FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AFI-DISCOVERY CHANNEL SILVERDOCS ANNOUNCES SLATE
Festival Opens with DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’: EVERYMAN’S JOURNEY
Closes with BIG EASY EXPRESS
Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky Named 2012 Guggenheim Honorees
Silver Spring, MD, May 25, 2012 – AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs Documentary Festival, created through a unique alliance between the American Film Institute and Discovery Communications to recognize excellence in documentary film, today announced the full schedule of films that will screen in its Spotlight, Competition, Silver Spectrum and Guggenheim Retrospective programs June 18-24, 2012, at the historic AFI Silver Theatre and surrounding venues.
Celebrating its 10th edition this year, the festival – the largest of its kind in the United States – will present
114 films, selected from 2,018 submissions, representing 44 countries with seven World, three North American, seven U.S. and eleven East Coast premieres, plus seven retrospective films and an outdoor screening.
A unique feature of the festival is its five-day Documentary Conference, which celebrates the art and business of documentary storytelling and creates a hothouse environment that connects filmmakers, educators, broadcasters, business leaders, distributors, private and public media, and funders from both established and emerging media markets. Over 1,200 filmmakers and industry professionals will participate in master classes, panels, workshops and pitching forums featuring the world’s leading documentarians.
“The extraordinary quality of the festival program complements the celebration of this 10th edition of AFIDiscovery Channel Silverdocs,” said Sky Sitney, Festival Director. “This year, fittingly for a festival that has united art and insight for a decade, there are a substantial number of films focusing on the creative process. We are particularly proud to showcase the latest work by documentary luminaries, while introducing new filmmakers to our highly engaged audiences and guests from around the globe.”
Notable filmmakers presenting their work include Yung Chang (CHINA HEAVYWEIGHT); Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (DETROPIA); Eugene Jarecki (THE HOUSE I LIVE IN); Ross McElwee (PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORY); and Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky (PARADISE LOST TRILOGY,
METALLICA: SOME KIND OF MONSTER, GOOD ROCKIN’ TONIGHT: THE LEGEND OF SUN RECORDS, CRUDE, UNDER AFRICAN SKIES), who will be honored at the festival’s Charles Guggenheim Symposium for their collective and individual contributions to the documentary genre.
American Airlines, the official airline of AFI, is a proud sponsor of AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs.
2012 AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs Festival Program
SPOTLIGHT SCREENINGS AND EVENTS
Monday, June 18, 2012
- OPENING NIGHT: DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’: EVERYMAN’S JOURNEY. Filipino singer Arnel Pineda discovers that big dreams really do come true in this inspiring new film from director Ramona Diaz (IMELDA, THE LEARNING). Having led a hardscrabble life on the streets of Manila from a very early age, Pineda always found solace and joy in doing the one thing he knew how to do best: Achieving local popularity as the frontman in a Manila cover band for the iconic American band Journey, Pineda never dreams that his voice will be heard beyond the local clubs he regularly plays. After a friend uploads videos of his performances to YouTube, Pineda is shocked when he receives a call from Journey guitarist Neal Schon. Impressed with Pineda’s huge talent, Schon invites Pineda to America to audition as lead singer for the real deal: Journey. What follows is Pineda’s incredibly uplifting rags-to-riches story of navigating the exciting and sometimes treacherous waters of newfound fame and culture shock. Filmmaker Ramona Diaz in attendance.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
- GUGGENHEIM SYMPOSIUM: The Charles Guggenheim Symposium honors the legacy of the late four-time Academy Award-winning filmmaker Charles Guggenheim. This year the Symposium celebrates Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, leading voices in American nonfiction cinema.
Among their landmark films are BROTHER’S KEEPER (1992), PARADISE LOST: THE CHILD
MURDERS AT ROBIN HOOD HILLS (1996), PARADISE LOST 2: REVELATIONS (2000),
METALLICA: SOME KIND OF MONSTER (2004) and the Academy Award-nominated PARADISE LOST 3: PURGATORY (2011). The filmmakers will be joined by recently freed “West Memphis 3” member Jason Baldwin, indieWIRE Co-Founder and Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Eugene Hernandez and other special guests, to engage in a discussion of Berlinger and Sinofsky’s career.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
- CENTERPIECE SCREENING: HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE. During a time when the very mention of AIDS created waves of terror and an HIV diagnosis was seen as a certain death sentence, two coalitions – ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group) – decided to fight fear with knowledge and action. Banding together, these courageous activists took on Washington, the pharmaceutical industry and an uninformed public to make their voices be heard. Packing an emotional wallop with stirring powerful interviews and riveting archival footage, David France’s HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE stands as an essential and passionate document of the battle to find an effective treatment for HIV from those seeking acknowledgment as relevant human beings who deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. Filmmaker and subjects in attendance.
