Post(s) tagged with "AFI"



Jane Fonda was named the 42nd recipient of AFI’s Life Achievement Award today by Sir Howard Stringer, Chair of the American Film Institute’s Board of Trustees.  Fonda will receive the honor at a tribute dinner on June 5, 2014 to be broadcast on TNT and its sister network TCM. “Jane Fonda is American film royalty,” said Stringer. “A bright light first introduced to the world as the daughter of Henry Fonda, the world watched as she found her own voice and forged her own path as an actor and a cultural icon.”  

Jane Fonda is part of an American acting dynasty.  Where others would have been defined by their place in the family tree – the daughter of an American screen legend, the wife of a famous director, activist or billionaire broadcaster – it is Fonda herself, an Academy Award®-winning actor of KLUTE (1971) and COMING HOME (1978) and star of more than 40 other films, whose image as an artist and activist eclipses all others.  Her path through the starry firmament of Hollywood and the world beyond has ultimately been determined by the gravitational pull of her own power. 

Jane Seymour Fonda was born in New York City in 1937 to a socialite, Frances Seymour Brokaw, and an up and coming actor, Henry Fonda.  By the time she was old enough to pursue her own career, Fonda’s father had become a movie icon of American grit and integrity.  At 17, she appeared with her father in a production of “The Country Girl” at the Omaha Community Theatre.  She joined the Actors Studio in 1958, studied with Lee Strasberg and made her screen debut two years later opposite Anthony Perkins in TALL STORY (1960) directed by Joshua Logan

Fonda’s early screen roles revealed a talent for light comedy in well-crafted adaptations of Broadway plays like PERIOD OF ADJUSTMENT (1962), ANY WEDNESDAY (1966) and BAREFOOT IN THE PARK (1967).  Her role in BARBARELLA (1968) established her in pop culture before landing dramatic roles in THEY SHOOT HORSES, DON’T THEY? (1969) and KLUTE.  Her portrayal of prostitute and stalking victim Bree Daniels earned Fonda her first Academy Award®.  Fonda’s stirring performances in COMING HOME, JULIA (1977) and THE CHINA SYNDROME (1979) won praise from the nation’s film critics.

In the 1980s, Fonda defied expectations by writing “Jane Fonda’s Workout Book” and creating Jane Fonda’s Workout Video,” best-sellers that ignited a national aerobic exercise craze among baby boomers.  In all, Fonda released two dozen fitness videos, six books and 13 audios. 

Fonda’s acting triumph of the 1980s was the film adaptation of Ernest Thompson’s play, ON GOLDEN POND (1981), in which she appeared with her father – whose performance earned him his only Academy Award® for Best Actor.  Fonda herself was nominated for Best Supporting Actress.  Other major films during this decade were NINE TO FIVE (1980), AGNES OF GOD (1985) and STANLEY AND IRIS (1989), after which she a announced her retirement. 

Fonda triumphed on the Broadway stage in Moises Kaufman’s “33 Variations” and appeared in such films as MONSTER-IN-LAW (2005), GEORGIA RULE (2007) and PEACE, LOVE & MISUNDERSTANDING (2011).  She currently plays Leona Lansing in the HBO series THE NEWSROOM.


The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today additional red carpet Centerpiece Galas at AFI FEST presented by Audi, including the World Premiere of Scott Cooper’s OUT OF THE FURNACE; Alexander Payne’s NEBRASKA; accompanied by a Tribute to Bruce Dern; and THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY, directed by and starring Ben Stiller. Stuart Cornfeld, an AFI Conservatory alumnus and recipient of the Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal at the AFI Life Achievement Award ceremony held last June, is one of the producers of THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY. All galas will be presented in the historic TCL Theatre.

As previously announced, the North American Premiere of SAVING MR. BANKS (DIR John Lee Hancock) is the Opening Night Gala and INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS (DIR Ethan Coen, Joel Coen) is the Closing Night Gala. The Guest Artistic Director is Agnès Varda. The previously announced FOXCATCHER Premiere is no longer part of the AFI FEST program, due to the shift of the film’s release date to 2014.

"Our Centerpiece Galas reflect the diverse cinematic experience at AFI FEST, from our smaller independent films to larger studio releases. We are thrilled to have the World Premiere of OUT OF THE FURNACE; to honor the legendary Bruce Dern for his outstanding career and his brilliant performance in NEBRASKA; and to take the audience on a journey with THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY," said Jacqueline Lyanga, AFI FEST Festival Director. Commenting on the news that the previously announced Premiere of FOXCATCHER would move to next year, Lyanga added, "AFI will be proud to celebrate FOXCATCHER when Bennett Miller and his talented team are ready to share it with the world."

For the fifth consecutive year, AFI FEST will offer free tickets to all screenings, but only the Patron Packages will provide reserved seating for the festival’s announced galas. These and other AFI FEST Passes are on sale now at

Free individual tickets to AFI FEST screenings and galas will be available to AFI members on Monday, October 28 and Tuesday, October 29 in a 48-hour advance window before they become available to the general public on Wednesday, October 30 and Thursday, October 31. In addition, AFI members at the Two-Star level and above receive a 10% discount on all AFI FEST Patron Packages and Passes. Information about AFI membership is available at



The American Film Institute’s “almanac” of the year’s most outstanding achievements in film and television, AFI AWARDS will be held on January 10, 2014 and honorees will be announced on December 9, 2013.  Submissions are now being accepted online at until October 25 for TV and October 31 for film.

Favored by artists and entertainment executives for its intimacy and collaborative recognition, the annual gathering is the only form of national appreciation that honors the creative ensemble as a whole – those in front of and behind the camera – and is popular with honorees because there are no winners or losers. AFI will honor the talented teams that created the 10 most outstanding films and 10 most outstanding television programs of the year at a private luncheon in Los Angeles.

Marking the 14th chapter in the American Film Institute’s 21st century almanac, AFI AWARDS honorees are selected by a jury process comprised of experts from across the moving image communities – including film and television artists, scholars, critics and AFI Trustees. 

