIPOC filmmakers and 13% are directed by LGBTQIA+ filmmakers.

 

“We are excited to celebrate AFI FEST 2021 in person at the historic TCL Chinese theater and showcase both master filmmakers and emerging voices,” said Sarah Harris, Director of Programming, AFI Festivals.  “In a time when we need movies more than ever, we look forward to audiences being inspired by the best films from around the world screening at this year’s AFI FEST.”

 

Early bird passes are now available at FEST.AFI.com, and individual tickets for in-person and virtual screenings and events will be available to AFI members on October 19 and the general public on October 20. With health and safety being top priority, AFI FEST 2021 will require all festival-goers who attend in-person events and/or screenings to be fully vaccinated. AFI members receive exclusive discounts and benefits to the film festival. To become an AFI member, visit AFI.com/join/.

Returning filmmakers to FEST include Hany Abu-Assad (HUDA’S SALON), Andrea Arnold (COW), Jacques Audiard (PARIS, 13TH DISTRICT), Sean Baker (RED ROCKET), Michel Franco (SUNDOWN), Miguel Gomes (THE TSUGUA DIARIES), Mahamat-Saleh Haroun (LINGUI, THE SACRED BONDS), Céline Sciamma (PETITE MAMAN), Apichatpong Weerasethakul (MEMORIA), and Zhang Yimou (ONE SECOND).

Internationally acclaimed and award-winning films include AHED’S KNEE (DIR Nadav Lapid), COSTA BRAVA, LEBANON (DIR Mounia Akl), DRIVE MY CAR  (DIR Ryusuke Hamaguchi), THE GIRL AND THE SPIDER (DIR Ramon Zürcher, Silvan Zürcher), GOOD MADAM (DIR Jenna Bass), GREAT FREEDOM (DIR Sebastian Meise), HAPPENING (DIR Audrey Diwan), JOCKEY (DIR Clint Bentley), MEMORIA (DIR Apichatpong Weerakethakul), PRAYERS FOR THE STOLEN (DIR Tatiana Huezo), UNCLENCHING THE FISTS (DIR Kira Kovalenko), WHAT DO WE SEE WHEN WE LOOK AT THE SKY? (DIR Aleksandre Koberidze) and THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD (DIR Joachim Trier).

NBC News’ Meet the Press Film Festival at AFI FEST, now in its fifth year, will spotlight 15 compelling short documentaries about pressing issues facing our society. Since its launch, the Meet the Press Film Festival has showcased nearly 100 issue-based short films from nine countries, including more than a dozen Oscar® and Emmy® nominees. This year’s festival will feature five program tracks spotlighting issues from racial and gender equality, immigration and democracy to identity, criminal justice and police reform among others. Films include BREE WAYY: PROMISE WITNESS REMEMBRANCE by 2021 AFI DOCS Charles Guggenheim Symposium honoree Dawn Porter about art as a means of protesting and healing; CODED: THE HIDDEN LOVE OF J.C. LEYENDECKER about legendary early-20th century gay illustrator J.C. Leyendecker; and THE TRAIN STATION about the Lejac Indian Residential School by Lyana Patrick. The screenings of the films will be followed by conversations moderated by NBC News correspondents and anchors, including Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd.

 

AFI FEST 2021 Full Lineup

 

RED CARPET PREMIERES
A celebration of the most anticipated films of the year, showcasing excellence in the art form.

BRUISED
Marking the directorial debut of Academy Award® winner Halle Berry, BRUISED is a triumphant story of a fighter who reclaims her power, in and out of the ring, when everyone has counted her out. DIR Halle Berry. SCR Michelle Rosenfarb. CAST Halle Berry, Adan Canto, Adriane Lenox, Sheila Atim, Valentina Shevchenko, Lela Loren, Nikolai Nikolaef, Danny Boyd, Jr., Shamier Anderson, Stephen Henderson. USA. World Premiere.

KING RICHARD
Based on the inspiring true story, KING RICHARD follows the journey of a family whose unwavering resolve and unconditional belief ultimately deliver two of the world’s greatest sports legends – Venus and Serena Williams. DIR Reinaldo Marcus Green. SCR Zach Baylin. CAST Will Smith, Aunjanue Ellis, Saniyya Sidney, Demi Singleton, Jon Bernthal, Tony Goldwyn. USA

PARALLEL MOTHERS
Two women, Janis and Ana, are both single mothers that meet in the hospital before giving birth to their daughters. Their bond quickly becomes complicated in the latest drama from Spanish auteur Pedro Almodóvar. DIR Pedro Almodóvar. SCR Pedro Almodóvar. CAST Penélope Cruz, Melina Smit, Israel Elejalde, Aitana Sanchez-Gijon, Rossy de Palma, Julieta Serrano. Spain

SWAN SONG
Cameron (two-time Academy Award® winner Mahershala Ali), a loving husband and father diagnosed with a terminal illness, is presented with an alternative solution by his doctor to shield his family from grief. DIR Benjamin Cleary. SCR Benjamin Cleary. CAST Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Glenn Close, Awkwafina. USA. World Premiere.

TICK, TICK…BOOM!
Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award® winner Lin-Manuel Miranda makes his feature directorial debut with tick, tick…BOOM!, an adaptation of the autobiographical musical by composer and playwright Jonathan Larson, who revolutionized theater as the creator of “Rent.” DIR Lin-Manuel Miranda. SCR Steven Levenson. CAST Andrew Garfield, Alexandra Shipp, Robin de Jesús, Vanessa Hudgens, Joshua Henry, Bradley Whitford, Tariq Trotter, Judith Light. USA. World Premiere.

WORLD CINEMA
The best in contemporary cinema from renowned storytellers and new voices from across the globe.

AHED’S KNEE
Filmmaker Y has just arrived in the remote Arava Valley to introduce a retrospective of his films at the local library when librarian Yahalom presents him with a waiver restricting certain topics. DIR Nadav Lapid. SCR Nadav Lapid. CAST Avshalom Pollak, Nur Fibak, Avshalom Pollak, Nur Fibak, Yoram Honig, Lidor Ederi, Yonathan Kugler, Yehonathan Vilozni, Naama Preis. Israel

ALI & AVA
In this working-class romance filled with rich performances, Ali and Ava must navigate the emotional turmoil of their pasts to keep their newfound passion alive. DIR Clio Barnard. SCR Clio Barnard. CAST Claire Rushbrooke, Adeel Akhtar. UK

CASABLANCA BEATS (HAUT ET FORT)
A group of young students in Morocco begin a passionate journey of self-discovery and artistic expression by practicing rap as they confront the social issues explored in their lyrics. DIR Nabil Ayouch. SCR Nabil Ayouch with Maryam Touzani. CAST Meryem Nekkach, Anas Basbousi, Nouhaila Arif, Ismail Adouab. Morocco, France

CINEMA SABAYA
Rona is an Israeli teaching a film class to a diverse group of eight women. The class becomes the catalyst for deeper discovery as these women bond over their shared experience. DIR Orit Fouks Rotem. SCR Orit Fouks Rotem. CAST Dana Ivgy, Joanna Said, Amal Murkus, Ruth Landau, Yulia Tagil, Marlene Bajali, Aseel Farhat, Orit Samuel, Liora Levi, Khawlah Hag Debsy. Israel

COSTA BRAVA, LEBANON
In this feature debut from Lebanese filmmaker Mounia Akl, a whimsical, close-knit family eludes the political and environmental crises of Beirut by isolating in the remote mountains – until their peaceful days are disrupted. DIR Mounia Akl. SCR Mounia Akl, Clara Roquet. CAST Nadine Labaki, Saleh Bakri, Nadia Charbel, Ceana and Geana Restom, Yumna Marwan, Liliane Chacar Khoury, François Nour. Lebanon, France, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Qatar

DRIVE MY CAR (DORAIBU MAI KÂ)
Based on a Haruki Murakami short story and awarded Best Screenplay at Cannes, Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s epic explores what is left behind when a love is lost and a city is decimated. DIR Ryusuke Hamaguchi. SCR Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Takamasa Oe. CAST Hidetoshi Nishijima, Toko Miura, Masaki Okada, Masaki Okada, Reika Kirishima, Park Yurim, Jin Daeyeon. Japan

THE GIRL AND THE SPIDER
Lisa is moving out of the apartment she shares with Mara. Friends and neighbors arrive to assist and unspoken tensions simmer just beneath the surface. DIR Ramon Zürcher, Silvan Zürcher. SCR Ramon Zürcher, Silvan Zürcher. CAST Henriette Confurius, Liliane Amuat, Ursina Lardi, Flurin Giger, André M. Hennicke, Ivan Georgiev, Dagna Litzenberger Vinet, Lea Draeger, Sabine Timoteo, Margherita Schoch, Seraphina Schweiger, Birte Schnöink. Switzerland

GOOD MADAM (MLUNGU WAM)
In Jenna Cato Bass’ psychological thriller steeped in remnants of postcolonialism and apartheid, Tsidi moves in with her estranged mother Mavis, a housekeeper under the spell of her mysterious and reclusive Madam. DIR Jenna Cato Bass. SCR Jenna Cato Bass, Babalwa Baartman, Chumisa Cosa, Nosipho Mtebe, Kamvalethu Jonas Raziya, Sanda Shandu, Khanyiso Kenqa, Chris Gxalaba, Peggy Tunyiswa, Sizwe Ginger Lubengu, Siya Sikawuti, Steve Larter. CAST Nosipho Mtebe, Chumisa Cosa, Kamvalethu Jonas Raziya, Khanyiso Kenqa, Sanda Shandu, Sizwe Ginger Lubengu, Siya Sikawuti, Peggy Tunyiswa, Chris Gxalaba. South Africa

