2019 AFI DOCS Impact Lab

Produced in partnership with Raben Impact Entertainment, the 2019 AFI DOCS Impact Lab will feature five film screenings at this year's AFI DOCS Film Festival. The selections for this distinguished fellowship and training program are four feature documentary films – 17 BLOCKS, BORDER SOUTH (FRONTERA SUR), GAY CHORUS DEEP SOUTH, and A WOMAN'S WORK: THE NFL'S CHEERLEADER PROBLEM – and the short documentary film, ST. LOUIS SUPERMAN.

Led by impact strategists Heidi Nel and Charlie Crocker, the Impact Lab is designed for filmmakers with issue-driven films who aim to create broader social impact and political change through the power of story and film. The two day Lab, which occurs June 18 and 19 in the lead up to the festival, provides fellows with unique training opportunities with some of the most sought-after tacticians in the areas of advocacy, grassroots communications, and grasstops engagement. Lab fellows are also connected with policymakers and Congressional aides working on legislation relevant to their films. 

We are proud to present the five powerful and eye-opening films that will be participating in the 2019 AFI DOCS Impact Lab.

17 BLOCKS
DIR Davy Rothbart.  PRODS Alex Turtletaub, Michael Clark, Marc Turtletaub, and Rachel Dengiz.

In 1999, Emmanuel Durant and his family started filming their daily lives.  For two decades, the camera recorded ordinary moments, and a cycle of trauma all too familiar with neglected communities in America.  Davy Rothbart’s film deftly pieces together a loving and complex profile of the Sanford-Durants, who live just 17 blocks from the U.S. Capitol.

Thursday, June 20 6:30 p.m., Landmark E Street 4
Friday, June 21 3:30 p.m., AFI Silver Theater 2

Impact Lab Participants:
Davy Rothbart (Director) and Krystal Tingle (Impact Producer)

BORDER SOUTH (FRONTERA SUR)
DIR Raúl O. Paz Pastrana.  PRODS Jason De León, Cecilia Girón Pérez, and Raúl O. Paz Pastrana.

Filmmaker Raúl O. Paz Pastrana spent four years following the migrant routes from southern Mexico to the U.S.-Mexico border.  The result is a close-up, nuanced, and highly original view of the migrant experience, one fraught with risk and danger but also comradery, ingenuity and humor.  North American Premiere.

Thursday, June 20 9:00 p.m., Landmark E Street 7

Impact Lab Participants:
Raúl O. Paz Pastrana (Director, Producer) and Cecilia Girón Pérez (Producer)

GAY CHORUS DEEP SOUTH
DIR David Charles Rodriguez.  PRODS Bud Johnston and Jesse Moss.

After the 2016 election, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus toured the south to meet the faith-based communities against LGBTQ rights.  The liberal-city folks and the red-state locals speak, confront biases, dine and sing together.  GAY CHORUS DEEP SOUTH seeks to sing an elegy to the cultural divide and find some harmony along the journey.

Friday, June 21 6:30 p.m., Landmark E Street 1
Saturday, June 22, 2:30 p.m., AFI Silver Theater 2

Impact Lab Participants:
David Charles Rodrigues (Writer, Director) and Bud Johnston (Producer)

ST. LOUIS SUPERMAN
DIRS Smriti Mundhra and Sami Khan.  PRODS Smriti Mundhra, Sami Khan, Poh Si Teng, and Cheyenne Tan.

Bruce Franks, Jr., is a 33-year-old battle rapper, Ferguson activist and state representative from St. Louis who has overcome unspeakable loss to become one of the most exciting and unapologetic young leaders in the country today.

Shorts 1: Thursday, June 20 3:15 p.m., Landmark E Street 1
Shorts 1: Friday, June 21 3:45 p.m., AFI Silver Theater 3

Impact Lab Participants:
Sami Khan (Director, Producer, Cinematographer) and Bruce Franks, Jr. (Missouri State Representative/Film Subject)

A WOMAN'S WORK: THE NFL'S CHEERLEADER PROBLEM
DIR Yu Gu. PRODS Yu Gu, Elizabeth Ai, and Jin Yoo-Kim.

In 2017, the National Football League earned over $14 billion in revenue.  NFL cheerleaders, however, earn less than minimum wage – some paid as low as $1.50 an hour.  Three courageous cheerleaders risk their careers by leading a historic class-action lawsuit against the NFL, alleging gendered wage theft and egregious labor practices.

Thursday, June 20 6:30 p.m., AFI Silver Theater 2
Friday, June 21 9:15 p.m., Landmark E Street 1

Impact Lab Participants:
Yu Gu (Director, Producer) and Jin Yoo-Kim (Producer, Impact Producer)