Cheryl Furjanic’s Back on Board (pictured) and Nicole Boxer’s How I Got Over are among the four documentary world premieres at the 12th annual AFI Docs festival, which is set to showcase 84 docs and shorts from June 18-22 in Washington DC.
In addition to Furjanic’s doc on Olympic diver Greg Louganis and Boxer’s film on 15 Washington DC women, the festival will host the world premieres of Farzad Sangari’s Mudbloods, on the Harry Potter-inspired game of Quidditch, and previously announced opening night film, Scott Teems’ Holbrook/Twain: An American Odyssey, on actor Hal Holbrook.
U.S. premieres at the festival include Jonathan Howells and Tom Roberts’ Alfred & Jakobine, Anne de Mare and Kirsten Kelly’s The Homestretch, and Chad Walker and Dave LaMattina’s I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story.
Meanwhile, East Coast premieres are set for Karen Stokkendal Poulsen’s The Agreement, Todd Miller’s Dinosaur 13, Allison Berg and Frank Keraudren’s The Dog and Brian Knappenberger’s The Internet’s Own Boy.
Other East Coast debuts include Edward Lovelace and James Hall’s The Possibilities Are Endless, Carlo Zoratti’s The Special Need, Greg Barker’s We Are The Giant and Nickolas Rossi’s Heaven Adores You.
Also, as previously announced, Steve James’ Roger Ebert doc Life Itself is set to close the festival, while filmmaker and 2014 Charles Guggenheim honoree Alex Gibney will be celebrated at a special symposium.
A new addition to the festival is the Catalyst Screenings program, which presents in-depth discussions with filmmakers, issue experts and policymakers following select film screenings. The participating docs include De Mare and Kelly’s The Homestretch, Knappenberger’s The Internet’s Own Boy, Andrew Rossi’s Ivory Tower, and Kate Davis and David Heilbroner’s The Newburgh Sting.
AFI Docs is also launching the Filmmaker Engagement Program, a professional development event connecting documentarians with film industry decision-makers and cultural leaders. Select sessions will also be open to the at-large community of documentary filmmakers.
“AFI Docs 2014 is a true celebration of documentaries and storytellers,” said Christine O’Malley, interim festival director, in a statement. “While there are serious thought-provoking issues presented artfully in the films, there are equal amounts of whimsical and entertaining experiences. What they all do, however, is inform and hopefully inspire different types of change – policy, perspective or heart.”
The full list of selected features and shorts at AFI Docs can be found here.