Thursday, June 21, 2012
- BAD BRAINS: A BAND IN DC. Originally formed in Washington, DC, during the late 1970s, Bad Brains quickly became one of the most unique and influential punk bands in the world. For over 30 years, Bad Brains has survived numerous breakups, ongoing changes in the musical landscape and an eccentric frontman whose unpredictable behavior threatens the band’s future. This vibrant documentary examines the group’s history and cultural impact utilizing rare archival footage and contemporary interviews to give an insider’s look into its remarkable staying power. Filmmakers Benjamen Logan and Mandy Stein, as well as film subject HR in attendance.
Friday, June 22, 2012
- OUTDOOR SCREENING: UNDER AFRICAN SKIES. In 1986, musician Paul Simon released the wildly popular Grammy Award-winning album “Graceland.” Inspired by the unique rhythms and harmonies he was hearing from South Africa, Simon traveled there on a whim to record the album using local musicians. Simon’s trip, however, went against a United Nations cultural boycott of South Africa at the time designed to help end apartheid. Scorned by many, Simon was unprepared for the wave of hostile backlash in response to his actions. Others, however, particularly in retrospect, credited him for helping to bridge cultural gaps through music. Packed with the incredible music of “Graceland,” UNDER AFRICAN SKIES finds Simon returning to South Africa to revisit those controversial days and answer his critics.
Saturday, June 23, 2012
- CLOSING NIGHT: BIG EASY EXPRESS. This film is a jubilant celebration of music when filmmaker
Emmett Malloy follows bands Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros and Old Crow Medicine Show as they travel from California by train and embark on a six-stop tour that takes them ultimately to New Orleans. Whether playing before adoring crowds or jamming spontaneously against the scenic backdrop of rural American landscapes, these three bands showcase their remarkable talents, which are sumptuously captured with celebratory fervor.
FILMS IN COMPETITION
AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs’ Sterling Awards for Best U.S. Feature, Best World Feature and Best Short Film formally recognize filmmaker achievement with both cash and in-kind prizes. In addition to the three Sterling Award competitive screening sections, the festival will confer awards in five additional categories:
- Audience Awards will be bestowed upon films based on the results of ballots cast by festival attendees after theater screenings. Features and short films playing in the Competition and Silver Spectrum sections are eligible for Audience Awards.
- The Cinematic Vision Award will be given to a feature film that exhibits excellence and innovation in visual storytelling.
- WGA Documentary Screenplay Award will be presented to the screenwriter(s) of a featurelength film demonstrating excellence in screenwriting.
- Social Impact Award will be given to a well-crafted and compelling documentary on a critical social issue that has the greatest potential, through the medium of film, to have an impact on that issue through reaching the broadest audience, particularly young people. Presented by REACT to FILM.
- Whole Foods/Silverdocs Green Grants are two $25,000 grants provided to two feature film projects in development, in production or in post-production that focus on environmental themes.
The winners of the Audience Awards for Best Feature and Short will be announced on Sunday, June 24, 2012, the closing day of the festival; all other award winners will be announced at the awards presentation on Saturday, June 23, 2012.
This year’s Sterling U.S., World and Short competition films are:
Sterling U.S. Feature Competition
BETTING THE FARM: DIR Jason Mann and Cecily Pingree. USA. World Premiere.
CALL ME KUCHU: DIR Katherine Fairfax Wright and Malika Zouhali-Worrall. USA. East Coast Premiere.
DOWNEAST: DIR David Redmon and Ashley Sabin. USA.
THE HOUSE I LIVE IN: DIR Eugene Jarecki. USA.
ONLY THE YOUNG: DIR Jason Tippet and Elizabeth Mims. USA. East Coast Premiere.
PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORY: DIR Ross McElwee. USA/France.
PLIMPTON! STARRING GEORGE PLIMPTON AS HIMSELF: DIR Tom Bean and Luke Poling. USA. World Premiere.