GREAT FREEDOM (GROSSE FREIHEIT)
Winner of Cannes’ Un Certain Regard Jury Prize, this unlikely love story by director Sebastian Meise depicts the engrossing life of Hans, a man in postwar Germany who is continuously imprisoned for being gay. DIR Sebastian Meise. SCR Thomas Reider, Sebastian Meise. CAST Franz Rogowski, Georg Friedrich, Anton von Lucke, Thomas Prenn. Austria, Germany

HAPPENING (L’ÉVÉNEMENT)
Winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, Audrey Diwan’s timely adaptation of Annie Ernaux’s autobiographical novel depicts a young woman caught between her ambitions and an unexpected pregnancy in 1960s France. DIR Audrey Diwan. SCR Audrey Diwan and Marcia Romano. CAST Anamaria Vartolomei, Kacey Mottet-Klein, Luàna Bajrami, Louise Orry Diquiero, Louise Chevillotte, Pio Marmaï, Sandrine Bonnaire, Anna Mouglalis. France

HIT THE ROAD (JADDE KHAKI)
An endearing yet frenzied family of four embarks on a mysterious road trip to an unknown destination in this distinctive and surprising debut from Panah Panahi, the son of acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi. DIR Panah Panahi. SCR Panah Panahi. CAST Hassan Madjooni, Pantea Panahiha, Rayan Sarlak, Amin Simiar. Iran

HOLY EMY (AGIA EMY)
Living in Athens and keeping to themselves, Emy and Teresa live a simple life centered around attending mass, working in a fish market and avoiding the locals, but the outside world soon encroaches. DIR Araceli Lemos. SCR Araceli Lemos, Giulia Caruso. CAST Abigael Loma, Hasmine Kilip, Angeli Bayani, Ku Aquino, Michalis Siriopoulos, Irene Inglesi. Greece, France, USA

HUDA’S SALON
Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker and AFI FEST alum Hany Abu-Assad (OMAR; PARADISE NOW) portrays the harrowing experience of a Palestinian mother who is blackmailed one fateful day at Huda’s Salon. DIR Hany Abu-Assad. SCR Hany Abu-Assad. CAST Ali Suliman, Maisa Abd Elhadi, Manal Awad, Kamel El Basha, Samer Bisharat, Omar Abu Amer. Palestine, Egypt, Netherlands

ÎNTREGALDE
The mission of three humanitarian aid workers is diverted when they offer a ride to an elderly man along the side of the road and find themselves suddenly stranded. DIR Radu Muntean. SCR Radu Muntean, Răzvan Rădulescu, Alexandru Baciu. CAST Maria Popistașu, Alex Bogdan, Ilona Brezoianu, Luca Sabin. Romania

JOCKEY
An aging jockey hopes to win one last title for his longtime trainer who has acquired what appears to be a championship horse. But the years – and injuries – have taken a toll on his body, throwing into question his ability to continue his lifelong passion. DIR Clint Bentley. SCR Clint Bentley, Greg Kwedar. CAST Clifton Collins Jr., Molly Parker, Moises Arias. USA

LINGUI, THE SACRED BONDS (LINGUI)
Despite abortion being illegal in Chad and forbidden in Islam, Amina is determined to support her teenage daughter’s decision to end her pregnancy and must navigate the fragile fabric of female support within a patriarchal society. DIR Mahamat-Saleh Haroun. SCR Mahamat-Saleh Haroun. CAST Achouackh Abakar Souleymane, Rihane Khalil Alio, Youssouf Djaoro, Briya Gomdigue, Hadjé Fatimé Ngoua. Chad, France, Germany, Belgium

MEDUSA
Anita Rocha da Silveira (KILL ME PLEASE) returns to AFI FEST with a horror-satire that fiercely critiques evangelical fanaticism, focusing on a virtuous Christian girl gang that is hellbent on publicly shaming sinful women. DIR Anita Rocha da Silveira. SCR Anita Rocha da Silveira. CAST Mari Oliveira, Lara Tremouroux, Joana Medeiros, Felipe Frazão, Bruna G. Brazil

MEMORIA
While visiting Bogotá, Colombia, Jessica (Tilda Swinton), a Scottish orchid farmer grappling with deep existential unease, becomes tormented by a sound only she can hear. DIR Apichatpong Weerasethakul. SCR Apichatpong Weerasethakul. CAST Tilda Swinton. Colombia, Thailand, UK, Mexico, France

ONE SECOND
Master Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou crafts a charming celebration of cinema in this epic story of an escaped prisoner bonding with an orphan and a village projectionist. DIR Zhang Yimou. SCR Zhang Yimou, Zou Jingzhi. CAST Fan Wei, Liu Haocun, Zhang Yi. China

PARIS, 13TH DISTRICT (LES OLYMPIADES, PARIS 13E)
A response to a roommate ad and a case of mistaken identity blossoms into a complex web of love and friendship in this modern, panoramic tale by director Jacques Audiard. DIR Jacques Audiard. SCR Jacques Audiard, Lea Mysius, Céline Sciamma, Adrian Tomine. CAST Noémie Merlant, Geneviève Doang, Jehnny Beth, Line Phé, Stephen Manas. France

PETITE MAMAN
In Céline Sciamma’s (PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE) enchanting and poetic coming-of-age story, eight-year-old Nelly – mourning the recent death of her beloved grandmother – meets a girl building a tree fort, like her mother once did. DIR Céline Sciamma. SCR Céline Sciamma. France

PLEASURE
In this raw and powerful debut feature, Bella arrives in Los Angeles from Sweden to pursue her dreams of stardom – in the adult film industry.DIR Ninja Thyberg. SCR Ninja Thyberg, Peter Modestij. CAST Sofia Kappel, Revika Anne Reustle, Evelyn Claire. Sweden, Netherlands, France

PRAYERS FOR THE STOLEN (NOCHE DE FUEGO)
This devastating narrative debut from documentary filmmaker Tatiana Huezo set in the mountains of Mexico follows Ana and her two best friends who live under the constant threat of kidnappings and drug cartel violence. DIR Tatiana Huezo. SCR Tatiana Huezo. CAST Mayra Batalla, Marya Membreño, Ana Cristina Ordoñez Gonzalez. Mexico

RED ROCKET
In Sean Baker’s bold and provocative new film, Simon Rex gives a hypnotic performance as an adult film star and hustler returning to his hometown in search of a fresh start. DIR Sean Baker. SCR Sean Baker, Chris Bergoch. CAST Simon Rex, Suzanna Son, Bree Elrod, Brenda Deiss, Ethan Darbone, Brittney Rodriguez, Judy Hill. USA

SUNDOWN
Opting to stay on permanent vacation instead of tending to family, wealthy heir Neil Bennett quietly fights to control his life in a world where violence and leisure are one and the same. DIR Michel Franco. SCR Michel Franco. CAST Tim Roth, Iazua Larios, Charlotte Gainsbourg. Mexico

THE TSUGUA DIARIES (DIÁRIOS DE OTSOGA)
Friends Crista, Carloto and João are building a greenhouse for butterflies, cleaning out an above-ground pool and participating in spontaneous dance parties when there is a sudden global virus outbreak. DIR Maureen Fazendeiro, Miguel Gomes. SCR Maureen Fazendeiro, Miguel Gomes, Mariana Ricardo. CAST Crista Alfaiate, Carloto Cotta, João Nunes Monteiro. Portugal, France

UNCLENCHING THE FISTS (RAZZHIMAYA KULAKI)
In a remote mining town, Ada is coming of age in a deeply dysfunctional family isolated by the men that surround her. The welcome attentions of a local boy present the possibility of new experiences, and a potential escape. DIR Kira Kovalenko. SCR Kira Kovalenko, Anton Yarush, Lyubov Mulmenko. CAST Milana Aguzarova, Alik Karaev, Soslan Khugaev, Khetag Bibilov, Arsen Khetagurov, Milana Pagieva. Russia

VERA DREAMS OF THE SEA (VERA ANDRRON DETIN)
Reeling from her husband’s suicide, sign language interpreter Vera (Teuta Ajdini) must summon untapped strength when her inheritance is violently challenged by a male in-law in deeply patriarchal Kosovo. DIR Kaltrina Krasniqi. SCR Doruntina Basha. CAST Teuta Ajdini, Alketa Sylaj, Astrit Kabashi, Refet Abazi. Kosovo, North Macedonia, Albania

WHAT DO WE SEE WHEN WE LOOK AT THE SKY?
Alexandre Koberidze’s Berlinale FIPRESCI Prize winner follows Lisa and Giorgi who fall in love at first sight, only for a curse to strike the pair, leaving them unrecognizable to one another. DIR Alexandre Koberidze. SCR Alexandre Koberidze. CAST Giorgi Bochorishvili, Ani Karseladze, Oliko Barbakadze, Giorgi Ambroladze, Vakhtang Fanchulidze. Georgia, Germany

WILDHOOD
Link, an indigenous Mi’kmaw teen, and his younger half-brother go on a journey to find Link’s long-lost mother. Joining their trek, Pasmay, a two-spirit teen, awakens something new inside of Link. DIR Bretten Hannam. SCR Bretten Hannam. CAST Phillip Lewitski, Joshua Odjick, Avery Winters-Anthony, Michael Greyeyes. Canada

THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD
This modern dramedy chronicles four years in the life of Julie, a young woman navigating love and life in Oslo. DIR Joachim Trier. SCR Joachim Trier, Eskil Vogt. CAST Renate REINSVE, Herbert Nordrum, Anders Danielsen Lie. Norway, France, Sweden, Denmark

 

DOCUMENTARIES
The most engaging and powerful real-life stories depicted in global nonfiction cinema that enlighten, educate and entertain.

