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.