RADIO UNNAMEABLE: DIR Paul Lovelace and Jessica Wolfson. USA.
THE REVISIONARIES: DIR Scott Thurman. USA.
SUN KISSED: DIR Maya Stark and Adi Lavy. USA. East Coast Premiere.
SWEET DREAMS: DIR Rob and Lisa Fruchtman. USA. World Premiere. THE WAITING ROOM: DIR Peter Nicks. USA.
U.S. Feature Jury: Heather Courtney, Filmmaker (WHERE SOLDIERS COME FROM); Marshall Curry,
Filmmaker (IF A TREE FALLS: A STORY OF THE EARTH LIBERATION FRONT); Adella Ladjevardi, Grants
Sterling World Feature Competition
ARGENTINIAN LESSON: DIR Wojciech Staron. Poland. East Coast Premiere.
THE FINAL MEMBER: DIR Jonah Bekhor and Zach Math. USA/Canada. U.S. Premiere.
OMA & BELLA: DIR Alexa Karolinski. Germany/USA. U.S. Premiere.
PLANET OF SNAIL: DIR Seung-Jun Yi. South Korea.
PRIVATE UNIVERSE: DIR Helena Trestikova. Czech Republic. U.S. Premiere.
THE PUNK SYNDROME: DIR Jukka Kärkkäinen and J-P Passi. Finland/Norway/Sweden. U.S. Premiere.
SPECIAL FIGHT (VOL SPECIAL): DIR Fernand Melgar. Switzerland.
TEA OR ELECTRICITY: DIR Jeröme le Maire. Belgium/Morocco. North American Premiere.
VIRGIN TALES: DIR Mirjam Von Arx. France/Germany/Switzerland. North American Premiere. ¡VIVAN LAS ANTIPODAS!: DIR Victor Kossakovsky. Germany/Netherlands/Argentina/Chile. East Coast Premiere.
THE WORLD BEFORE HER: DIR Nisha Pahuja. USA/Canada/Germany/UK.
World Feature Jury: Charlotte Cook, Director of Programming, Hot Docs Canadian International Film Festival; Jigar Mehta, Co-founder, Collaborative Documentary Project; Stephanie Wang-Breal, Filmmaker (WO AI NI MOMMY [I LOVE YOU, MOMMY]).
Sterling Short Film Competition
AMATEUR FILMMAKER: DIR Volha Dashuk. Belarus.
THE AMBASSADOR & ME: DIR Jan Czarlewski. Switzerland.
AMERICAN JUGGALO: DIR Sean Dunne. USA.
AMONG GIANTS: DIR Sam Price-Waldman, Ben Mullinkosson and Chris Cresci. USA.
BACK TO MANDIMA: DIR Robert-Jan Lacombe. Switzerland.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF JOHN BALDESSARI: DIR Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman. USA.
BRUTE FORCE: DIR Ben Steinbauer. USA.
CATCAM: DIR Seth Keal. USA.
CHRONICLE OF OLDRICH S.: DIR Rudolf Šmíd. Czech Republic.
CONTACT CALL: DIR Jana Bürgelin. Germany.
CROSSED OUT: DIR Roberto Duarte. Sweden.
CUTTING LOOSE: DIR Finlay Pretsell and Adrian McDowall. Scotland.
FAMILY NIGHTMARE: DIR Dustin Guy Defa. USA.
FANUZZI’S GOLD: DIR Georgia Gruzen. USA.
HOME TURF: DIR Ross Whitaker. Ireland.
IF HIMMLER PLAYED GUITAR: DIR Andy Taylor Smith. UK.
I KILL: DIR David White and Paul Wedel. New Zealand.
INTO THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE: DIR Ann Frances Ewert. UK/Germany.
IT AIN’T OVER: DIR Caleb Slain. USA.
KINGS POINT: DIR Sari Gilman. USA.
THE LAST ICE MERCHANT: DIR Sandy Patch. Ecuador/USA.
LIVING TINY: DIR Paul Meyers and Paul Donatelli. USA.
LOVE HACKING: DIR Jenni Nelson. USA.
MANUFACTURED FORTUNES: DIR Kevin Gordon. USA.
MEANING OF ROBOTS: DIR Matt Lenski. USA.
MISSING: DIR Ewan McNicol. USA.
MONDAYS AT RACINE: DIR Cynthia Wade. USA.
MR. CHRISTMAS: DIR Nick Palmer. USA.