BERNSTEIN’S WALL
Director Douglas Tirola documents the life of composer Leonard Bernstein (WEST SIDE STORY) from his early life in New England, to his early orchestral career, his work on television and his constant advocacy of worthy causes. DIR Douglas Tirola. USA

CITIZEN ASHE
Filmmakers Rex Miller and Sam Pollard (MLK/FBI) honor the life and enduring impact of groundbreaking tennis champion, civil rights activist and humanitarian Arthur Ashe in this stirring documentary. DIR Rex Miller, Sam Pollard. USA, UK

COW
A mother. A provider. A cow. AFI Alumna Andrea Arnold’s first-ever documentary is a visceral, up-close portrait of Luma, a singular dairy cow who despite her tenacity is subject to the whim of others. DIR Andrea Arnold. UK

THE FIRST WAVE
In early 2020, New York City is the number one hotspot for COVID-19 in the United States. Academy Award®-nominated documentary filmmaker Matthew Heineman takes a poignant look at the turmoil and resilience on the hospital frontlines. DIR Matthew Heineman. USA

JUICE WRLD
This intimate documentary explores the life and death of the young hip hop star Juice WRLD. DIR Tommy Oliver. FEATURING JuiceWRLD, The Kid Laroi, Lil Bibby, Polo G, G Herbo, Benny Blanco, Rex Kudo, Hit-Boy, Cole Bennett, Trippie Redd. USA. World Premiere.

JULIA
Highlighting delightful, never-before-seen clips from Julia Child’s public television show, veteran filmmakers Julie Cohen and Betsy West explore the trailblazing career of a culinary icon. DIR Julie Cohen, Betsy West. USA

A NIGHT OF KNOWING NOTHING
In Payal Kapadia’s semi-fictionalized experimental documentary, the diary of a student to her absent lover recounts a period of political upheaval in India, her own heartbreak reflecting that of a generation of students. DIR Payal Kapadia. SCR Payal Kapadia, Himanshu Prajapati. France, India

PROCESSION
Robert Greene’s poignant documentary chronicles six men using drama therapy to process childhood sexual abuse and explores their journey to create something truly beautiful out of horrible trauma. DIR Robert Greene. USA

THE REAL CHARLIE CHAPLIN
This uniquely crafted portrait of iconic silent film comedian Charlie Chaplin features rare insights and never-before-heard recordings by those closest to the mercurial film legend, introducing characters previously written out of the narrative.  DIR Peter Middleton, James Spinney. USA

SIMPLE AS WATER
Oscar-winning director Megan Mylan documents a handful of courageous refugee families affected by the Syrian civil war and the efforts to rebuild their lives in new surroundings around the world. DIR Megan Mylan. USA

TO WHAT REMAINS
This powerful documentary follows Project Recover, an organization with a mission to bring home missing-in-action World War II veterans from forgotten South Pacific battlefields. DIR Chris Woods. SCR Mark Monroe. USA. World Premiere.

WHO WE ARE: A CHRONICLE OF RACISM IN AMERICA
Filmmakers Emily Kunstler and Sarah Kunstler chronicle ACLU lawyer Jeffrey Robinson’s essential deep dive into America’s 400-year history of white supremacy and anti-Black racism. DIR Emily Kunstler, Sarah Kunstler. SCR Jeffery Robinson. USA

 

MEET THE PRESS FILM FESTIVAL AT AFI FEST
In partnership with NBC’s Meet the Press, these short documentaries spotlight compelling stories about pressing issues facing our society with conversations moderated by NBC News journalists.

BREE WAYY: PROMISE WITNESS REMEMBRANCE
A film by award-winning director and 2021 AFI DOCS Charles Guggenheim Symposium honoree Dawn Porter that looks at how the art world responded to the death of Breonna Taylor by using art not only as a form of protest but as a space to heal. DIR Dawn Porter. USA

CAMP CONFIDENTIAL: AMERICA’S SECRET NAZIS
During WWII, a group of young Jewish refugees are sent to a secret POW camp near Washington, DC, and they soon discover that the prisoners are Hitler’s top scientists. DIR Daniel Sivan, Mor Loushy. USA

CODED: THE HIDDEN LOVE OF J.C. LEYENDECKER
The coded advertisements of legendary early-20th century gay illustrator J.C. Leyendecker quietly, but directly, acknowledged a community that was forced to live in the closet. DIR Ryan White. USA

THE FACILITY
A group of immigrants, detained inside an infamous American detention center as the pandemic spreads, organize in protest to demand protections and their release. DIR Seth Freed Wessler. USA

GOLDEN AGE KARATE
Teen karate pro Jeff Wall teaches senior citizens self-defense at a local nursing home, giving them the tools to feel in control, connected and cared for. DIR Sindha Agha. USA

THE INTERVIEW
The film forces viewers to confront their own feelings about justice and mercy, while revealing the heavy toll our current system takes on incarcerated people and their families. DIR Jonathan Miller, Zachary Russo. USA

LEAD ME HOME
A short presenting the epidemic of homelessness in America with candid testimonials from the unhoused. A poetic portrait of our culture’s fraying edges and the people who inhabit them. DIR Pedro Kos, Jon Shenk. USA

LYNCHING POSTCARDS: ‘TOKEN OF A GREAT DAY’
From 1880–1968 over 4,000 African Americans were lynched at the hands of white mobs. These lynchings were commemorated through souvenir postcards that would ultimately be subverted by Black activists to expose racist violence in the U.S. DIR Christine Turner. USA

MELTDOWN IN DIXIE
A film exploring the broader role of Confederate symbolism in the 21st century and the lingering racial oppression which these symbols help maintain. DIR Emily Harrold. USA

MISSION: HEBRON
Israeli soldiers are recruited at age 18 and, only months later, are already overseeing Palestinian civil life. Former soldiers describe their time in Hebron, the most troubled city in the West Bank. DIR Rona Segal. Israel

PARTY LINE
At the early voting line in Ohio’s most populous county, civic duty is a public performance. DIR Lydia Cornett. USA

RED TAXI
As protests unfold in Hong Kong, RED TAXI shows a city in upheaval through the eyes of those who must traverse the streets day and night to make a living. DIR Anonymous. Hong Kong, USA

TAKEOVER
An exploration of July 14, 1970, when members of the Young Lords Party stormed the Lincoln Hospital in South Bronx, making their cries for decent healthcare heard by the world. DIR Emma Francis-Snyder. USA

THEY WON’T CALL IT MURDER
Mothers, sisters and grandmothers of those killed by Columbus police, seeking justice in a community bound together by grief and a system that refuses to call these killings murder. DIR Melissa Gira Grant, Ingrid Raphael. USA

THE TRAIN STATION
In this beautifully animated documentary short, filmmaker Lyana Patrick narrates her family’s powerful story of love and survival at Lejac Indian Residential School. DIR Lyana Patrick. Canada

 

SHORT FILM COMPETITION
Emerging and established filmmakers push the form of storytelling in inventive, challenging and sometimes hilarious ways – all in 40 minutes or less.

AL-SIT
In a cotton farming village in Sudan, Nafisa has a crush on Babiker, but her parents have arranged her marriage to Nadir, a young Sudanese businessman. Can Nafisa choose for herself? DIR Suzannah Mirghani. Sudan,Qatar

ANXIOUS BODY
Living things, artificial things, geometry shapes and lines. When these different things encounter, a new direction is born. DIR Yoriko Mizushiri. Japan, France

ARE YOU STILL THERE?
On a hot day, Safa’s car battery dies, leaving her stranded in a strip mall parking lot. When her mom arrives, the two struggle to jump-start a car. DIR Rayka Zehtabchi, Sam Davis. USA

BABYBANGZ
BABYBANGZ visualizes the story of Anastasia Ebel, owner of a natural hair salon in Mid-city, and her mission to foster opportunities for intentional reflection, for herself and her community. DIR Juliana Kasumu. USA

THE DEATH CLEANER (EL LIMPIADOR)
For a forensic cleaner in Mexico City, healing is at the core of his service. DIR Louise Monlaü. Mexico, Spain, France

EL CARRITO
Nelly slogs through another unsuccessful day of street vending in Queens, New York. Determined to improve her circumstances, she makes a risky business decision that ends in misfortune. DIR Zahida Pirani. USA

ENVIAR Y RECIBIR
A warehouse worker at a fast fashion company forms an attachment to a piece of damaged inventory. DIR Cosmo Collins Salovaara. USA

GRANNY’S SEXUAL LIFE (BABIČINO SEKSUALNO ŽIVLJENJE)
A trip into grandmother’s youth and the memories of her intimate life illustrate the status of Slovenian women in the first half of the 20th century. DIR Urška Djukić, Émilie Pigeard. Slovenia, France

GREEN (ZIELEŃ)
Roadside greenery is created to be driven past, not to be in. Geometrical, artificial and overgrown by weeds. Your body is the same, dragged through life instead of living it. DIR Karolina Kajetanowicz. Poland

H.A.G.S.
Feeling anxious about adulthood, Sean Wang found comfort in the innocence of middle school through his old yearbooks. Curious about how his old friends were handling adulthood, he called them. DIR Sean Wang. USA

HER DANCE (RIKUD HASSIDI)
After not being invited to her sister’s wedding, Aya, a transwoman, shows up by surprise on a Shabbat night at the Orthodox Jewish community where her family lives. DIR Bar Cohen. Israel

IN FLOW OF WORDS
The narratives of three interpreters of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, who interpreted shocking testimonies without regard for their own feelings and personal histories. DIR Eliane Esther Bots. Netherlands

LOVE, DAD (MILÝ TATI)
She finds letters full of love her dad wrote her years ago. DIR Diana Cam Van Nguyen. Czech Republic, Slovakia

MANO SANTA
A grandfather harbors his runaway grandson after fleeing the constraints of home. DIR Stephanie Camacho Casillas. Puerto Rico

MISERY LOVES COMPANY
One night, Seolgi is lying on a grass field with friends. A shooting star falls, and dark and intrusive thoughts hits her and her melancholy blooms into “flower people.” DIR Sasha Lee. South Korea, USA

MISTRESS DISPELLER
A professional “mistress dispeller” works with a married couple struggling with infidelity in contemporary China. DIR Elizabeth Lo. USA,China