Television Submission Deadline - October 25, 2013
Film Submission Deadline - October 31, 2013
Honorees Announced - December 9, 2013
AFI AWARDS 2013 - January 10, 2014

AFI Awards 2013 presenting sponsor is Verizon Digital Media Services with additional sponsorship by Stella Artois.  American Airlines is the official airline of the American Film Institute. 


Passes on Sale Now for AFI FEST November 7-14

The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today early details of its AFI FEST 2013 presented by Audi. The programming unveiled epitomizes the vision of the festival – a celebration of Hollywood today where icons and emerging artists bring audiences together to experience global cinema in the movie capital of the world. The North American Premiere Gala of Disney’s SAVING MR. BANKS will open the festival on Thursday, November 7. Agnès Varda, considered “the mother of French New Wave cinema,” will serve as Guest Artistic Director. 

“The American Film Institute honors the past, the present and the future of the motion picture arts. Now in its 27th year, AFI FEST remains the place to experience Hollywood now – a place that lives in the mythology of the movies, but also home to the dynamic global stories of today,” said AFI President and CEO Bob Gazzale.

“Our line-up of programming, from opening to closing, reflects what Hollywood is today: a broad spectrum of stories from studio and independent filmmakers, and having Agnès Varda as Guest Artistic Director was a conscious decision to recognize the global influence of an icon of the French New Wave,” said Festival Director Jacqueline Lyanga. “The blending of studio, independent, foreign and auteur films and the artists who made them is the embodiment of AFI FEST.”

SAVING MR. BANKS, starring Academy Award®-winning actress Emma Thompson and AFI Life Achievement Award recipient and Academy Award®-winning actor Tom Hanks, will have its North American Premiere on Thursday, November 7 as the Opening Night Gala. Inspired by true events, SAVING MR. BANKS is the extraordinary, untold story of how Walt Disney’s classic MARY POPPINS made it to the screen – and the testy relationship between the legendary Walt Disney and author P.L. Travers that almost derailed it. John Lee Hancock (THE BLIND SIDE) is the director, and Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith wrote the screenplay. SAVING MR. BANKS also stars Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, Bradley Whitford, Annie Rose Buckley, Ruth Wilson, B.J. Novak, Rachel Griffiths, Kathy Baker and Colin Farrell. 

MARY POPPINS premiered at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in 1964 with both Walt Disney and P.L. Travers in attendance. The film was nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Picture and garnered 12 more Oscar® nominations. Out of the 13 nominations, MARY POPPINS won five, including Best Actress for its star, Julie Andrews. The song “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” has been recognized by the American Film Institute as one of the greatest movie songs of all time. MARY POPPINS is ranked among the top 10 of AFI’s Greatest Movie Musicals. Bridging the present and the past, AFI FEST celebrates SAVING MR. BANKS and the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Disney classic with a screening of MARY POPPINS during the festival’s opening weekend at the renowned movie palace where it first debuted to the world.

As AFI FEST Guest Artistic Director, Agnès Varda, often called the mother of the French New Wave movement, will present a program of films that have inspired her work. Details will be announced later this month.

INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS, written and directed by Academy Award® winners Joel and Ethan Coen (NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN), was produced by Scott Rudin and Joel and Ethan Coen and will be the Closing Night Gala on Thursday, November 14. The film stars Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund and Justin Timberlake and follows a week in the life of a young folk singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961. Llewyn Davis (Isaac) is at a crossroads. Guitar in tow, huddled against the unforgiving New York winter, he is struggling to make it as a musician against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, ­ some of them of his own making. Brimming with music performed by Isaac, Timberlake and Mulligan (as Llewyn’s married Village friends), as well as Marcus Mumford and Punch Brothers, INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS – in the tradition of O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? – is infused with the transportive sound of another time and place. An epic on an intimate scale, it represents the Coen Brothers’ fourth collaboration with multiple-Grammy® and Academy Award®-winning music producer T Bone Burnett. Marcus Mumford is the Associate Music Producer. INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS recently won the Grand Prix at the 2013 Cannes International Film Festival. The film will be distributed by CBS Films in the U.S.

Festival passes are on sale now at For the fifth consecutive year, AFI FEST will continue its unprecedented offer of free tickets to all screenings, but only the Star Patron Package and Marquee Patron Package will provide reserved seating at today’s three announced galas – Opening Night, Opening Weekend and Closing Night. These and other AFI FEST Patron Packages and Passes – which can include access to sold-out galas and other high-demand films and events – are available now.

Free individual tickets to AFI FEST screenings and galas will be available to AFI members on Monday, October 28 and Tuesday, October 29 in a 48-hour advance window before they become available to the general public on Wednesday, October 30 and Thursday, October 31. In addition, AFI members at the Two-Star level and above receive a 10% discount on all AFI FEST Patron Packages and Passes. Information about AFI Membership is available at

For the 10th year, Audi returns as the festival’s presenting sponsor. Additional sponsors include American Airlines, the official airline of AFI; The American Film Market (AFM); AT&T; Coca-Cola; The Egyptian Theatre; Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel; Stella Artois; and TCL Chinese Theatre, among many others.


100% of Funds Raised Goes Directly to Fellows Training

Attending AFI Conservatory just became a lot more affordable for some talented filmmakers thanks to the generosity of the Institute’s Board of Trustees.  Meeting the challenge of AFI Board of Directors Chair Robert Daly, who donated $1 million last year, the Trustees came up with $2.3 million more and raised an additional $3.5 million from others in the entertainment community, nearly tripling the amount of scholarship money available to AFI Fellows.  In addition to Daly, the biggest donors were AFI Board of Trustees Chair Sir Howard Stringer, Lawrence Herbert, David Geffen, Alan Horn, Terry Semel and the Time Warner Foundation. 