MANUFACTURED FORTUNES: DIR Kevin Gordon. USA.
NEEDLE EXCHANGE: DIR Colm Quinn. Ireland.
PARADISE: DIR Nadav Kurtz. USA.
THE PERFECT FIT: DIR Tali Yankelevich. Scotland.
RAY: A LIFE UNDERWATER: DIR Amanda Bluglass. UK.
RECEPTION: DIR Maciej Bochniak. Poland.
REINDEER: DIR Eva Weber. UK.
RETURN OF THE SUN: DIR Glen Milner and Ben Hilton. UK.
SOLO, PIANO – NYC: DIR Anthony Sherin. USA.
SPARKLE: DIR Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert. USA.
THE TIME WE HAVE: DIR Mira Jargil. Denmark.
UNRAVEL: DIR Meghna Gupta. UK.
WELL-FED: DIR Anna Moot-Levin. USA.
Short Film Jury: Lisa Collins, Filmmaker (OSCAR’S COMEBACK); Cara Cusumano, Programmer, Tribeca Film Festival; Basil Tsiokos, Programming Associate, Sundance Film Festival.
This year’s Silver Spectrum and Guggenheim Retrospective films are:
½ REVOLUTION: DIR Omar Shargawi and Karin El Hakim. Denmark. East Coast Premiere.
AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY: DIR Alison Klayman. USA/China.
THE AMBASSADOR: DIR Mads Brügger. Denmark.
ANN RICHARDS’ TEXAS: DIR Keith Patterson and Jack Lofton. USA. World Premiere.
BAD BRAINS: A BAND IN D.C.: DIR Mandy Stein and Benjamen Logan. USA. East Coast Premiere.
BEAUTY IS EMBARRASSING: DIR Neil Berkeley. USA.
BEWARE OF MR. BAKER: DIR Jay Bulger. USA.
BROOKLYN CASTLE: DIR Katie Dellamaggiore. USA.
CANNED DREAMS: DIR Katja Gauriloff. Finland. U.S. Premiere.
THE CENTRAL PARK EFFECT: DIR Jeffrey Kimball. USA.
CHARLES BRADLEY: SOUL OF AMERICA: DIR Poull Brien. USA.
CHASING ICE: DIR Jeff Orlowski. USA.
CHINA HEAVYWEIGHT: DIR Yung Chang. Canada/China. East Coast Premiere.
DETROPIA: DIR Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing. USA.
DIANA VREELAND: THE EYE HAS TO TRAVEL: DIR Lisa Immordino Vreeland. USA.
DRIVERS WANTED: DIR Joshua Weinstein. USA. World Premiere.
ESCAPE FIRE: THE FIGHT TO RESCUE AMERICAN HEALTHCARE: DIR Matthew Heineman and Susan Froemke. USA.
FAME HIGH: DIR Scott Hamilton Kennedy. USA.
A GIRL LIKE HER: DIR Ann Fessler. USA.
THE HOUSE I LIVE IN: DIR Eugene Jarecki. USA.
THE IMPOSTER: DIR Bart Layton. UK.
JOE PAPP IN FIVE ACTS: DIR Tracie Holder and Karen Thorsen. USA.
LA SOURCE: DIR Patrick Shen. USA. World Premiere.
MARINA ABRAMOVI THE ARTIST IS PRESENT: DIR Matthew Akers. USA.
MEET THE FOKKENS: DIR Rob Schröder and Gabriëlle Provaas. Netherlands. U.S. Premiere.
PORTRAIT OF WALLY: DIR Andrew Shea. USA/Austria.
THE QUEEN OF VERSAILLES: DIR Lauren Greenfield. USA.
SEEKING ASIAN FEMALE: DIR Debbie Lum. USA. East Coast Premiere.
THE SOURCE: DIR Jodi Wille and Maria Demopoulos. USA.
STEP UP TO THE PLATE: DIR Paul Lacoste. France. East Coast Premiere.
STRONG!: DIR Julie Wyman. USA. World Premiere.
SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN: DIR Malik Bendjelloul. Sweden/UK.
TCHOUPITOULAS: DIR Bill and Turner Ross. USA.
THIRD COAST AUDIO FESTIVAL FILMLESS PRESENTATION Curator: Julie Shapiro. USA.
TIME ZERO: THE LAST YEAR OF POLAROID FILM: DIR Grant Hamilton. USA.