MON AMI QUI BRILLE DANS LA NUIT
A ghost loses their memory after being struck by lightning. They meet Arthur, who tries to help them. DIR Grégoire de Bernouis, Jawed Boudaoud, Simon Cadilhac, Hélène Ledevin. France

MOTORCYCLIST’S HAPPINESS WON’T FIT INTO HIS SUIT (AL MOTOCICLISTA NO LE CABE LA FELICIDAD EN EL TRAJE)
He sits proudly on his motorbike, encompassed in majestic red and the dazzling admiration of others. A playful re-enactment with reversed roles that targets the hubris of colonial conquerors. DIR Gabriel Herrera. Mexico

NALUJUK NIGHT
Every January 6th, families in the Inuit community of Nain, Canada, celebrate Nalujuk Night, when eerie figures in tattered fur clothing arrive to reward the good and punish the bad. DIR Jennie Williams. Canada

NEW ABNORMAL
Based on a true story, NEW ABNORMAL is a reflection on human life during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as under the Emergency decree. DIR Sorayos Prapapan. Thailand

ONLY THE MOON STANDS STILL (明月依旧)
Three generations of Chinese women say goodbye to their family ballroom dance studio. Executive produced by Lena Waithe, starring Shirley Chen and Mardy Ma. DIR Johnson Cheng. USA, China

PLAY IT SAFE
Jonathan is out of place in his drama school. Pigeonholed and typecast in parts, Jonathan decides to demonstrate to his peers their prejudices during a class role-play exercise. DIR Mitch Kalisa. UK

PLAYTIME (GIOCHI)
A mother wants to play with her son. A boy wants to find out what his friend is giving a girl. A cat has disappeared. But these are only games. DIR Simone Bozzelli. Italy

PRIDE
An aspiring writer finalizes stories for “Pride,” a student-run newspaper. Over a hectic two days in the early 1990s, she puts the finishing touches on the upcoming issue. DIR Kevin Jerome Everson, Claudrena N. Harold. USA

SALES PER HOUR
The film tells the story of a young woman who faces a moral dilemma when she witnesses a sexual encounter at the clothing store where she works. DIR Michelle Uranowitz, Daniel Jaffe. USA

SANDSTORM (MULAQAT)
Zara shares a sensual dance video with her virtual boyfriend, who blackmails her. She begins her search for the strength to reject the confines of a patriarchal society. DIR Seemab Gul. Pakistan

SHARK
SHARK follows the continuing adventures of Jack, who loves to prank. But in his latest relationship he may have finally met his match. DIR Nash Edgerton. Australia

SOFT ANIMALS
Two ex-lovers cross paths in a train station. DIR Renee Zhan. UK

STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE
In Singapore, where even vapes are illegal, three rebellious schoolgirls are caught smoking by the principal. Their revenge prank takes a sinister turn. DIR Siyou Tan. Singapore

A SUMMER PLACE
On the day of Tina’s birthday, she is ready to give up on everything until an extraordinary encounter changes her life. DIR Alexandra Matheou. Cyprus, France

VIDEO VISIT
Each week, people visit the Brooklyn Public Library to video call incarcerated loved ones. A story of two mothers and their sons, and the librarians who keep the families connected. DIR Malika Zouhali-Worrall. USA

YOUR STREET (DEINE STRASSE)
The grey present of an industrial area is being charged with its past, linked to a tragic episode in the history of Germany. Are public memorials collective remembrance or repression? DIR Güzin Kar. Switzerland

YORUGA
A lonely old man pays a visit to Yoruga, one of the last animals on Earth. DIR Federico Torrado Tobón. Colombia

ZONDER MEER
A boy has disappeared and may have drowned. Five-year-old Lucie is trying to understand what is going on around her. How long can you hold your breath? DIR Meltse Van Coillie. Belgium

 

AFI Conservatory Showcase
A collection of short fiction films from the most recent graduates of the AFI Conservatory.
The theatrical screenings will conclude with a special AFI Fellows-focused premiere of Executive Producer David Fincher’s latest Netflix series, VOIR.

VOIR
A special screening of Executive Producer David Fincher’s latest Netflix series: A collection of visual essays…for the love of cinema. DIR David Prior, Taylor Ramos, Tony Zhou. World Premiere.

APART, TOGETHER
Yiru is a Chinese teenager traveling to the U.S. as a translator for her mom, who is searching for her first daughter she gave up for adoption under the one-child policy. DIR Hang “Olivia” Zhou. USA

BOYS OF A CERTAIN AGE
Stalked by an ominous driver, a boy on the cusp of puberty faces danger and excitement during a weekend of self-discovery with his best friend. DIR Spencer Wardwell. USA

THE BRIGHT SIDE OF THINGS
During the hottest heat wave in Southern California, Bobby wakes up to find his AC stolen from his window. Soon, a journey for revenge becomes one of self-discovery. DIR Andrew Pollack. USA

A BUTTERFLY VANISHES
The peace between Leo and his grieving father is disrupted when the young boy finds a butterfly that he believes to be his deceased mother. DIR Juan Pablo Arias Muñoz. USA

COLD WALL
After a video of a miscarriage suffered by a student goes viral, a shocked 16-year-old Chinese girl, Katie, attempts to solve a personal crisis in unfamiliar territory. DIR Jiaying “Lilly” Hu. USA

EUREKA
A young indentured Chinese prostitute must overcome her toxic dependency on the brothel madam on the eve of the 1885 anti-Chinese riot in Eureka, California. DIR Lixing “Mida” Chu. USA

GUIDE ON
On her first day of basic training, an army recruit stands out as she defiantly fights to be the first female guidon bearer. DIR Paige Compton. USA

THE HIDEAWAY
After hearing a rumor that her mother is a stripper, 14-year-old Nika becomes determined to discover the truth, unknowingly crossing the threshold into adulthood. DIR Jane Stephens Rosenthal. USA

KUSH: A BUBBLEGUM WESTERN
Brent and Perry, a broke and in-love couple, run into trouble when they decide to transport weed across the country. DIR Anthony Sneed. USA

LI
Li, a recent immigrant, hopes for a better education for her son while dealing with potentially losing her career, and learns how to do what’s best for her son. DIR Shengxi “Clement” Yang. USA

LIKE US
A lonely woman saves an alien who cannot experience emotions. As she tries to teach it what love is, she discovers that you can’t teach what you don’t know yourself. DIR Mikhail Saburov. USA

LUX NOCTIS
In a post-apocalyptical-matriarchal community, Lina faces her trial to bring light or perish to the darkness. Mara’s compassion pushes Lina to create an unprecedented light. DIR Damiana Acuña. USA

MASS AVE
Over a day of landscaping work, a first generation African American and his immigrant father have their relationship and outlooks on life transformed irreversibly when racially profiled by police. DIR Omar Kamara. USA

THE MONKEY KING
Bao, a small-time Chinese opera performer, finally gets a chance to perform for the city’s V.I.P.s. However, his son’s departure brings conflict between their relationship and a potential break. DIR Yingqi “Niko” Ren. USA

RIDING SCOOTERS
A socially awkward Chinese-American teenager spends an evening trying to impress his crush at a friend’s unusual party. DIR Terry Hou. USA

SPACESHIP
When a Latina transwoman in East LA is on the verge of losing her daughter to child services, she begins to unravel after confronting her buried traumas and fears. DIR Jorge Camarena. USA

YOURS TO BURY
When an innocent game puts two sisters face to face with death, one must choose whether or not to protect the other from the irreversible consequences of their play. DIR Sydney Ribot. USA

AFI FEST Announces 2021 Dates and Opening Night World Premiere of tick, tick…BOOM!

Gala for Life Achievement Honoree, Julie Andrews

AFI has announced that the 2021 edition of AFI FEST will take place November 10–14, 2021, and open with the World Premiere of Netflix’s tick, tick…BOOM! This year’s hybrid festival will feature both in-person screenings and events in Los Angeles, CA, as well as virtual screenings, showcasing transformative stories from groundbreaking artists, and a gala event celebrating AFI Life Achievement Honoree Julie Andrews.

The Opening Night screening of tick, tick…BOOM! will take place at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre. Directed by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award® winner Lin-Manuel Miranda in his feature directorial debut, the film is based on the autobiographical musical by “Rent” playwright Jonathan Larson and stars Academy Award® nominee and Tony Award® winner Andrew Garfield. The film is written by Tony Award® winner Steven Levenson, and produced by Academy Award® and Emmy® winners Brian Grazer and Ron Howard for Imagine Entertainment, Julie Oh, and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Please note that with health and safety being top priority, AFI FEST 2021 will require all festival-goers who attend in-person events and/or screenings to be fully vaccinated.

Tickets and passes to AFI FEST 2021 will be available soon on FEST.AFI.com. AFI Members receive exclusive discounts and benefits to the festival. To become an AFI member, visit AFI.com/support/.

FELIX & PAUL STUDIOS AND TIME STUDIOS FILM FIRST-EVER 3D, 360o SCENES OUTSIDE THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION FOR EMMY-NOMINATED SERIES, SPACE EXPLORERS: THE ISS EXPERIENCE

Millions of Viewers Will Soon Experience the Wonder of Floating in Space Outside the International Space Station

(NEW YORK, NY) August 27, 2021—Felix & Paul Studios, the EMMY-award winning creator of immersive entertainment experiences and the leading Space Media company, in partnership with NASA and TIME Studios, the EMMY-award winning television, film and immersive division of TIME, today announced the filming of the first-ever scenes in outer space captured in immersive 3D, 360°virtual reality format. Audiences will soon be able to experience what it is truly like to float in outer space by seeing everything completely around them, as if they were there in real life. The captured scenes have been made possible by Felix & Paul Studios’ customized virtual reality “Outer Space Camera”, attached to the Canadarm2 robotic arm which functioned as a “Space Crane” on the world’s first zero-gravity movie set.


