Docs

AFI Docs slates “United Skates”, “Personal Statement” to bookend fest

Washington DC-based documentary festival and conference AFI Docs has named its opening and closing films for its upcoming 16th edition. The fest will be bookended by Juliane Dressner and Edwin Martinez’s ...
May 4, 2018

Washington DC-based documentary festival and conference AFI Docs has named its opening and closing films for its upcoming 16th edition.

The fest will be bookended by Juliane Dressner and Edwin Martinez’s Personal Statement as its opening film on June 13, and Dyana Winkler and Tina Brown’s United Skates as the closer, on June 17.

Personal Statement tells the story of three Brooklyn high school seniors who aim to go to college, but lack some of the resources other students take for granted, including guidance counselors. The film follows the students as they learn to counsel each other in pursuit of their goals.

United Skates, meanwhile, comes to AFI following critically acclaimed turns at Tribeca and Hot Docs. It examines the role of roller rinks in modern African American culture, and the current fight to save those rinks.

As well, Rory Kennedy’s Above and Beyond: NASA’s Journey to Tomorrow will be the Centerpiece Screening for the event, and four films — Erik Nelson’s The Cold Blue, Sam Pollard and Melissa Haizlip’s Mr. Soul!, Dieudo Hamadi’s Kinshasa Makambo, and Trisha Ziff’s Witkin and Witkin — will receive special screenings. Nelson’s film, described as “a meditation on youth, war and stunning bravery,” will receive its world premiere at AFI Docs.

The full slate for the fest will be announced in the coming weeks. AFI Docs runs from June 13-17. For more information, click here.

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.

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