Eight Latino Fellows in their First or Second Year will receive a boost from The Latino Donor Collaborative through the efforts of AFI Trustee Moctesuma Esparza.  And a new scholarship named for the late Gary Winick (AFI Class of 1986), who was known as a mentor of young talent, has been established.  Its first recipient is AFI Directing Fellow Henry Hughes, a U.S. military veteran, whose tuition is partially covered by the G.I. bill.

AFI Docs Presented by audi AWARD WINNERS; Audience Award for Best Feature goes to THE NEW BLACK; Audience Award for Best Short goes to SLOMO

AFI DOCS presented by Audi
(formerly Silverdocs) announced today its distinguished Audience Award winners, culminating a five day festival including the screening of 53 films representing 30 countries in iconic DC locations on the National Mall and Penn Quarter area as well as at the historic AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring, MD.  The Festival hosted over 19,000 attendees, including 845 filmmakers, film subjects, journalists, industry, esteemed panelists and special guests, including Attorney General Eric Holder, Senator Robert Menendez, and former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich.  The Festival encompassed a full day of “Catalyst Sessions” exploring Immigration, Education, Intellectual Property and the Role of Humor in Politics.  The Festival also hosted an inaugural Public Policy Engagement Program, which connected over 52 filmmakers with influential policy makers in the halls of Congress, at a Film and Politics Boot Camp, as well as in conversations with Administration officials about ways to collaborate for positive social change around shared issue areas. 

This year’s Audience Award for Best Feature went to THE NEW BLACK directed by Yoruba Richen.  The film examines how African-American voters have become bitterly divided on the issue of gay marriage because of homophobia rampant in one of the pillars of the African-American community – the church.  Focusing on the fight for marriage equality in Maryland, it argues that this hot-button issue is a matter of civil rights.

This year’s Audience Award for Best Short went to SLOMO directed by Joshua Izenberg.  The film asks what would really happen if you quit your lucrative job and just did what you wanted all day, like subject John Kitchin, a doctor who traded his medical practice for rollerblades and sandy beaches, and explores the neurological and spiritual joys of slow acceleration.

“While this was a transformational year for the Festival with an expanded footprint into the heart of Washington, DC, at our core remains a commitment to celebrating the best in the documentary form,” said Sky Sitney, Festival Director.  “The tremendous enthusiasm and response to the film program and its related panels surpassed even our highest expectations. Congratulations to our award winning filmmakers who have set the bar even higher for all future years.”

The 2013 edition of AFI DOCS marks the historic return of the American Film Institute to Washington, DC, where its creation was announced in the White House Rose Garden in 1965.




Special Broadcast Will Premiere Saturday, June 15 at 9:00 P.M. ET/PT on TNT and Encore Wednesday, July 24 on TCM as Part of an All-Night Tribute to Brooks

Comedy legend Mel Brooks was lauded with the 41st annual AFI Life Achievement Award – the highest honor for a career in film – in an evening of equal parts heart and laughter. Many of Hollywood’s most revered luminaries turned out to pay tribute to one of America’s most celebrated artists. The black tie gala was taped at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood and will premiere on Saturday, June 15 at 9:00 P.M. ET/PT on TNT and encore on Wednesday, July 24 on TCM as part of an all-night tribute to Brooks.

Among the over 1,000 guests gathered for Brooks were Conan O’Brien, Judd Apatow, Jon Avnet, Roger Bart, Richard Benjamin, James L Brooks, Billy Crystal, Sasha Baron Cohen, Stuart Cornfeld, Bob Daly, Larry David, Robert De Niro, Eugenio Derbez, Carey Elwes, Morgan Freeman, Isla Fisher, Zach Galifianakis, Teri Garr, Vince Gilligan, Marshall Herskovitz, Dustin Hoffman, Ken Howard, Jimmy Kimmel, David Kroll, Cloris Leachman, David Lynch, Richard Lewis, Leonard Maltin, Catherine O’Hara, Alexander Payne, Ron Perlman, Luana Piovani, Amy Poehler, Jay Roach, Carole Bayer Sager, Terry Semel, Sarah Silverman, Sir Howard Stringer, Dick Van Patten, Lesley Ann Warren, Steven Weber, Amy Yasbeck, Daphne Zuniga, Matthew Weiner and Edward Zwick, among others.

The tribute was built upon the humor and scope of Brooks’ career as a director, producer, writer, actor and composer. In the tradition of past AFI tributes, the details of the program, along with its participants and guests, were held as a surprise to the honoree, making this event one of the most beloved experiences in the film community.

Following welcoming remarks from Sir Howard Stringer, Chair of the AFI Board of Trustees, and Bob Gazzale, AFI President and CEO, producer Stuart Cornfeld received the 2013 Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal for his commitment to quality filmmaking. Cornfeld thanked Brooks, his “mentor and tormentor,” for launching his career. Cornfeld worked with Brooks on THE ELEPHANT MAN, THE FLY, HIGH ANXIETY and HISTORY OF THE WORLD PART 1.

The entertainment opened with Martin Short in a musical dance piece celebrating Brooks’ body of work. Heartfelt and humorously off-color comments were offered in-person from Brooks’ friends and collaborators Larry David, Cloris Leachman, David Lynch, Carl Reiner and, on video tape, Gene Wilder. Master filmmakers Clint Eastwood, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg (all past recipients of the AFI Life Achievement Award) discussed important American genres of film – westerns, science fiction and historical epics – and ‘what Mel Brooks did to them’ in films like BLAZING SADDLES, SPACEBALLS and HISTORY OF THE WORLD PART 1. Robert De Niro and Morgan Freeman (also past AFI Life Achievement Award recipients) poked fun at Brooks for irreverent references to both of them in his films. Brooks’ age and influence on generations of comedians was hysterically dissected in-person by Jimmy Kimmel, Conan O’Brien, Amy Poehler, Sarah Silverman as well as Matthew Broderick, Whoopi Goldberg and Nathan Lane on video. The show concluded with Martin Scorsese (another AFI past recipient) handing the 41st AFI Life Achievement Award to Brooks for his mastery as a filmmaker and director.

