Docs

AFI Docs moves online for 2020 festival, sets “Boys State” as opening film

American Film Institute is re-imaging the 18th edition of the Washington, DC-set AFI Docs as a global, online film festival. The documentary festival will present its lineup of non-fiction fare digitally ...
May 6, 2020

American Film Institute is re-imaging the 18th edition of the Washington, DC-set AFI Docs as a global, online film festival.

The documentary festival will present its lineup of non-fiction fare digitally from June 17 to 21 on DOCS.AFI.com.

AFI Docs 2020 will open with Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine’s Boys State (pictured), followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers.

The Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning film follows a group of teenage boys at an annual civic program hosted by the American Legion in Austin, Texas. Boys State, an Apple and A24 release, explores American democracy and political division through the boys as they create a mock government.

“AFI is committed to the documentary art form in the best of times and in the most challenging of times,” Michael Lumpkin, director of AFI Festivals, said in a statement. “Now more than ever, we are dedicated to supporting extraordinary films because the world needs stories that educate, inspire hope and remind us of humanity’s strength.”

The AFI Docs 2020 program will be presented in the following sections: Special Presentations; Features; Cinema’s Legacy; and Shorts, as well as a virtual AFI Docs Forum.

Apple TV+, A24, Audience Network, HBO, National Geographic, PBS and The Atlantic will all have films in the festival, according to organizers. The full slate will be released on June 10.

Special Presentations will include the festival’s slate of special evening events, available to a limited audience for one-time viewing and featuring conversations and Q&As with the films’ directors and main subjects.

Featuring exclusive films, many of which have not yet been publicly screened, the festival’s Feature Film program will include over two dozen films from the U.S. and around the world.

The festival will also include a Cinema’s Legacy program, featuring historically notable non-fiction films that have made an impact on the documentary art form. This year’s program will be dedicated to films documenting landmark moments in our nation’s political history.

AFI Docs Shorts Program will feature more than 20 documentary shorts screening in four curated programs. Each shorts program will be available to screen from June 18 to 21.

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news editor at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joined the RS team in 2015 with experience in journalism following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and with communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.

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