AFI DOCS, a renowned international documentary festival, kicks off this June in the nation’s capital. The festival, which reaches millions of people annually, shines a bright light on documentary film and issues addressed in the work of America’s storytellers. It aims to connect real people with real stories, which range from the man impersonating President Barack Obama to the woman who has portrayed Big Bird for more than 40 years.
With the presence of artists, audience members and political leaders, AFI DOCS harnesses the power of this important art form and its potential to inspire change.
Screenings during this annual five day event take place at landmark venues in Washington, DC and at the world-class AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring, Md., the independent film hub of the metropolitan region. A few feature films are listed below.
Acclaimed filmmaker Doug Block started filming people’s wedding videos 20 years ago as a way to make extra money. In this funny and often touching film, Block tracks down several of them to find out if marriage was everything they dreamed it would be.
Friday, June 20, 6:30 p.m.
Abbie Evans’ coming-of-age struggle is complicated by a rare life-threatening skin disorder, Epidermolysis Bullosa, which makes her body as fragile as butterfly wings.
Saturday, June 21, 2:00 p.m.
Louis Ortiz, a single father from the Bronx, bore an uncanny resemblance to President Barack Obama. Starting in 2008 with Obama’s victory, Ortiz transformed himself into a professional lookalike and changed his life forever.
Sunday, June 22, 3:30 p.m.
I Am Big Bird
I Am Big Bird tells the story of Caroll Spinney, the amiable Muppeteer who has filled Big Bird’s huge orange feet and brought joy to the world for more than 40 years.
Sunday, June 22, 11:00 a.m.
How I Got Over
Fifteen formerly homeless women in the Washington, DC, area come together to share their harrowing life stories as they bravely set out on the path to addiction recovery.
Sunday, June 22, 11:15 a.m.
For a full listing of feature films and details, visit the AFI Docs website.