Proceeds from the AFI Life Achievement Award gala event directly support the Institute’s national education programs and the preservation of American film history. Sponsors of the 2013 AFI Life Achievement Award tribute to Mel Brooks include Audi of America, Deloitte, HP and American Airlines, the official airline of the American Film Institute.

Photos from the event can be seen here:


Joins Previous AFI Conservatory Alumni Including
Darren Aronofsky, David Lynch and Wally Pfister

The American Film Institute (AFI) announced that producer Stuart Cornfeld will receive the 2013 Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal. Cornfeld will be presented with the medal as part of the AFI Life Achievement Award honoring Mel Brooks, to be held at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood on June 6, 2013. The AFI Life Achievement Award ceremony will be broadcast on TNT Saturday, June 15, at 9 p.m. ET/PT and as part of an all-night tribute to Brooks on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) Wednesday, July 24 at 8 p.m. ET.

The Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal recognizes the extraordinary creative talents of a graduate of the AFI Conservatory or AFI Directing Workshop for Women who symbolizes the legacy of Franklin Schaffner. The AFI Conservatory, named one of the top film schools in the world, is renowned for its collaborative approach to hands-on filmmaking and its advanced training of the next generation of storytellers in six filmmaking disciplines: Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Production Design and Screenwriting.

Stuart Cornfeld was part of the AFI class of 1975. After completing his studies, he collaborated with Anne Bancroft with whom he had worked on two Directing Workshop for Women projects at AFI. Bancroft introduced him to her husband Mel Brooks who hired Cornfeld as his assistant on HIGH ANXIETY. Cornfeld went on to associate produce HISTORY OF THE WORLD PART 1, produce Bancroft’s FATSO and executive produce THE ELEPHANT MAN.

After leaving Brooksfilms, Cornfeld produced seventeen films including THE FLY (with Brooksfilms), KAFKA, TROPIC THUNDER, ZOOLANDER and executive produced a number of others, among them EUROPEAN VACATION, MEGAMIND and MIMIC. He has had the good fortune to work with directors Peter Bogdanovich, David Cronenberg, Guillermo Del Toro, Amy Heckerling, David Lynch and Steven Soderbergh. For the last fifteen years Cornfeld has been Ben Stiller’s partner in Red Hour Films. Their company has made a priority of working with first time directors, producing Josh Gordon and Will Speck’s BLADES OF GLORY and Marshal Thurber’s DODGEBALL. They are currently in post-production on THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY directed by and starring Ben Stiller along with Shirley MacLaine, Sean Penn and Kristen Wiig.

Verizon’s Digital Media Services group is the proud sponsor of the presentation of the Schaffner Alumni Medal to Stuart Cornfeld and additionally honored to support the next generation of filmmakers through scholarships to the AFI Conservatory.

Sponsors of the 2013 AFI Life Achievement Award tribute to Mel Brooks include Audi of America, Deloitte, HP and American Airlines, the official airline of the American Film Institute.

About Franklin J. Schaffner and the Schaffner Alumni Medal
Over the course of a remarkable 40-year career, Franklin J. Schaffner earned a total of 28 Academy® Award nominations and the directing Oscar® for PATTON in 1970. Schaffner’s association with AFI began in 1975, with his election to the AFI Board of Trustees, and lasted until his death in 1989.

The distinguished recipients of the Schaffner Alumni Medal are: Wally Pfister (2012), Steven Rosenblum (2011), Janusz Kamiński (2010), Steve Golin (2009), Mark Waters (2008), Gary Winick (2007), Marshall Herskovitz (2006), Paul Schrader (2005), Patty Jenkins (2004), John Dahl (2003), Todd Field (2002), Darren Aronofsky (2001), Terrence Malick (2000), Mimi Leder (1999), Amy Heckerling (1998), John McTiernan (1997), Carl Franklin (1996), Jon Avnet (1995), Martin Brest (1994), Randa Haines (1993), Edward Zwick (1992) and David Lynch (1991).

About the American Film Institute
AFI is America’s promise to preserve the history of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work and to educate the next generation of storytellers. AFI provides leadership in film, television and digital media and is dedicated to initiatives that engage the past, the present and the future of the moving image arts.

AFI programs include the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and AFI Archive, which preserve film heritage for future generations; the AFI Life Achievement Award – the highest honor for a career in film – now in its 41st year; AFI Awards, honoring the most outstanding motion pictures and television programs of the year; AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies television events and movie reference lists, which have introduced and reintroduced classic American movies to millions of film lovers; year-round and special event exhibition through AFI Fest presented by AudiAFI Docs presented by Audi and the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center; and educating the next generation of storytellers at the world renowned AFI Conservatory, recognized for the quality of its instructors and speakers and its notable alumni.

For more information about AFI, visit or connect with AFI

About Audi 
Audi of America, Inc. and its U.S. dealers offer a full line of German-engineered luxury vehicles. AUDI AG is among the most successful luxury automotive brands globally. Audi was a top-performing luxury brand in Europe during 2012, and broke all-time company sales records in the U.S. Through 2016, AUDI AG will invest about $17 billion on new products, facilities and technologies. Visit for more information regarding Audi vehicle and business issues.

About HP
HP creates new possibilities for technology to have a meaningful impact on people, businesses, governments and society. The world’s largest technology company, HP brings together a portfolio that spans printingpersonal computingsoftwareservicesand IT infrastructure to solve customer problems. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at

About TNT and TCM
TNT is television’s destination for drama. Seen in 99 million households and ranking among cable’s top networks, TNT is home to such original drama series as DALLAS, FALLING SKIES, FRANKLIN & BASH, MAJOR CRIMES, PERCEPTION and RIZZOLI & ISLES, as well as the upcoming KING & MAXWELL and THE LAST SHIP. The network also features dramatic unscripted originals like the upcoming 72 HOURS, COLD JUSTICE and THE HERO. In addition, TNT is the cable home to popular dramas like BONES, CASTLE, THE MENTALIST and SUPERNATURAL; primetime specials, such as THE SCREEN ACTORS GUILD AWARDS; blockbuster movies; and championship sports coverage, including NASCAR, the NBA and the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.

