Opening Gala LETTERS TO JACKIE written and directed by Bill Couturié
Embraces the Nation’s Mourning of President Kennedy’s Assassination Fifty Years Ago
Centerpiece Gala DOCUMENTED written and directed by Jose Antonio Vargas
Further Raises Immigration to the Forefront of our Country’s Dialogue
APRIL 22, 2013, WASHINGTON, DC – AFI Docs presented by Audi announced today the AFI Docs opening night gala at the Newseum will be the theatrical premiere of LETTERS TO JACKIE written and directed by Oscar®-winning filmmaker Bill Couturié. The film, presented by TLC and co-produced by Amblin TV and The Couturie Co., features letters from the public written to Mrs. Kennedy in the dark shadow of the President’s assassination fifty years ago. The letters are read by 20 of today’s top actors including Bérénice Bejo, Demián Bichir, Jessica Chastain, Chris Cooper, Viola Davis, Zooey Deschanel, Kirsten Dunst, Anne Hathaway, Allison Janney, John Krasinski, Melissa Leo, Laura Linney, Frances McDormand, Chloë Grace Moretz, Mark Ruffalo, Octavia Spencer, Hailee Steinfeld, Channing Tatum, Betty White and Michelle Williams. TLC will premiere LETTERS TO JACKIE as a special television event in November 2013. Timothy Kuryak, Howard Lee, Eileen O’Neill and Amy Winter serve as executive producers for TLC. Amblin/DreamWorks Television co-presidents Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank executive produced the film.
Also having its world premiere is DOCUMENTED, written and directed by Jose Antonio Vargas, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and founder of Define American and co-directed by Ann Lupo. The film explores immigration in America through the lens of Vargas’ personal story as one of the country’s most prominent undocumented immigrants who himself is documenting America’s growing undocumented immigrant movement. The topic of immigration will also be explored as part of the AFI Catalyst Sessions: The Art of Moving Reality, a forum for national conversations with filmmakers, thought leaders, policy-makers and engaged audiences held as part of AFI Docs. More information about the AFI Catalyst Sessions will be announced in May.
“Some issues and emotions are so powerful that they must find expression in the public square and in our case, the National Mall and Pennsylvania Avenue,” said AFI President and CEO Bob Gazzale. “LETTERS TO JACKIE and DOCUMENTED will prompt essential national conversations that are at the heart of AFI Docs.”
“We are honored to present these exceptional films as our Opening Night and Centerpiece screenings,” said Sky Sitney, Festival Director. “Both touch deeply on the emotional core of our country’s identity – LETTERS TO JACKIE looks back at a pivotal time in our history, while DOCUMENTED confronts a critical issue that could not be more timely and relevant.”
As previously announced, AFI Docs presented by Audi (formerly Silverdocs) returns for its 11th edition June 19-23, 2013. After a decade at the celebrated AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring, MD, the festival will build upon the success of Silverdocs with screenings and events at iconic venues on the National Mall and in the Penn Quarter area, as well as continue at the American Film Institute’s AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center.
Information on programming, screening schedules, registration and passes will be released in the coming weeks and posted at AFI.com/AFIDOCS.