by Erica Ginsberg
AFI DOCS is back for its second year under its new moniker (I give it one more year before we stop saying "The festival formerly known as Silverdocs.") While the namechange isn't the only thing which changed, this year's festival (taking place from June 18-22) looks like it is bringing back some of what we loved about the Washington DC area's one and only documentary film festival. Call it AFI DOCS 2.0.
Docs In Progress is celebrating its 10th anniversary on Tuesday, May 20 with Decade of Docs, a special evening for the Washington DC area's filmmaking community. This event will honor the past 10 years of Docs In Progress and the filmmakers we have helped to nurture while also looking forward to the future. Ten years and more than 1000 filmmakers later, Docs In Progress is honoring the achievements of its community with a series of awards for alumni of its film programs, as well as a special award for Sky Sitney for her contributions to the Washington DC documentary film community during her eight years with the Silverdocs/AFI Docs Film Festival. Sitney will also join filmmaker Doug Block (51 Birch Street, 112 Weddings, The D-Word), Documentary Center Director Nina Seavey, and StoryCodeDC's Felicia Pride for a special panel discussion on the future of documentary film and filmmaking.
We are less than a month away from Silverdocs (or more properly AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs Documentary Festival) when the documentary world converges on downtown Silver Spring. It€™s still one of our favorite documentary festivals and it€™s not just because it is only a stone€™s throw away from Docs In Progress. / Israel/Palestinian Territories/USA, 2009, 81 minutes (Director: Julia Bacha)-This rousing film about one Palestinian village and its unlikely hero-humble family man turned activist Ayed Morrar-reveals the power of ordinary people to peaceably fight for extraordinary change.
Just when you least expect it, you may be in a situation where you have an opportunity to pitch to a potential funder, broadcaster, distributor, or someone else who can have a positive influence on the life and trajectory of your film. You might only have a few minutes though. Are you ready? Filmmakers Doug Block and Aviva Kempner have years of experience with the proverbial "elevator pitch" and share their tips.