TNT’s website is located at

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is a Peabody Award-winning network that presents great films, uncut and commercial-free, from the largest film libraries in the world. Currently seen in more than 85 million homes, TCM features the insights of hosts Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz, plus interviews with a wide range of special guests. As the foremost authority in classic films, TCM offers critically acclaimed original documentaries and specials, along with regular programming events that include THE ESSENTIALS, hosted by Robert Osborne and Drew Barrymore, and the month-long 31 DAYS OF OSCAR® in February and Summer Under the Stars in August. TCM also stages special events and screenings, such as the TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood and the TCM Classic Cruise; produces a wide range of media about classic film, including books and DVDs; and hosts a wealth of materials at its website,


Festival Opens with LETTERS TO JACKIE, Closes with CAUCUS,
Celebrates with HERBLOCK and DOCUMENTED

Errol Morris Named 2013 Guggenheim Honoree

AFI DOCS presented by Audi (formerly Silverdocs) today announced the full schedule of films that will premiere in its 11th edition June 19-23, 2013 at iconic venues on the National Mall, the Penn Quarter and at the American Film Institute’s AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center. The festival will present 53 films selected from 1,929 submissions representing 30 countries with 3 World, 1 North American, 1 U.S. and 5 East Coast premieres. The festival opens with the theatrical premiere of LETTERS TO JACKIE (DIR Bill Couturié) and celebrates with HERBLOCK: THE BLACK & THE WHITE (DIR Michael Stevens) along with the world premiere Centerpiece Screening of DOCUMENTED (DIR Jose Antonio Vargas). The festival closes with the U.S. premiere of CAUCUS (DIR AJ Schnack). Errol Morris will be honored at the festival’s Charles Guggenheim Symposium for his contributions to the documentary genre.

Other notable filmmakers presenting their work include Patrick Creadon (IF YOU BUILD IT), Sean and Andrea Nix Fine (LIFE ACCORDING TO SAM), Barbara Kopple (RUNNING FROM CRAZY) and Lucy Walker (THE CRASH REEL).

The festival’s new all-day forum for thought leaders, filmmakers and audience members, the AFI Catalyst Sessions: The Art of Moving Reality, will focus on immigration, education, intellectual property and humor in politics.

"2013 is a year filled with dynamic changes: After ten years, the festival previously known as Silverdocs is now AFI DOCS presented by Audi" said Sky Sitney, Festival Director. "AFI DOCS reflects that we have expanded to a new environment in downtown Washington, DC which will be easily accessible to audiences eager to discover this year’s most compelling documentaries. At the same time, we are continuing a full slate of programming at our longstanding venue, the AFI Silver Theatre & Cultural Center in Silver Spring, MD. At AFI DOCS, America’s premier showcase for documentary film, we present the most provocative, challenging and compelling investigations of reality that filmmakers from America and around the world have conjured over the last year."



Wednesday, June 19, 2013

When President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, the world came to a crashing halt as the nation grieved for its leader whose promise of a brighter future was cut tragically short. During this time the president’s widow, Jacqueline Kennedy, received thousands of letters from the public offering their heartfelt condolences. Oscar®-winning filmmaker Bill Couturié’s touching film focuses on these deeply personal letters that flooded in from all over the country to comfort a woman they greatly admired who was not just the fashionable First Lady, but also a wife and a mother. Set against a treasure trove of archival footage taken during the Kennedy era, the moving letters are read by twenty of today’s top actors including Jessica Chastain, Chris Cooper, Viola Davis, Zooey Deschanel, Kirsten Dunst, Anne Hathaway, Laura Linney, Frances McDormand, Mark Ruffalo, Octavia Spencer, Channing Tatum, Betty White and Michelle Williams. Filmmaker and select talent will be in attendance for this theatrical premiere.

Thursday, June 20, 2013 

Filmmaker Michael Stevens paints a lively portrait of influential Washington Post editorial cartoonist Herbert Block whose distinguished 55-year career spanning 13 presidents earned him three Pulitzer Prizes and the Medal of Freedom. Covering a time when cartoons had clout, HERBLOCK celebrates the days of old school print journalism and media satire. Luminaries, including Carl Bernstein, Lewis Black, Ben Bradlee, Ted Koppel, Bob Woodward and Jon Stewart contribute their insights into Block’s life, work and indelible influence. The film’s producer George Stevens, Jr., Founder of the American Film Institute, will attend along with notables in the film.

Filmmaker Greg “Freddy” Camalier chronicles the unique sound that emerged from the Deep South of 1960s America that would attract some of the most diverse musical talent of the time. The place was Muscle Shoals, Alabama and this is the story of how its sound, and the people who created it, left its mark on music history. There will be a special post-screening performance by Candi Staton with the Washington Performing Arts Society Choir.

Friday, June 21, 2013

In 2011, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas outed himself as an undocumented immigrant in The New York Times Magazine. The World Premiere of his film DOCUMENTED chronicles the aftermath as he travels around the country as an immigration reform activist and provocateur, lands a historic Time magazine cover story; and unexpectedly re-connects with his mother in the Philippines, whom he hasn’t seen in nearly 20 years. Filmmaker and subjects in attendance.

GUGGENHEIM SYMPOSIUM: The Charles Guggenheim Symposium honors the legacy of the late four-time Academy® Award-winning filmmaker Charles Guggenheim. This year the Symposium celebrates Errol Morris, one of the most significant and original voices in documentary cinema. His films have examined the intricate complexities of the human psyche, uncovered fascinating beauty beneath the eccentric, proved the shrouded realms of war and global politics and made a significant contribution towards freeing an innocent man from prison. The Symposium will feature a series of excerpts from Morris’ body of work and he will be joined on stage to discuss his career. His films include A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME (1991); FAST, CHEAP AND OUT OF CONTROL (1997); THE FOG OF WAR: ELEVEN LESSONS FROM THE LIFE OF ROBERT S. MCNAMARA (2003); GATES OF HEAVEN (1978); STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE (2009); THE THIN BLUE LINE (1988); and VERNON, FLORIDA (1981).