These incredible, highly-immersive scenes will be included in episodes three and four of Space Explorers: The ISS Experience, an immersive series being produced by Felix & Paul Studios in association with TIME Studios. These forthcoming episodes will be available in 360° mobile format on 5G-enabled tablets and smartphones through leading telcos – including LGU+ (South Korea), KDDI (Japan), AIS (Taiwan), Orange (France) and Deutsche Telekom (Germany); at leading Big Screen venues, domes, planetariums, space visitor centers and science centers; in fully-immersive virtual reality on the Oculus Store for RIFT, Quest and Quest 2 devices; and as a main feature of the major, touring lifescale interactive exhibit, THE INFINITE, produced in partnership with PHI Studio.


“Today’s immersive cinematic capture of scenes in outer space is the culmination of close to three years of preparation. We are excited, honoured and truly humbled to have the opportunity to film in the most challenging environment known to humankind,” said Félix Lajeunesse, co-founder of Felix & Paul Studios and Director of Space Explorers: The ISS Experience. “Our mission since day one was to enable billions of people to experience what it is like to float in space and witness Planet Earth from above and we are pleased that this one-time dream will soon become reality in the final two episodes of our ISS Experience series.”


Less than 250 astronauts have ever conducted an extravehicular activity (EVA) – known as a “spacewalk” – and never before have audiences been able to experience what it is like to float in space as if they were astronauts themselves. The outer space scenes being captured in 3D will bring viewers “into the action” like never before and are being directed remotely by veteran directors Félix Lajeunesse and Paul Raphaël in both the Felix & Paul Studios facilities in Montreal and in the Canadian Space Agency facilities.


“Capturing the Earth in stereoscopic 3D, 360-degree format from space, outside the space station, has never been attempted until now,” said Jonathan Woods, Executive Producer of Space Explorers: The ISS Experience at TIME Studios and Emmy-winning producer of A Year in Space. “It’s beyond exciting and surreal to see this happening, knowing that the dream for this ambitious project started over five years ago in 2015.”


Felix & Paul Studios’ state-of-the-art Outer Space Camera is a customized Z-Cam V1 Pro camera consisting of nine 4K sensors allowing for a 3D, a 360-degree image at 8K resolution, and has been specially hardened by Nanoracks to withstand the harsh conditions of low atmosphere orbit, including vacuum, solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation, charged particle (ionizing) radiation, plasma, surface charging and arcing, temperature extremes, thermal cycling, and impacts from micrometeoroids and orbital debris (MMOD), and environment‐induced contamination from micrometeoroids and orbital debris (MMOD), and environment‐induced contamination.

The Outer Space Camera can store approximately 15 hours of 3D, 360-degree footage with custom lenses made to withstand extreme light and heat to minimize flare when directly exposed to the Sun (external temperatures ranging from -250° F to +250° F). About Space Explorers: The ISS Experience Space Explorers.

The ISS Experience is a four-part immersive series created in collaboration with the ISS U.S. National Laboratory, NASA, the Canadian Space Agency and other space agencies involved with the International Space Station and is filmed entirely on board and outside of the ISS using Felix & Paul Studios’ specialized 3D, 360-degree virtual reality ISS Camera and customized Outer Space Camera. Astronauts including Anne McClain, David Saint-Jacques, Christina Koch, Nick Hague, Jessica Meir, Andrew Morgan, Luca Parmitano and Victor Glover star as cast, film crew and narrators in this four-part immersive series, the largest production ever filmed in space.

The trailer for The ISS Experience is available here and stills are available here. Stills of the scenes filmed outside the International Space Station are available here. Behind the scenes footage is available at Time.com/Space.

About Felix & Paul Studios

Felix & Paul Studios is an EMMY® Award-winning creator of immersive entertainment experiences, creating unparalleled, highly engaging, presence-based experiences for the next generation of technology-enabled devices and venues. The studio’s catalogue of over thirty 3D, 360-degree experiences exhibits the “industry’s best” in the new medium of immersive storytelling, including:

  • Originals: The Space Explorers series, Traveling While Black, MIYUBI, the Nomads series, Strangerswith Patrick Watson.
  • Productions with notable franchises: Jurassic World, Cirque du Soleil, Fox Searchlight’s Wild and Isle of Dogs, and The Confessionals series with Just for Laughs starring Howie Mandel, Lilly Singh, Jud Apatow and Trevor Noah.
  • Collaborations with world-renowned leaders and performers: President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, LeBron James, President Bill Clinton, Eminem, Wes Anderson, Brie Larson, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Murray and many others.

The studio’s content is available for distribution in a range of immersive formats including 360-degree mobile on 5G-enabled smartphones, tablets and headsets; 360-degree fulldome projection in domes and planetariums; fully-immersive VR on Facebook’s Oculus and other high-end virtual reality platforms; Giant Screen projection for science centers, space welcome centers and large-format cinemas; and the touring life-scale interactive exhibit, THE INFINITE, produced in partnership with PHI Studio. Felix & Paul Studios is the leading Space Media Company and the only media company recognized as an “Official Implementation Partner” by the ISS U.S. National Laboratory.


About TIME

StudiosFrom one of the most globally iconic brands, TIME Studios is an Emmy Award®-winning television, film and immersive studio focusing on the development, production and distribution of truth-based premium unscripted and scripted premium storytelling that moves the world. With technical innovation and a brand defining visual language that dates back 98 years, TIME Studios aims to impact communities and the world at large with ideas that forge true progress. Combining the industry’s leading creators with TIME, one of the most trusted brands that reaches an audience of over 100 million people globally, TIME Studios is uniquely positioned to bring massive audiences to the world’s most impactful stories. Recent projects include, Black Gold (Paramount+), Big Vape (Netflix), John Lewis: Good Trouble (CNN Films), Amazing Grace (Neon), Right to Offend (A&E), Ricky Powell: The Individualist (Showtime), Mass Effect: The Story of YouTube, Kid of the Year (Nickelodeon/CBS), TIME 100 (ABC) and the first scripted project for TIME Studios, Women of the Year (Amazon).

AMERICAN FILM MARKET® PIVOTS TO ONLINE EVENT FOR 2021

Los Angeles, CA – August 26, 2021 – The American Film Market® (AFM®) will move its 2021 edition entirely online, the Independent Film & Television Alliance® (IFTA®) announced today. AFM 2021 Online will be held Monday, November 1 to Friday, November 5 – shifting one day earlier than its original dates. Registration for the five-day online event is now open.

AFM 2021 Online will feature Industry Offices, Screenings, Conferences, Panels and Workshops, the Networking Pavilion, LocationEXPO, and more. Event updates will be announced regularly via email, social media, and the AFM Website.


“We wish we could welcome the global industry back to Santa Monica but travel regulations, increased concerns about coronavirus variants around the world, and government restrictions on the ground prevent us from moving forward,” said Michael Ryan, Chairperson, IFTA and Partner, GFM Films. “However, IFTA is thrilled to host the market the industry expects – where no one will be excluded and all of our stakeholders can immerse themselves for five days dedicated to deal making, discovery, education, and reconnecting.”

About the American Film Market®(AFM®)

The AFM is the most efficient film acquisition, development and networking event in the world. More than US$1 billion in production and distribution deals are closed every year — on both completed films and those in every stage of development and production. Over five days in November, 7,000+ professionals from 70+ countries access the entire global catalogue of available films and projects, attend world class conferences, and connect with decision makers. The AFM is produced by the Independent Film & Television Alliance®.

About the Independent Film & Television Alliance® (IFTA®)

IFTA is the global trade association for independent film and television production, finance, distribution, and sales companies. The organization represents the independent sector before governments and international bodies and provides significant entertainment industry services to independent companies from 22 countries.

*Sourced from AFM Press release

AFI DOCS 2021 Award Winners

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Audience Award for Best Feature Goes to

STORM LAKE

Audience Award for Best Short Goes to SHELTER

Short Film Grand Jury Prize Goes to RED TAXI

Among the Participants in 19th Annual Festival of Documentary Film:

Senator Amy Klobuchar, Morgan Neville, Garrett Bradley, Dawn Porter

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

JUNE 28, 2021, WASHINGTON, DC — The American Film Institute (AFI) has announced the AFI DOCS 2021 Award Winners, concluding the six-day festival, with screenings presented online and in-person at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center. The festival’s Audience Award for Best Feature went to STORM LAKE, directed by Jerry Risius and Beth Levison. The Audience Award for Best Short went toSHELTER, directed by Smriti Mundhra.

This year’s voting jury for the competitive Short Films slate was comprised of Mike Attie, award-winning filmmaker and professor of film at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia; Greta Hagen-Richardson, Director of Programming at the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival and Lead Features Programmer at the New Orleans Film Festival; and Yvonne Ashley Kouadjo, Associate Producer for The New York Times’ award-winning short documentary series Op-Docs.

The Grand Jury Prize for Short Films went to RED TAXI, directed byAnonymous. The jury said of RED TAXI: “For its creative and accessible approach to telling a story from the perspective of those living and working in a moment of political upheaval, we award the Shorts Grand Jury Prize to RED TAXI. The courage of the anonymous filmmaker struck us for their commitment to depicting the nuances of reality on the ground.” The Shorts Grand Jury Prize at AFI DOCS is a qualifying award for Academy Award® eligibility.

The jury also awarded the Special Jury Prize to two films: THE COMMUNION OF MY COUSIN ANDREA, directed by BrandánCerviño Abeledo, saying,

“For its ability to tell a reflexive story with levity and tenderness, we award a Special Jury Prize to THE COMMUNION OF MY COUSIN ANDREA”; and S P A C E S (M E Z E R Y), directed by Nora Štrbová, saying, “For its intelligent use of multi-dimensional media in telling a fraught, emotional story, we award a Special Jury Prize to S P A C E S (M E Z E R Y).”