TOKYO WAKA: DIR John Haptas and Kristine Samuelson. USA. East Coast Premiere.
TRASH DANCE: DIR Andrew Garrison. USA.
THE VANISHING SPRING LIGHT: DIR Xun Yu. China. U.S. Premiere.
WAGNER’S DREAM: DIR Susan Froemke. USA.
WE ARE LEGION: THE STORY OF THE HACKTIVISTS: DIR Brian Knappenberger. USA.
WHEN BUBBLES BURST: DIR Hans Petter Moland. Norway. North American Premiere. THE WORLD BEFORE HER: DIR Nisha Pahuja. USA/Canada/Germany/UK.
BROTHER’S KEEPER: DIR Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky. USA.
CRUDE: DIR Joe Berlinger. USA.
GOOD ROCKIN’ TONIGHT: THE LEGACY OF SUN RECORDS: DIR Bruce Sinofsky. USA.
METALLICA: SOME KIND OF MONSTER: DIR Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky. USA.
PARADISE LOST: THE CHILD MURDERS AT ROBIN HOOD HILLS: DIR Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky. USA.
PARADISE LOST 2: REVELATIONS: DIR Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky. USA.
PARADISE LOST 3: PURGATORY: DIR Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky. USA. UNDER AFRICAN SKIES: DIR Joe Berlinger. USA.
Film stills and festival shots are available for press use only and can be downloaded from http://silverdocs.com/press-room/press-kit/
About AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs
AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs Documentary Festival is a seven-day internationally recognized event that honors excellence in filmmaking, supports the diverse voices and free expression of independent storytellers and celebrates the power of documentary to improve our understanding of the world. Celebrating its tenth edition this year, the 2012 festival runs June 18-24 at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in the Washington, DC area, attracting over 27,000 documentary enthusiasts and motion picture arts professionals from around the world. AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs’ five-day International Documentary Conference presents thought-provoking presentations and engages a diverse group of over 1,000 filmmakers and industry leaders concerned with the future of non-fiction storytelling, production and distribution. For more information, go to Silverdocs.com.
About the American Film Institute
AFI is America’s promise to preserve the history of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work and to educate the next generation of storytellers. AFI provides leadership in film, television and digital media and is dedicated to initiatives that engage the past, the present and the future of the moving image arts.
AFI preserves the legacy of America’s film heritage for future generations through the AFI Archive, comprised of rare footage from across the history of the moving image and the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, an authoritative record of American films from 1893 to the present.
AFI honors the artists and their work through a variety of annual programs and special events, including the AFI Life Achievement Award and AFI Awards. Celebrating its 40th year in 2012, the AFI Life Achievement Award has remained the highest honor for a career in film while AFI Awards, the Institute’s almanac for the 21st century, honors the most outstanding motion pictures and television programs of the year. AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies television events and movie reference lists have introduced and reintroduced classic American movies to millions of film lovers. And as the largest nonprofit exhibitor in the United States, AFI offers film enthusiasts a variety of events throughout the year, including AFI Fest presented by Audi, the Institute’s annual celebration of excellence in global cinema; AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs, the largest documentary festival in the U.S., celebrating its 10th edition this year; and year-round programming at the AFI Silver Theatre in the Washington, DC area.
AFI educates the next generation of storytellers at its world-renowned AFI Conservatory, named the #1 film school in the world by The Hollywood Reporter for the quality of its instructors and speakers, and its “glittering parade of alumni.” AFI Conservatory offers a two-year Master of Fine Arts degree in six filmmaking disciplines: Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Production Design and Screenwriting. Aspiring artists learn from the masters in a collaborative, hands-on production environment with an emphasis on storytelling.
For more information about AFI, visit AFI.com or connect with AFI at twitter.com/AmericanFilm, facebook.com/AmericanFilmInstitute and youtube.com/AFI.
About Discovery Communications
Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is the world’s #1 nonfiction media company reaching more than 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers in over 200 countries and territories. Discovery is dedicated to satisfying curiosity through more than 140 worldwide television networks, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Science and Investigation Discovery, as well as US joint venture networks OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, The Hub and 3net, the first 24-hour 3D network. Discovery also is a leading provider of educational products and services to schools and owns and operates a diversified portfolio of digital media services, including HowStuffWorks.com. For more information, please visit www.discoverycommunications.com.