Saturday, June 22, 2013

While the GOP leadership race in 2012 played itself out for the nation on primetime television with camera ready sound bytes and speeches, a documentary film crew led by filmmaker AJ Schnack went behind the scenes to capture the not-so-ready-for-primetime moments that culminate in a fascinating view of the lead-up to the crucial Iowa caucus. The documentary features conservative hopefuls Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Perry and a particularly intimate view of Rick Santorum. Filmmaker and subjects in attendance for the US Premiere.


12 O’CLOCK BOYS:  DIR Lotfy Nathan. USA.
Cruising recklessly through the streets of Baltimore, notorious dirt bike gang, the 12 O’Clock Boys, are heroes to some and a menace to others. Director Lotfy Nathan’s debut feature follows a young boy named Pug over the course of several years as he strives to be accepted into their world.

THE ACT OF KILLING:  DIR Joshua Oppenheimer, Christine Cynn, Anonymous. Denmark/ Norway/UK.
Disturbing and unforgettable, this unique film takes the viewer inside the complex psychology of Indonesian death squad leaders. Encouraging the killers to re-enact scenes of genocide in front of the camera, the filmmakers capture the men’s boastful pride and their slow realization of the full scope of their brutal crimes.

AFTER TILLER:  DIR Martha Shane, Lana Wilson. USA.
The 2009 murder of George Tiller in a Kansas Lutheran church left only four physicians providing late-term abortions in the United States. These four – two women, two men – provide exceptionally intimate access to their professional and personal domains, revealing nuanced decisions likely to surprise viewers on either side of the great abortion divide.

Filmmaker Grace Lee set out in search of other Asian American women bearing the same name and found Grace Lee Boggs, a 9-year-old Chinese American philosopher, activist and force of nature whose remarkable life and work traversed the major social movements of the last century and warranted a film of her own.

ANITA:  DIR Freida Mock. USA.
For three days in October 1991 a mesmerized nation watched as a composed yet demure Oklahoma law professor accused a Supreme Court nominee of flagrant, serial sexual harassment. With hard-earned discernment gleaned in the intervening years, Anita Hill recalls the events of that autumn and shares her remarkable personal history.

APPROVED FOR ADOPTION:  DIR Jung Henin, Laurent Boileau. Belgium/France.
Skilled Korean graphic novelist Jung Henin was only five years old when he was adopted by a Belgian family who raised him as one of their own. Through a mixture of live action footage and his own beautiful animation, the adult Jung shares his story of growing up in a world where he always felt different.

Erik, Rahamid and Kareem, among others, have found an unexpected haven in a Newark, New Jersey public high school where a fiercely dedicated staff supports students such as themselves with autism and learning disabilities. Looming over them, however, is a ticking clock where at the age of 21 they will “age out.”

BLACKFISH:  DIR Gabriela Cowperthwaite. USA.
When SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau was mauled to death by a “killer whale,” the tragedy was dismissed as a freak accident. In actuality, it was one of many such violent incidents between well-meaning trainers and wild orcas living in captivity. BLACKFISH takes an unflinching look at the disturbing practices that keep marine parks in business.

Two months before she was crowned Miss World in 1998, Linor Abargil, an Israeli beauty queen, was raped in a violent attack by an acquaintance. Ten years later she is ready to talk about her ordeal as she travels the world to hear the stories of other rape victims and help them speak out.

CAMP 14 – TOTAL CONTROL ZONE:  DIR Marc Wiese. Germany.
Little is known about the shadowy world of North Korea, but former prisoner Shin Dong-hyuk has lived to tell his harrowing story. Born inside a North Korean “death camp,” Shin knew of no other reality beyond the barbed-wire fences that encompassed a life of fear, hard labor, starvation and torture.

A mere two months before the 2010 Winter Olympics, game-changing pro snowboarder Kevin Pearce suffered a traumatic brain injury that derailed his life, career and a much-anticipated rivalry with competitor Shaun White. Oscar®-nominee Lucy Walker’s engaging, intimate portrayal of Pearce’s recuperation explores the understated heroism of a recovering champion.

CUTIE AND THE BOXER:  DIR Zachary Heinzerling. USA.
When Noriko moved to New York City, her plans to study art were derailed by love. Now, 40 years into her marriage to Ushio, a painter many years her senior, Noriko seeks her own artistic identity as her 80-year-old husband struggles to establish his legacy. This is a poignant portrait of marriage, sacrifice, aging and dedication.

DRAGON GIRLS:  DIR Inigo Westmeier. Germany.
This exuberant film tells the tale of three adolescent girls studying to become fighters at the largest kung fu academy in China. These three faces (among 26,000) spend every waking moment training, managing injuries and coping with the school’s intense (and often abusive) discipline policies.

A motley crew of scientists and artists sets sail for the frozen fjords of Northeast Greenland, which are accessible only because of the melting ice cap. The stunning, unexplored landscapes of the Arctic form the backdrop of this madcap expedition to the end of the world.

THE GENIUS OF MARIAN:  DIR Banker White, Anna Fitch. USA.
Filmmaker Banker White’s mother Pam is slowly succumbing to Alzheimer’s disease, which is the same fate that befell her own mother Marian, a noted artist, before her. In this intimate portrait of a woman at her most vulnerable, Pam works to help preserve a meaningful personal legacy before it is too late.

In this smart, insightful documentary, filmmaker Dawn Porter sheds light on the plight of one of our country’s most valuable and unsung warriors: the public defender. Following a small group of dedicated public defenders in the South, GIDEON’S ARMY highlights the daily battles they face within a flawed legal system.