The 19th edition of AFI DOCS presented a diverse slate of 78 films from 23 countries, shedding light on overlooked stories from the past, honoring champions of change and giving us glimpses into the everyday lives of subjects close to home and around the world. This year, 52% of AFI DOCS films were directed by women, 40% by BIPOC directors and 18% by LGBTQ directors.

Among the festival participants were filmmakers and notables including Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar; Academy Award®winners Morgan Neville, Sean Fine, Andrea Nix Fine and Mark Ronson; Academy Award®-nominated filmmakers Julie Cohen, Betsy West and Steve James; Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Art Cullen; award-winning filmmaker Dawn Porter; Emmy® Award winner Chris Nee; CNN political contributor and host Van Jones; author and The New Yorker contributor Jelani Cobb; filmmaker and actor Sonja Sohn; musician and filmmaker Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson; Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture Curator Dwandalyn Reece; President of the African American Film Critics Association Gil Robertson; Georgetown University Professor Dr. Janet Mann; rapper KYLE; and son of late comedian and activist Dick Gregory Christian Gregory.

The festival’s panels and discussions provided filmmakers, film subjects and audiences the opportunity to delve deeper into the films with conversations led by some of the nation’s top journalists, including: NBC News Correspondent Morgan Radford; NBC News’ Meet the Press Moderator and NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd; NBC News Correspondent Anne Thompson; MSNBC Correspondent Trymaine Lee; Variety’s Film Awards Editor Clayton Davis; Axios Justice and Race Reporter Russell Contreras; Senior Segment Producer of WGN Morning News and WGN’s Entertainment Producer Tyra Martin; entertainment journalist & TV producer KJ Matthews; CQ Roll Call Deputy Editor Jason Dick andHealth Care Editor Rebecca Adams; and The Washington Post’s Managing Editor for Diversity and Inclusion Krissah Thompson, Chief Film Critic Ann Hornaday, Global Opinions writer Jason Rezaian, National Security Editor Peter Finn, Religion Reporter Michelle Boorstein, and Host and Editor of Food Video Mary Beth Albright.

This year’s inaugural DOCS Talks programming included the World Premiere of Netflix’s and Higher Ground’s WE THE PEOPLE, as well as “History Is Out of the Closet: Excavating Queer Stories for the Screen,” a live stream conversation celebrating LGBTQ+ pride. The AFI DOCS Industry Forum explored building accessibility practices into all steps of the production process, demystifying investigative documentaries, the making of the hit series PHILLY D.A., how documentaries shape conversations on racial violence, a behind-the-scenes look at the Hindsight Project films and new collaborations between public media and indie filmmakers. This year’s Industry Forum programming also included closed captioning and American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation. The AFI DOCS Industry Forum is supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National Endowment for the Arts.

RED TAXI

DIR: Anonymous. As protests in Hong Kong escalate, taxi drivers experience a city in upheaval driving the streets day and night. Anonymously filmed by locals.

SHORT FILM SPECIAL JURY PRIZE

THE COMMUNION OF MY COUSIN ANDREA

DIR: Brandán Cerviño Abeledo. Andrea’s First Communion ceremony lacks glamour. For Andrea, things without sparkles are meaningless.

SHORT FILM SPECIAL JURY PRIZE

S P A C E S (M E Z E R Y)

DIR: Nora Štrbová. A multi-textured animated exploration of memory as a container of identity, based on the personal story of the filmmaker and her brother who was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

This year’s Premium Sponsor is Apple Original Films. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) returns as Official Sponsor of the festival. NBC News’ Meet the Press with Chuck Todd and The Washington Post return this year as Primary Media Partners. Variety and The Hollywood Reporter are this year’s Official Media Partners. The Wrap is an Affiliate Media Partner.Screen Sponsors include SHOWTIME® Documentary Films, Netflix, WarnerMedia and HBO Documentary Films. Participant, National Geographic, and Eventive serve as Major Sponsors. This year’s Contributing Sponsors are ESPN, the National Endowment for the Arts and the DC Office of Cable Television, Film, Music, and Entertainment (OCTFME). Supporting Sponsors include the Maryland Film Office, Greater Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce and Rev. The Embassy of Denmark in Washington, DC, and the Farhang Foundation are this year’s Cultural Sponsors. Generous individual support comes from Stephanie and Hunter Hunt.

 

About AFI DOCS

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, Rory Kennedy, 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 DOCS.AFI.com and connect onTwitter.com/AFIDOCSFacebook.com/AFIDOCSYouTube.com/AFIand Instagram.com/AmericanFilmInstitute.

 

About the American Film Institute (AFI)
Established in 1967, the American Film Institute is the nation’s nonprofit 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 AFI.com and follow us on social media at Facebook.com/AmericanFilmInstituteYouTube.com/AFITwitter.com/AmericanFilmand Instagram.com/AmericanFilmInstitute.

 

About the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,500 locally managed and operated public television and radio stations nationwide. CPB is also the largest single source of funding for research, technology and program development for public radio, television and related online services. For more information, visit www.cpb.org and follow us on Twitter @CPBmedia, Facebook and LinkedIn, and subscribefor email updates.

About The Washington Post and Washington Post Press Freedom Partnership

The Washington Post is an award-winning news leader whose mission is to connect, inform and enlighten local, national and global readers with trustworthy reporting, in-depth analysis and engaging opinions. It combines world-class journalism with the latest technology and tools so readers can interact with The Post anytime, anywhere.

 

The Press Freedom Partnership is a public service initiative from The Washington Post to promote press freedom and raise awareness of the rights of journalists who are in pursuit of the truth. Learn more at www.wapo.st/pressfreedom

About Meet the Press with Chuck Todd

Meet the Press with Chuck Todd is where newsmakers come to make news — setting the political agenda and spotlighting the impact Washington decision-making has on Americans across the country. It is the #1 most-watched Sunday public affairs show for the 2019-2020 season, reaching more than three million viewers every Sunday and millions more through social, digital and on-demand platforms. Meet the Press brings its authority and influencer interviews to MSNBC with MTP Daily weekdays at 1 p.m. ET, to the ongoing weekly podcast, The Chuck ToddCast, and to Meet the Press Reports, a 30-minute program on NBC News NOW and Peacock, focusing on a single topic explored through the Meet the Press lens. It’s the longest-running show in television history, recently expanding its brand to also include a political short-documentary film festival in collaboration with the American Film Institute. Chuck Todd is the political director of NBC News and the moderator of Meet the Press; John Reiss is the executive producer.

CONTACT:

Elizabeth Ward, AFI DOCS PR, elizabeth@prcollaborative.com

American Film Institute: Stacy Adamski, 323.856.7759,SAdamski@AFI.com

THE AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE ANNOUNCES SPONSORS FOR AFI DOCS 2021

THE AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE ANNOUNCES
SPONSORS FOR AFI DOCS 2021

Support Comes From Wide Range of Art and Cultural Institutions, Media Partners and Corporations

Apple Original Films Joins AFI DOCS as a Premium Sponsor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, June 18, 2021, WASHINGTON, DC — The American Film Institute (AFI) has announced the sponsors for AFI DOCS 2021. Support for the festival comes from both local organizations based in the DC-metro area and major corporations across the nation. The 19th edition of AFI DOCS will run June 22–27, with films available to view on DOCS.AFI.com as well as in-person screenings at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring, MD.

“AFI DOCS reaches a nationwide audience with the support of our sponsors,” said Sarah Harris, AFI Festivals Director of Programming. “It is their generosity that amplifies the voices of today’s most vital storytellers, and we thank them on behalf of all who find inspiration in the arts.” 

In addition to supporting AFI DOCS film programming and events, sponsors provide services and exclusive experiences to filmmakers and audiences throughout the festival. Sponsor participation includes sponsoring specific film screenings, panels and events as well as national and local promotion of the festival.  

This year, AFI is proud to have Apple Original Films support AFI DOCS for the first time as a Premium Sponsor. Top festival sponsors will give audiences sneak peeks at exclusive upcoming trailers and content on the festival’s streaming platform and in the AFI DOCS Festival Hub. Media partners will also provide DOCS audiences with access to their digital issues during the week of the festival via a virtual newsstand.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) returns as Official Sponsor of the festival. CPB is Official Sponsor of the AFI DOCS Industry Forum and the Spotlight on the Hindsight Project, a special selection of short filmsthat chronicle the experiences of BIPOC communities in the American South and U.S. Territories during the unprecedented events of 2020.  

NBC News’ Meet the Press with Chuck Todd and The Washington Post return this year as Primary Media Partners. Meet the Press and The Washington Post, in conjunction with the Washington Post Press Freedom Partnership, will provide moderators for a number of films in this year’s festival. Highlights include Meet the Press Moderator and NBC Political Director Chuck Todd moderating LFG and NBC News Correspondent Morgan Radford moderating the discussion following the Opening Night World Premiere of NAOMI OSAKA. In addition to supporting post-screening discussions, Washington Post Live, The Post’s live journalism platform, will host a conversation with ROADRUNNER: A FILM ABOUT ANTHONY BOURDAIN filmmaker Morgan Neville. Post Managing Editor for Diversity and Inclusion Krissah Thompson will also moderate the World Premiere of WE THE PEOPLE in the inaugural DOCS Talks program.

Variety and The Hollywood Reporter are this year’s Official Media Partners. This year, Variety sponsors the Charles Guggenheim Symposium, which will feature a conversation between the 2021 Guggenheim honoree Dawn Porter and Variety’s Clayton Davis, and The Hollywood Reporter will be a media partner for the screening of SUMMER OF SOUL (…OR WHEN THE REVOLUTION COULD NOT BE TELEVISED). 

The Wrap joins AFI DOCS as an Affiliate Media Partner this year and is a media partner for the screening of TOM PETTY: SOMEWHERE YOU FEEL FREE.

