AFI DOCS Will Celebrate Academy Award®-Winning Filmmaker on June 22, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — MAY 23, 2019, WASHINGTON, DC — AFI DOCS, the American Film Institute's five-day documentary film festival in the nation's capital, supported by Presenting Sponsor AT&T — has announced that it will honor Freida Lee Mock as the 2019 Charles Guggenheim Symposium honoree. Mock's career includes five Academy Award® nominations for her work, and an Academy Award® for her documentary MAYA LIN: A STRONG CLEAR VISION (1994).

Each year, the AFI DOCS Charles Guggenheim Symposium honors a master of the nonfiction art form. This year's Symposium will include an in-depth conversation with Mock, along with a sneak preview of her new film, RUTH – JUSTICE GINSBURG IN HER OWN WORDS, at the Arleigh & Roberta Burke Theater at The Navy Memorial, on June 22, 2019. The Symposium will be moderated by author and Washington Post film critic, Ann Hornaday.

"Freida Lee Mock's work offers not only a look at remarkable people with amazing stories, but also a way to truly connect with them and their lives," said Michael Lumpkin, Director of AFI Festivals. "We are honored to celebrate her and look back on her prolific career, as well as shine a proper light on her continued impact on documentary filmmaking with a special preview of her latest film."

Mock's new documentary RUTH – JUSTICE GINSBURG IN HER OWN WORDS is an intimate portrait of the extraordinary life of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Using archival footage and new interviews, Mock gives audiences a poignant and powerful look into an extraordinary woman's personal and public life.

The documentary short TO LIVE AND LET DIE (1983) was the first of Mock's films nominated for an Academy Award®, followed by the short ROSE KENNEDY: A LIFE TO REMEMBER (1990). In 1995, Mock's documentary feature MAYA LIN: A STRONG CLEAR VISION (1994), which follows artist Maya Lin's work on the Vietnam Memorial, won the Academy Award® for Best Documentary Feature. Two more of Mock's documentary shorts went on to be nominated for Academy Awards®: NEVER GIVE UP: THE 20TH CENTURY ODYSSEY OF HERBERT ZIPPER (1995) and SING! (2001).

Mock joins a renowned list of Guggenheim Symposium honorees: Charles Guggenheim (2003), Barbara Kopple (2004), Martin Scorsese (2006), Jonathan Demme (2007), Spike Lee (2008), Albert Maysles (2009), Frederick Wiseman (2010), Chris Hegedus and D. A. Pennebaker (2011), Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky (2012), Errol Morris (2013), Alex Gibney (2014), Stanley Nelson (2015), Werner Herzog (2016), Laura Poitras (2017), and Steve James (2018).

AFI DOCS is proud to have AT&T return as this year's Presenting Sponsor. Passes and tickets to AFI DOCS, including the Charles Guggenheim Symposium, are now on sale at

AFI DOCS is the American Film Institute's annual documentary festival in Washington, DC. Presenting the year's best documentaries, AFI DOCS is the only festival in the U.S. dedicated to screenings and events that connect audiences, filmmakers and policy leaders in the heart of our nation's government. The AFI DOCS advisory board includes Ken Burns, Davis Guggenheim, Chris Hegedus, Werner Herzog, Barbara Kopple, Spike Lee, Errol Morris, Stanley Nelson, D A Pennebaker and Frederick Wiseman. Now in its 17th year, the festival will be held June 19-23, 2019, in landmark Washington, DC, venues, Landmark Theatres E Street Cinema and at the historic AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring, MD. Visit and connect on,, and

About the American Film Institute
The American Film Institute was established by presidential proclamation in the White House Rose Garden, and launched its national mandate on June 5, 1967 — to preserve the heritage of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work and to educate the next generation of storytellers. AFI's founding Trustees included Chairman Gregory Peck, Vice Chairman Sidney Poitier, Francis Ford Coppola, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., Jack Valenti and George Stevens, Jr., as Director.

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Meet the Press with Chuck Todd is where newsmakers come to make news — setting the political agenda and spotlighting the impact Washington decision-making has on Americans across the country. It is the #1 most-watched Sunday public affairs show for the 2017-2018 season, reaching more than three million viewers every Sunday and millions more through social, digital and on-demand platforms. Meet the Press brings its authority and influencer interviews to MSNBC with MTP Daily weekdays at 5 p.m. ET and to the 1947: The Meet the Press Podcast. It's the longest-running show in television history, recently expanding its brand to include a political short-documentary film festival in collaboration with the American Film Institute. Chuck Todd is the political director of NBC News and the moderator of Meet the Press; John Reiss is the executive producer.

Elizabeth Ward, AFI DOCS PR, 202.339.9598, [email protected]
Laura Swanbeck, American Film Institute, 323.856.7871, [email protected]