GOD LOVES UGANDA:  DIR Roger Ross Williams. USA.
Blending vérité style with candid testimonials, filmmaker Roger Ross Williams tracks a group of missionaries from the evangelical Christian right as they take their religious crusade from the comfort of Middle America to the ravaged villages of a fiercely divided Uganda. GOD LOVES UGANDA paints a disturbing portrait of religious fundamentalism taken to extremes.

IF YOU BUILD IT:  DIR Patrick Creadon. USA.
A David and Goliath story for the recession era, IF YOU BUILD IT documents a year in the innovative “Studio H” architectural program. The film examines the work of Emily Pilloton and Matt Miller who give the teens of a crumbling rural town a chance to build a better future.

I LEARN AMERICA:  DIR Gitte Peng, Jean-Michel Dissard. USA.
At the International High School at Lafayette, a New York City public high school dedicated to newly arrived immigrants from all over the world, five teenagers confront adolescence, strive to master English, adapt to families they haven’t seen in years and create a future of their own in a new land. Through these five vibrant young people, their stories and struggles, we “learn America.”

This riveting film takes an eye-opening look at the ever-widening gap in America’s income inequality and the dire threat it poses to the country’s future. Economic policy expert Robert Reich offers a passionate and fully accessible perspective on what happened to the vanishing American middle class and what might be done to fix it.

A powerful portrait of wartime atrocities and the men who commit them, this riveting film focuses on an American platoon in Afghanistan who waged a campaign of terror against the Afghani civilians they were sworn to protect. A chilling look at the madness of war that very few will forget.

On May 13, 1985, Philadelphia authorities battling the black liberation group MOVE dropped incendiary explosives onto an Osage Avenue row house. The ensuing inferno killed five children and six adults, destroying 61 homes. This unfathomable saga of simmering fanaticism is adeptly retold without commentary, using archival footage including previously withheld materials.

LIFE ACCORDING TO SAM:  DIR Sean Fine, Andrea Nix Fine. USA.
Progeria is an extremely rare and fatal disease in which children suffer the afflictions of accelerated aging. Sam Berns is one such child who shares his life with remarkable grace and courage. Meanwhile, Berns’ physician parents work tirelessly to find a way to help their son and other children combat the deadly disease. East Coast Premiere.

Is it right for juvenile offenders to receive lifetime prison sentences without parole? Can some killers truly change and make a meaningful contribution to society as free men? This thought-provoking film explores the complex issue with input from both the perpetrators – all charged with first-degree murder – and the victims’ families. World Premiere.

A film director puts out a casting call for local townspeople in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, and the taped “auditions” become the springboard for this portrait of contemporary Eurasian life. As the citizens open up with surprising intimacy, the filmmaker follows some of them in their real lives with fascinating results.

MCCULLIN:  DIR Jacqui Morris. UK.
British photojournalist Don McCullin escaped a hardscrabble childhood to create many of the most profound images of late-20th century wars on three continents. A pensive yet vulnerable McCullin looks back on his career with wistful, sometimes haunted memories touching on the essence of war and his ambivalence about documenting horrific events.

This hilarious film follows indie band The National on the road for a year through the eyes of singer Matt Berninger’s bumbling brother, Tom. As tensions boil, the film Tom meant to make falls apart, and what evolves is a touching, authentic, and delightfully wry portrait of two brothers who could not be more different.

THE NEW BLACK:  DIR Yoruba Richen. USA.
This thought-provoking film examines how African-American voters have become bitterly divided on the issue of gay marriage because of homophobia rampant in one of the pillars of the African-American community – the church. Focusing on the fight for marriage equality in Maryland, it argues that this hot-button issue is a matter of civil rights.

OUR NIXON:  DIR Penny Lane. USA.
Among the stranger remnants of the Watergate era are some 500 reels of Super 8 home movies created by aspiring – and conspiring – filmmakers named Haldeman, Ehrlichman and Chapin. This recently released FBI treasure, with commentary from the secret White House tapes, reveals extraordinary access to everyday intrigues of the Nixon White House.

Musician and feminist icon Kathleen Hanna blazed a politically minded musical trail whose influence can still be felt. Director Sini Anderson’s film is an energetic and intimate look at Hanna’s life and work, from her days in Bikini Kill to her decision to step away from music in recent years.

REMOTE AREA MEDICAL:  DIR Jeff Reichert, Farihah Zaman. USA.
People wait for more than a day outside the Bristol Motor Speedway, lining up not for tickets but for necessary medical and dental procedures that are otherwise beyond their means. Telling stories from those who rely on the clinics, REMOTE AREA MEDICAL serves as a sobering look at life for the uninsured.

RENT-A-FAMILY, INC.:  DIR Kaspar Astrup Schröder. Denmark.
A service in Japan offers actors to stand in for family members, their presence providing support at negotiations and filling weddings. Struggling and depressed, Ryuichi runs one such company, sending himself to fill in for those who need family members and, in many ways, to get away from his own. East Coast Premiere.

The Hemingways have long been one of America’s most notable families, from literary legend Ernest Hemingway to his famous model granddaughter Margaux and her sister, Academy Award®-nominated actress Mariel. Behind closed doors, however, the family has been plagued by mental illness, substance abuse and suicide, which seems to carry from one generation to the next.

Those magical and often difficult years between childhood and adulthood didn’t always have a label. In fact, the word “teenager” didn’t even exist until 1945. This fascinating documentary, based on the Jon Savage book of the same name, illuminates the period in which teenagers emerged to claim their unique place in history.

When charismatic fighter Cassius Clay embraced Islam and renamed himself Muhammad Ali, the boxing icon came under fire for refusing to serve in the Vietnam War. This enlightening film examines the tumultuous period in Ali’s life that saw him forced into a legal battle with the U.S. government that almost cost him his livelihood.

WE CAME HOME:  DIR Ariana Delawari. USA.
Afghan-American musician Ariana Delawari shares the personal story of how she re-connected with her homeland in this thought-provoking film. Born in Los Angeles, Delawari’s life is turned upside down after 9/11. When her parents move back to Kabul, she spends a decade documenting their transition and her own awakening, through music, to her Afghan heritage.