Screen Sponsors are SHOWTIME® Documentary Films, Netflix, WarnerMedia and HBO Documentary Films. SHOWTIME® Documentary Films will once again host a networking event for filmmakers and industry, adjusted to be virtual instead of the in-person event they have hosted in the past. SHOWTIME® willalso send a special, customized gift to the festival filmmakers as they celebrate AFI DOCS from home.

Participant returns as a Major Sponsor, along with new sponsors National Geographic and Eventive. 

This year’s Contributing Sponsors are ESPN, the National Endowment for the Arts and the DC Office of Cable Television, Film, Music, and Entertainment (OCTFME). 

Supporting Sponsors include the Maryland Film Office, Greater Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce and Rev. 

The Embassy of Denmark in Washington, DC, and the Farhang Foundation are this year’s Cultural Sponsors. 

Generous individual support comes from Stephanie and Hunter Hunt.

About AFI DOCS 

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, Rory Kennedy, 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 DOCS.AFI.comand connect on Twitter.com/AFIDOCS,Facebook.com/AFIDOCSYouTube.com/AFI andInstagram.com/AmericanFilmInstitute

About the American Film Institute (AFI)
Established in 1967, the American Film Institute is the nation’s nonprofit 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 AFI.com and follow us on social media atFacebook.com/AmericanFilmInstitute,YouTube.com/AFI, Twitter.com/AmericanFilm andInstagram.com/AmericanFilmInstitute.

About the Corporation for Public Broadcasting  

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,500 locally managed and operated public television and radio stations nationwide. CPB is also the largest single source of funding for research, technology and program development for public radio, television and related online services. For more information, visit www.cpb.org and follow us on Twitter @CPBmedia,Facebook and LinkedIn, and subscribe for email updates. 

About The Washington Post and Washington Post Press Freedom Partnership  

The Washington Post is an award-winning news leader whose mission is to connect, inform and enlighten local, national and global readers with trustworthy reporting, in-depth analysis and engaging opinions. It combines world-class journalism with the latest technology and tools so readers can interact with The Post anytime, anywhere.  

The Press Freedom Partnership is a public service initiative from The Washington Post to promote press freedom and raise awareness of the rights of journalists who are in pursuit of the truth. Learn more at www.wapo.st/pressfreedom

About Meet the Press with Chuck Todd 

Meet the Press with Chuck Todd is where newsmakers come to make news — setting the political agenda and spotlighting the impact Washington decision-making has on Americans across the country. It is the #1 most-watched Sunday public affairs show for the 2019-2020 season, reaching more than three million viewers every Sunday and millions more through social, digital and on-demand platforms. Meet the Press brings its authority and influencer interviews to MSNBC with MTP Daily weekdays at 1 p.m. ET, to the ongoing weekly podcast, The Chuck ToddCast, and to Meet the Press Reports, a 30-minute program on NBC News NOW and Peacock, focusing on a single topic explored through the Meet the Press lens. It’s the longest-running show in television history, recently expanding its brand to also include a political short-documentary film festival in collaboration with the American Film Institute. Chuck Todd is the political director of NBC News and the moderator of Meet the Press; John Reiss is the executive producer. 

CONTACT: 

Elizabeth Ward, AFI DOCS PR,elizabeth@prcollaborative.com 

American Film Institute: Stacy Adamski, 323.856.7759,SAdamski@AFI.com

NAOMI OSAKA docuseries opening the American Film Institute’s 2021 AFI DOCS

Posted by Larry Gleeson

What does it feel like to be one of the best tennis players in the world?

Naomi Osaka

Find out June 22nd as the American Film Institute’s AFI DOCS will host the Opening Night World Premiere of Naomi Osaka directed by Garrett Bradley (“TIME”) followed by a virtual Q&A with Bradley. Tickets and passes for Naomi Osaka and for the AFI DOCS 2021 festival are available here.

Naomi Osaka gives unprecedented access following Osaka during a historic two years in which she works on her game but also begins to find her voice. Whether she’s defending her grand slam titles —while wearing masks in defense of Black lives — mourning the unexpected loss of mentor Kobe Bryant, or finding her independence, the challenges Naomi faces on a personal level begin to align with those in the public sphere.

With fly-on-the-wall intimacy, the series chronicles Osaka’s hectic training and travel schedule, explores the layers of pressure she is under, and reveals how she spends her time off the court hanging with her closest family and friends. The episodes also travel the globe with Osaka to further explore her Haitian roots as well as examine her deep connection to Japan, the country she represents.

Naomi Osaka is a three-part documentary series. One you won’t want to miss!

THE AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE ANNOUNCES AFI DOCS 2021 DOCS TALKS & INDUSTRY FORUM EVENTS

Posted by Larry Gleeson

World Premiere of Netflix’s and Higher Ground Production’s WE THE PEOPLE Kicks Off Inaugural DOCS Talks on June 24 

DOCS Industry Forum Topics Include Increasing Accessibility of Documentary Films,   Collaborations Between Public Media and Indie Filmmakers,  Investigative Journalism, and More 

June 9, 2021, WASHINGTON, DC — AFI DOCS — the American Film Institute’s documentary film festival — has announced its DOCS Talks and Industry Forum events for its 19th edition, June 22-27. The inaugural DOCS Talks section will feature the World Premiere of Netflix’s and Higher Ground Production’s WE THE PEOPLE, as well as “History Is Out of the Closet: Excavating Queer Stories for the Screen,” a live stream conversation celebrating LGBTQ+ pride. DOCS Talks events are free.

 

The AFI DOCS Industry Forum conversations and panels, streamed live, will explore building accessibility practices into all steps of the production process, demystifying investigative documentaries, the making of the hit series PHILLY D.A., how documentaries shape conversations on racial violence, a behind-the-scenes look at the Hindsight Project films and new collaborations between public media and indie filmmakers. This year’s Industry Forum programming will include closed captioning and American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation. The AFI DOCS Industry Forum is supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National Endowment for the Arts. Attendees can participate in all events with an Industry Pass or purchase tickets to individual events. Passes and tickets are available at DOCS.AFI.com.

 

Sarah Harris, Director of Programming, AFI Festivals

“One of the most unique parts of the festival, the AFI DOCS Industry Forum – and now the inaugural DOCS Talks events – connects attendees, filmmakers and industry leaders from across the nation in discussions concerning all aspects of documentary film and how the art form both shapes and is shaped by society,” said Sarah Harris, AFI Festivals Director of Programming. “We’re thrilled to welcome such an inspiring group of panelists and look forward to the thought-provoking conversations.”

 

In addition to the Industry Forum panels, AFI DOCS will host curated one-on-one meetings on June 22 and June 24 for AFI DOCS filmmakers and industry pass holders. Industry meetings provide an opportunity to connect with prominent industry professionals, funders and public media representatives from across the nation. Participants will include, but are not limited to, representatives from PBS, ITVS, Netflix, CNN Original Series, Imagine Documentaries, Catapult Film Fund and IDA.

 

Beyond these dynamic conversations, AFI DOCS will offer even more opportunities for filmmakers and attendees to engage and interact with the festival through the new Festival Hub and DOCS Connect platform, which will launch on opening day, June 22. The Hub will offer attendees access to everything the festival offers, including exclusive content, programmer picks, photobooth, links to special events and more. Attendees will also be able to access DOCS Connect through the Hub. This moderated message board provides an opportunity to interact and discuss AFI DOCS films, sharing insights, reactions and stories. DOCS Connect will also feature question and answer sessions in real time with select feature filmmakers on Friday, June 25, and Saturday, June 26.

DOCS Talks 

WE THE PEOPLE  

Created by Chris Nee and executive produced by Nee, Kenya Barris, and Barack and Michelle Obama, WE THE PEOPLE covers a range of basic U.S. civic lessons in not-so-basic ways. Set to original songs performed by Janelle Monáe, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Brandi Carlile, Cordae, Bebe Rexha, Kyle and inaugural National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman, each episode showcases a groundbreaking mix of animated styles. WE THE PEOPLE promises to be a vibrant call to action for everyone to rethink civics as a living and breathing thing, and to reframe their understanding of what government and citizenship mean in a modern world.

 

In this special event, AFI DOCS will present a conversation about the expansion of nonfiction filmmaking form and the healing of a nation through a celebration of civics and cinema, moderated by The Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart. Free event. Thursday, June 24, 8:00 p.m. EDT

History Is Out of the Closet: Excavating Queer Stories for the Screen  

Moderated by Madeleine Lim, Executive/Artistic Director of the Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project (QWOCMAP), the livestream discussion will focus on the queer filmmakers of AFI DOCS 2021. With documentaries touching on eras from the 1920s and into the present, these filmmakers revisit and reframe LGBTQIA+ histories, incorporating a rich texture and diversity of experiences to celebrate fascinating subcommunities and wonderful lesser-known figures. Reclaiming histories that have been systematically erased and ignored, these films remind the world with pride that queer people have always been here. The panel will be moderated by Madeleine Lim, Executive/Artistic Director of the Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project. Free event. Saturday, June 26, 1:00 p.m. EDT 

AFI DOCS 2021 Industry Forum 

 

Breaking the Silence: How Documentaries Can Shape Conversations on Racial Violence. 

