Today’s Highlights at AFI DOCS-Errol Morris Celebrated at 6PM at National Archives & More

Errol Morris Honored at Guggenheim Symposium
World Premiere of DOCUMENTED
by Pulitzer Prize Winner Jose Antonio Vargas

AFI DOCS presented by Audioffers a full schedule of Friday events of which highlights are the Charles Guggenheim Symposium celebrating Errol Morris, one of the most significant and original voices in documentary cinema and the world premiere of DOCUMENTED by Pulitzer Prize winner Jose Antonio Vargas. These Friday events and screenings further AFI DOCS mission to bring filmmakers, our nation’s leaders and audiences together in the heart of Washington, DC.


This annual award honors the legacy of the late four-time Academy®Award-winning filmmaker Charles Guggenheim. This year the Symposium celebrates Errol Morris by featuring a series of excerpts of his work  He will be joined on stage by the Washington Post’s chief film critic Ann Hornaday to discuss his career.  His films include A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME (1991); FAST, CHEAP AND OUT OF CONTROL (1997); THE FOG OF WAR: ELEVEN LESSONS FROM THE LIFE OF ROBERT S. MCNAMARA (2003); GATES OF HEAVEN (1978); STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE (2009); THE THIN BLUE LINE (1988); and VERNON, FLORIDA (1981).

Errol Morris.
Errol Morris.

WHO:          Errol Morris, Filmmaker

                    Ann Hornaday, Film Critic at The Washington Post, Moderator
Bob Gazzale, President & CEO, American Film Institute
                    Sky Sitney, Festival Director

WHEN:         Friday, June 21, 2013
6:00 p.m.  Screening and Discussion

WHERE:       National Archives, 700 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC

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3:45 p.m. Filmmakers AJ Schnack and David Wilson present WE ALWAYS LIE TO STRANGERS. Branson, Missouri, is one of America’s most popular tourist destinations where people from all over the country flock to enjoy a return to old-fashioned down-home wholesome entertainment.  Amid the abundance of kitschy stage and music shows are an eclectic group of talented performers who have dedicated themselves to the show business Mecca of the Midwest.  Come meet the colorful people who call Branson home and must cope with an uncertain future as the town faces economic adversity.

4:30 p.m. Filmmakers Jeff Reichert and Farihah Zaman present REMOTE AREA MEDICAL. People wait for more than a day outside the Bristol Motor Speedway, lining up not for tickets but for necessary medical and dental procedures that are otherwise beyond their means.  Telling stories from those who rely on the clinics, REMOTE AREA MEDICAL serves as a sobering look at life for the uninsured.

5:00 p.m. Filmmaker Dawn Porter and co-producer Summer Damon present GIDEON’S ARMY. In this smart, insightful documentary, Porter sheds light on the plight of one of our country’s most valuable and unsung warriors: the public defender.  Following a small group of dedicated public defenders in the South, GIDEON’S ARMY highlights the daily battles they face within a flawed legal system.  Ailsa Chang, Congressional reporter NPR’s Washington Desk, moderates a post-screening discussion with the filmmakers and special guests.

5:15 p.m. Filmmaker Grace Lee presents AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY: THE EVOLUTION OF GRACE LEE BOGGS.  Lee set out in search of other Asian American women bearing the same name and found Grace Lee Boggs, a 97-year-old Chinese American philosopher, activist and force of nature whose remarkable life and work traversed the major social movements of the last century and warranted a film of her own.

6:30 p.m. Filmmaker Dan Krauss and subjects Eric Montalvo and Dr. Stephen Xenakis present THE KILL TEAM. A powerful portrait of wartime atrocities and the men who commit them, this riveting film focuses on an American platoon in Afghanistan who waged a campaign of terror against the Afghani civilians they were sworn to protect.   A chilling look at the madness of war that very few will forget.

6:45 p.m. Filmmaker Gabriela Cowperthwaite presents BLACKFISH.  When SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau was mauled to death by a “killer whale,” the tragedy was dismissed as a freak accident.  In actuality, it was one of many such violent incidents between well-meaning trainers and wild orcas living in captivity.  BLACKFISH takes an unflinching look at the disturbing practices that keep marine parks in business.

7:30 p.m. Filmmaker Lucy Walker presents THE CRASH REEL.  A mere two months before the 2010 Winter Olympics, game-changing pro snowboarder Kevin Pearce suffered a traumatic brain injury that derailed his life, career and a much-anticipated rivalry with competitor Shaun White.  Oscar®-nominee Lucy Walker’s engaging, intimate portrayal of Pearce’s recuperation explores the understated heroism of a recovering champion.

8:00 p.m. Filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas presents the World Premiere of DOCUMENTED.  In 2011, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas outed himself as an undocumented immigrant in The New York Times Magazine.  DOCUMENTED chronicles the aftermath as he travels around the country as an immigration reform activist and provocateur, lands a historic Time magazine cover story; and unexpectedly re-connects with his mother in the Philippines, whom he hasn’t seen in nearly 20 years. Juan Williams, political analyst for Fox News Channel, moderates a post-screening discussion with the filmmaker and other members of the production team.

8:45 p.m. Filmmaker Lotfy Nathan presents 12 O’CLOCK BOYS.  Cruising recklessly through the streets of Baltimore, notorious dirt bike gang, the 12 O’Clock Boys, are heroes to some and a menace to others.  Director Lotfy Nathan’s debut feature follows a young boy named Pug over the course of several years as he strives to be accepted into their world.

9:00 p.m. Filmmaker Zachary Heinzerling presents CUTIE AND THE BOXER. When Noriko moved to New York City, her plans to study art were derailed by love.  Now, 40 years into her marriage to Ushio, a painter many years her senior, Noriko seeks her own artistic identity as her 80-year-old husband struggles to establish his legacy.  This is a poignant portrait of marriage, sacrifice, aging and dedication.

10:15 p.m. Filmmaker Tom Berninger presents MISTAKEN FOR STRANGERS.  This hilarious film follows indie band The National on the road for a year through the eyes of singer Matt Berninger’s bumbling brother, Tom.  As tensions boil, the film Tom meant to make falls apart, and what evolves is a touching, authentic, and delightfully wry portrait of two brothers who could not be more different.

About AFI DOCS presented by Audi

AFI DOCS presented by Audi (formerly Silverdocs) is an 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. Now in its 11th year, the festival is embarking on a transformational chapter in its history with an expansion into landmark Washington, DC venues and with the AFI Catalyst Sessions which serve as stimuli for national public discourse and an opportunity to engage our nations leaders with filmmakers striving to shine a light on the greatest issues of today.  The festival historically has attracted over 27,000 documentary enthusiasts, policy-makers and thought leaders. Visit and connect on, and