Branson, Missouri, is one of America’s most popular tourist destinations where people from all over the country flock to enjoy a return to old-fashioned down-home wholesome entertainment.  Amid the abundance of kitschy stage and music shows are an eclectic group of talented performers who have dedicated themselves to the show business Mecca of the Midwest.  Come meet the colorful people who call Branson home and must cope with an uncertain future as the town faces economic adversity.

WHITE BLACK BOY:  DIR Camilla Magid. Denmark.
The sun is among the least of his worries for Shida, a Tanzanian boy with albinism. Because witchdoctors believe in the mystical power of albino’s limbs, the white-skinned are often hunted for a bounty. WHITE BLACK BOY looks at Shida’s first year at a boarding school, where he is momentarily safe from harm. North American Premiere.

A WILL FOR THE WOODS:  DIR Amy Browne, Jeremy Kaplan, Tony Hale, Brian Wilson. USA.
As lymphoma thwarts all attempts at treatment, Clark Wang makes his funeral plans. Rather than preserve his body with toxic chemicals, his last wish is for a “green” burial. Environmental preservation takes on a poignant intimacy in this touching portrait of a multi-faceted, ebullient advocate and his final legacy.

WRONG TIME WRONG PLACE:  DIR John Appel. Netherlands.
On July 22, 2011, Norway experienced its deadliest attack on native soil since World War II. Through intimate interviews with survivors of the tragedy and the families of victims, this powerful film takes a haunting look at the result of being at the wrong place at the wrong time.


This vivid film explores the Syrian revolution as told through the experiences of two of its deeply affected citizens. Mowya is a dedicated male rebel fighter and Nour a young female journalist who risks her life in pursuit of the truth. By sharing their harrowing stories, each hopes to inspire action.

THE OTHER DAVE:  DIR Pasquale Greco. USA.
Meet Dave, an ordinary man whose life took an extraordinary turn when he was struck by lightning and lived to tell about it. Ever since, Dave’s life has taken a series of quirky twists and turns while his mind has been left with an altered perception of reality.

OUTLAWED IN PAKISTAN:  DIR Habiba Nosheen, Hilke Schellmann. USA.
This powerful film follows the courageous journey of one young girl in rural Pakistan. After being raped by four men, Kainat Soomro boldly fights the conventions of her society and takes the men to court. Facing a deeply flawed legal system and odds stacked against her, Soomro risks everything to demand justice.

SLOMO:  DIR Joshua Izenberg. USA.
What would really happen if you quit your lucrative job and just did what you wanted all day? Take a brief look into the mind of John Kitchin, a doctor who traded his medical practice for rollerblades and sandy beaches, and explore the neurological and spiritual joys of slow acceleration.

STRAIGHT WITH YOU:  DIR Daan Bol. Netherlands.
Though only 11 years old, Melvin has already become comfortable enough in his sexuality to come out to his parents and his best friend. Bullying and other outside pressures have kept him from going fully public with this self-awareness but now he must decide how to handle with delicacy a schoolgirl’s crush on him.

VULTURES OF TIBET:  DIR Russell Bush. USA/Canada.
For years the “sky burial” has been a private and mysterious death ritual in Tibet where corpses are offered to wild vultures for consumption. In recent years, however, this fascinating practice has become increasingly commercialized as tourists from around the world flock to witness it with their own eyes.

WE WILL LIVE AGAIN:  DIR Josh Koury, Myles Kane. USA.
To what lengths would you go in order to live again? Take a fascinating peek inside the Cryonics Institute where caretakers work to preserve the frozen bodies of 99 people who hoped to be brought back to life one day through creative leaps in scientific research.

WHEN THE SONG DIES:  DIR Jamie Chambers. UK.
This poetic film weaves the fading folklore and songs of Scotland together in a rich tapestry that pays tribute to a vanishing era. Set against the evocative Scottish landscape, WHEN THE SONG DIES is a meditation on past and present featuring the exquisite haunting melodies of yesteryear.


Directed by Michael Stevens and Produced by George Stevens, Jr.

Traces Career and Influence of Washington Post Cartoonist Herb Block

AFI DOCS presented by Audi announced today its gala presentation at the Newseum of the Washington, DC premiere of HERBLOCK: THE BLACK & THE WHITE written and directed by Michael Stevens and produced by George Stevens Jr.  The film, traces the career and influence of the most influential political cartoonist of the 20th century and the people who became his subjects during his 55 years at the Washington Post.  His work spanned thirteen presidents, contributed to the downfall of Senator Joseph McCarthy and President Richard Nixon and garnered three Pulitzer Prizes and the Medal of Freedom.

In the film, Ben Bradlee, Tom Brokaw, Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein, Jules Feiffer, Ted Koppel, Eugene Robinson, Tom Friedman, David Brooks, Gwen Ifill, Rick Hertzberg, Victor Navasky and Richard Cohen give first-hand accounts of Block’s life and work.  Jon Stewart and Lewis Black explore the place of political satire in American life.  The filmmakers and many subjects are expected to be in attendance at the screening.

“It is an honor to celebrate HERBLOCK in the city he called home,” said AFI President and CEO Bob Gazzale. “AFI DOCS goal is to catalyze change through art, and this film is a powerful portrait of a man who symbolized this power across decades.”

In addition to the gala screening, AFI DOCS will be hosting a Catalyst Session on the subject of Humor in Politics inspired by the film. George Stevens Jr., Co-Chair of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, Founder of AFI in the White House Rose Garden in 1968, Oscar and Emmy winning filmmaker and long-time producer of the Kennedy Center Honors will be among the featured panelists.

 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 a presentation of screenings and events at iconic venues on the National Mall and in the Penn Quarter area, as well as continue its full slate of programming at the American Film Institute’s AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center.

 Info on full programming, screening schedules, registration and passes will be released in the coming days and posted at 


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