Highlights From the AFI DOCS 2020 Virtual Festival – American Film Institute


Highlights From the AFI DOCS 2020 Virtual Festival

Brought to you by AT&T

AFI’s five-day online festival celebrating the best in documentary, supported by Presenting Sponsor AT&T, has wrapped – and the 18th edition of the festival was unlike no other: it was held completely online. With over 50 films from 11 countries – 61% directed by women – the lineup explored social and political issues in the US and across the world, introducing the audience to the next generation of leaders, while shedding new light on figures of the past.


From conversations with Philippine Journalist Maria Ressa, who was convicted by Manila court days before A THOUSAND CUTS screened at the festival, to the Special Presentation of THE FIGHT and live Q&A with the ACLU’s lawyers focused on protecting civil rights, to a call from President Carter during a live Q&A, the festival lineup included a diverse range of insights and experiences for audiences to share in.

Special Presentations also included the award-winning BOYS STATE, JIMMY CARTER ROCK & ROLL PRESIDENT, PORTRAITS AND DREAMS and Ron Howard’s REBUILDING PARADISE. Academy Award®-winners Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar returned to AFI DOCS with their newest film, 9TO5: THE STORY OF A MOVEMENT, which chronicles the 1970s movement for gender equality in the workplace.

And in its second year at AFI DOCS, the Cinema’s Legacy program showcased three classic documentaries focusing on the fight for full participation and access to our country’s political system, and the importance of making sure all voices are heard: FREEDOM ON MY MIND (1994), NATIONTIME-GARY (1972) and SISTERS OF ’77 (2005).

Deirdre Fishel, director of WOMEN IN BLUE which screened at AFI DOCS, said, “Given the challenges our country is facing right now, I don’t think there’s even been a more important time for documentaries.”

We couldn’t agree more. Let’s take a look back at some of our favorite moments:

NATIONTIME-GARY Conversation at DOCS Forum

UNLADYLIKE2020 Conversation at DOCS Forum

STOCKTON ON MY MIND subject mayor Michael Tubbs on dealing with current issues

WHITE NOISE director Daniel Lombroso on making his film

SISTERS OF ’77 Conversation at AFI DOCS Forum 2020

Bryce Dallas Howards (DADS) talks about how she transitioned to directing

DILEMMA OF DESIRE Conversation at DOCS Forum


Watch more highlights HERE.

Comments (2)

Hallur Helgason

Is it still possible to view the films on line?

Lynn Raynor

Yes, where can we see these docs?

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