afi docs 2016 – American Film Institute

Announcing the AFI DOCS 2016 Audience Award Winners

The American Film Institute has revealed the AFI DOCS 2016 Audience Award winners, concluding the five-day festival in Washington, DC, and Silver Spring, MD. This year’s Audience Award for Best Feature went to MAYA ANGELOU: AND STILL I RISE, directed by Rita Coburn Whack and Bob Hercules (U.S.). This year’s Audience Award for Best Short went to…

The AFI DOCS Interview: SEVEN DAYS A WEEK Director Tal Amiran

In SEVEN DAYS A WEEK, Paul Saxton reflects on a long life behind the counter of his North London newspaper stand, 365 days a year at 4:40 a.m. for the last 36 years. The film won the Londonist Award for Best London Short Film at the London Short Film Festival. Ahead of the film’s AFI DOCS…

The AFI DOCS Interview: TRAIN SURFERS Director Adrien Cothier

In Adrien Cothier’s short film TRAIN SURFERS, thrill-seeking young men tempt fate doing stunts on Mumbai’s high-speed trains. AFI spoke to director Adrien Cothier ahead of the film’s AFI DOCS premiere. He is a New York-based filmmaker who cut his teeth working on the set of Wes Anderson’s FANTASTIC MR. FOX. What led you to documentary…

The AFI DOCS Interview: FAREWELL FERRIS WHEEL Directors Jamie Sisley & Miguel “M.i.G.” Martinez

There are many parallels between the lives of a migrant laborer and a carnival worker. FAREWELL FERRIS WHEEL is a year in the life of men who are both. Allotted controversial H-2B visas, the workers are grateful for the opportunity to provide for their families in Mexico, but also subject to little wage and labor…

The AFI DOCS Interview: SOLITARY Director Kristi Jacobson

In SOLITARY, director Kristi Jacobson takes viewers deep into Virginia’s Red Onion State Prison for a yearlong submersion in one of the most controversial aspects of America’s modern prison-industrial-complex: solitary confinement. Red Onion is just one of 40-plus supermax prisons, which force prisoners to spend 23 hours of every day alone. The film focuses on…

The AFI DOCS Interview: CHECK IT Directors Dana Flor & Toby Oppenheimer

In the heart of the nation’s capital, the Check It is a street gang comprised of gay and transgender teens who support each other in the face of outside bullying, attacks and discrimination. The group struggles with an existence underscored by violence, poverty and prostitution, but when a young mentor comes into their lives, he…

The AFI DOCS Interview: CHICKEN PEOPLE Director Nicole Lucas Haimes

Purebred dogs have Westminster; purebred chickens have the Ohio National Poultry Show.  In this competition, some 10,000 prime specimens from all over the U.S. battle for the title of Super Grand Champion.  The often-eccentric bird breeders share a passion for fostering feathered finery, discovering in their chickens a salve for life’s challenges and traumas.  Full…

The AFI DOCS Interview: CARE Director Deirdre Fishel

Millions of elderly Americans depend on compassionate caregivers to provide the support they need to age in place. Every day, these health care workers offer love and kindness to the elderly, but often don’t earn enough to keep a roof over their own heads. With compelling stories of caregivers and those in need, CARE opens…

The AFI DOCS Interview: THE MAN WHO SAW TOO MUCH Director Trisha Ziff

For more than five decades, photojournalist Enrique Metinides risked his life to photograph tragedy — and the human emotion that accompanies it — in Mexico City. From crime scenes shot in black and white to explosions captured in full color, Metinides’ hauntingly beautiful pictures reveal the drama of disaster in a single frame as captured…

The AFI DOCS Interview: A FAMILY AFFAIR Director Tom Fassaert

In the intimate documentary A FAMILY AFFAIR, Dutch filmmaker Tom Fassaert probes the dark corners of his family history in an attempt to understand his glamorous and enigmatic grandmother and the strange hold she has over her children even while living on the other side of the world. An invitation to visit her in South…

The AFI DOCS Interview: NEWTOWN Director Kim A. Snyder

On December 14, 2012, a 20-year-old gunman forced his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and murdered 20 schoolchildren and six educators. In the aftermath of the killings, filmmaker Kim Snyder traveled to Newtown and trained her lens on a grieving community, following several families who came face to face with tragedy….

The AFI DOCS Interview: HAVEABABY Director Amanda Micheli

HAVEABABY focuses on a group of aspiring parents who enter a controversial video contest held by a Las Vegas fertility clinic. The winners receive a free round of in vitro fertilization, and given the steep costs of treatment, many believe this unconventional competition may be their only chance at parenthood. Provocative and engaging, director Amanda…
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