Moderated by Sherry Simpson, ITVS’s Senior Director of Engagement and Impact Innovation, this eye-opening panel will discuss the Center for Media & Social Impact’s report “Breaking the Silence: How Documentaries Can Shape the Conversation on Racial Violence in America and Create New Communities.” The study, which focused on community screenings and conversations around the Independent Lens documentary ALWAYS IN SEASON, provided some key findings and insights that can be incorporated into filmmaker’s future projects. Tuesday, June 22, 4:00 p.m. EDT

 

Getting Serious About Series: New Collaborations Between Public Media Series and Indie Filmmakers 

Day two of the Forum begins with a discussion with leading executives from PBS and WORLD Channel flagship series including American Experience, NOVA, American Masters and WORLD’s America ReFramed and independent filmmakers. The panel, led by Black Public Media’s Executive Director Leslie Fields-Cruz, will explore the exciting new collaborations between legacy series and the independent film community to highlight diverse voices and original ideas. Wednesday, June 23, 2:00 p.m. EDT 

 

Looking to the Future With “Hindsight” 

Moderated by Sapana Sakya, the Talent Development and Special Projects Manager for the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), Looking to the Future With “Hindsight” brings together filmmakers from the Hindsight Project whose films will be making their world premieres in this year’s AFI DOCS, along with the key collaborators who made this effort possible, including Firelight Media, CAAM, Reel South and Southern public media stations. Wednesday, June 23, 4:30 p.m. EDT 

Inside Investigation: What Filmmakers Need to Know to Embark on Investigative Documentaries 

“Inside Investigation” aims to demystify and remove the intimidation factor from investigative documentaries, especially for filmmakers who do not necessarily have a background in journalism. Moderator Carrie Lozano, Director of the Sundance Documentary Film Program, and a panel of experts will discuss how to successfully embark on investigative projects, navigate obstacles and avoid potential pitfalls. Thursday, June 24, 2:00 p.m. EDT 

 

Making Films More Accessible to All Audiences

There is a strong push toward making films accessible to the widest array of audiences – through audio descriptions, live transcripts, captioning and other tools. In “Making Films More Accessible to All Audiences,” moderated by filmmaker and founding member of the nonprofit organization FWD-Doc Day Al-Mohamed, a panel of filmmakers, WGBH’s Media Access Group and other experts address what filmmakers need to know about accessibility needs, best practices and available resources as they work to build accessibility practices into all steps of the production process. Thursday, June 24, 4:00 p.m. EDT

 

PHILLY D.A. – The Making of the Landmark New Independent Lens Docuseries  

For the final day of Forum programming, AFI DOCS presents the special two-part panel “PHILLY D.A. – The Making of the Landmark New Independent Lens Docuseries,” with an in-depth, 360-degree exploration of the docuseries that has captivated audiences since its recent debut on INDEPENDENT LENS.

  • In Part 1, ITVS Vice President of Production Royd Chung leads the filmmakers and other key personnel through the evolution of the series and the major creative and practical challenges in telling this dynamic, multi-dimensional story. Friday, June 25, 12:00 p.m. EDT 
  • Part 2 will focus on the engagement and impact strategies employed on the series’ behalf, as ITVS Senior Director of Engagement and Innovation Sherry Simpson moderates an up-to-the-minute discussion with the film team. Friday, June 25, 2:30 p.m. EDT

Passes and tickets to AFI DOCS 2021 are now available at DOCS.AFI.com.  

AFI Members receive exclusive discounts and benefits. To become an AFI member, visit AFI.com/join.

About AFI DOCS 

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, Rory Kennedy, 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 DOCS.AFI.com and connect on Twitter.com/AFIDOCS, Facebook.com/AFIDOCS, YouTube.com/AFI and Instagram.com/AmericanFilmInstitute. 

 

About the American Film Institute (AFI)
Established in 1967, the American Film Institute is the nation’s nonprofit 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 AFI.com and follow us on social media at Facebook.com/AmericanFilmInstitute, YouTube.com/AFI, Twitter.com/AmericanFilm and Instagram.com/AmericanFilmInstitute.

 

About the Corporation for Public Broadcasting  

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,500 locally managed and operated public television and radio stations nationwide. CPB is also the largest single source of funding for research, technology and program development for public radio, television and related online services. For more information, visit www.cpb.org and follow us on Twitter @CPBmedia, Facebook and LinkedIn, and subscribe for email updates. 

 

About The Washington Post and Washington Post Press Freedom Partnership  

The Washington Post is an award-winning news leader whose mission is to connect, inform and enlighten local, national and global readers with trustworthy reporting, in-depth analysis and engaging opinions. It combines world-class journalism with the latest technology and tools so readers can interact with The Post anytime, anywhere.

 

The Press Freedom Partnership is a public service initiative from The Washington Post to promote press freedom and raise awareness of the rights of journalists who are in pursuit of the truth. Learn more at www.wapo.st/pressfreedom

 

About Meet the Press with Chuck Todd

Meet the Press with Chuck Todd is where newsmakers come to make news — setting the political agenda and spotlighting the impact Washington decision-making has on Americans across the country. It is the #1 most-watched Sunday public affairs show for the 2019-2020 season, reaching more than three million viewers every Sunday and millions more through social, digital and on-demand platforms. Meet the Press brings its authority and influencer interviews to MSNBC with MTP Daily weekdays at 1 p.m. ET, to the ongoing weekly podcast, The Chuck ToddCast, and to Meet the Press Reports, a 30-minute program on NBC News NOW and Peacock, focusing on a single topic explored through the Meet the Press lens. It’s the longest-running show in television history, recently expanding its brand to also include a political short-documentary film festival in collaboration with the American Film Institute. Chuck Todd is the political director of NBC News and the moderator of Meet the Press; John Reiss is the executive producer.

 

CONTACT: 

Elizabeth Ward, AFI DOCS PR, elizabeth@prcollaborative.com

American Film Institute: Stacy Adamski, 323.856.7759, SAdamski@AFI.com

Mountainfilm Announces 2021 Award Winners

Posted by Larry Gleeson

 

“It felt like a sacred space,” said Festival Director Suzan Beraza. “The numbers were different from what we’re used to, but there was an intimacy and the ability to have real, in-depth conversations. It was a gift.”

 

Suzan Beraza, Festival Director

The number of in-person attendees may have shifted due to the pandemic, but the quality of programming remained high. And, just like in years past, certain features and short films stood out — pushing us out of our comfort zone, inspiring action, and shifting our worldview. To honor these moments, a handful of films and filmmakers were recognized with a cash award.

“A big part of Mountainfilm’s mission is filmmaker support,” said Beraza. “The comment that we got from the awards juries is that the caliber of films was extremely high and they had a difficult deliberation process.”

 

2021 Festival Awards by R. Nelson Parrish Photo: Jonas Jungblut

These are the Mountainfilm 2021 award winners:

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
JACINTA

 The winner of this juried award is Jacinta, a film that introduces us to a multi-generational family fighting the pattern of addiction and the cycle of prison, rehab, relapse and perpetual disappointment. Over three-and-a-half years, filmmaker Jessica Earnshaw follows a loving family faced with a seemingly endless battle against codependency and trauma.
Funded in part by Tully and Elise Friedman

BEST SHORT FILM
SINCE YOU ARRIVED, MY HEART STOPPED BELONGING TO ME

Since you arrived, my heart stopped belonging to me is the winner of this juried award that recognizes exceptional short filmmaking. Director Erin Semine Kökdil zooms in on a group of Central American mothers desperately searching the streets of Mexico for their missing migrant children.
Funded in part by Tully and Elise Friedman

CHARLIE FOWLER BEST ADVENTURE FILM
AFTER ANTARCTICA

Each year, an adventure film that embodies the spirit of Charlie Fowler, a world-class climber and Telluride crag pioneer, is recognized. This year, Tasha Van Zandt’s After Antarctica was the well-deserving recipient. The film tells the story of Will Steger, who traversed Antarctica in 1989 to defend and protect Antarctica from exploitation. Now, almost 30 years later, we watch as Steger sets out on a solo expedition to the Arctic Circle at age 75.
Funded by the Fowler family

MOVING MOUNTAINS
THE ANTS & THE GRASSHOPPER

The Moving Mountains award honors a film that’s dedicated to social justice and impact — supporting both the filmmaker and the film’s associated nonprofit. This year’s recipients are Raj Patel and Zak Piper, directors of The Ants & The Grasshopper, and the farmer-led nonprofit Soils, Food and Healthy Communities. The feature film follows Anita Chitaya from Malawi as she and her mentor, Esther Lupafya, travel through the U.S. in an effort to convince Americans that climate change is real.
Funded in part by Tully and Elise Friedman

WOMEN IN FILM
THE BEAUTY PRESIDENT

Director Whitney Skauge is the winner of this award that’s presented to an outstanding woman in the film industry. Skauge’s film, The Beauty President pays homage to a queer drag queen named Joan Jett Blakk who ran a campaign as a write-in candidate in the 1992 U.S. presidential election. In the film, we meet the male activist behind the persona, Terence Alan Smith, as he reflects on his audacious bid to draw attention to LGBTQ+ rights and the AIDS crisis.
Funded by Riccarda de Eccher and Bill Goldston.

 

VIMEO STAFF PICK
ON FALLING

A Vimeo curation team chose On Falling as their 2021 outstanding short film. In the short, Director Josephine Anderson — who is too afraid to ride a mountain bike — follows three female pro mountain bikers to explore the topics of toughness, vulnerability and accomplishment.
Funded by Vimeo

 

These films will all be available on Mountainfilm Online. Passes to the online festival are also still available here. Following Mountainfilm Online, May 31–June 6, the remaining two awards: Audience Choice and Student Choice will be announced.

 

Let’s Create A Better World!

Now, more than ever, we need your support. It is only through generous contributions that we can continue our mission to use the power of film, art, and ideas to inspire audiences to create a better world.

Donations will go a long way to ensure that Mountainfilm not only endures, but comes back in full force in 2022. Every little bit helps, become a donor today!

 

*If you didn’t catch all of the films on your list at Mountainfilm in Telluride — or you prefer the comfort of your own couch and snack set up – Mountainfilm Online has your back. Online festival passes are still available here. Get yours today!

To help you have the best experience possible check out this guide: How to Mountainfilm Online. You’ll be glad you did!

I’ll be posting regularly here as well as on my social media accounts with Facebook and twitter (@hollywoodglee). Stay tuned….

I look forward to seeing you at the movies!

Larry Gleeson at the 2019 Telluride Film Festival build-out. Gleeson was part of the Telluride Film Festival Vespucci Production Team.