Get Your Docs Off

AFI DOCS, the acclaimed documentary festival formerly known as Silverdocs, looks like it will hit yet another bullseye in 2014. As a bonus, this year could come with a subtitle: Women in Film. Nearly half of the movies Washington City Paper reviewed in advance of this year’s fest were directed or co-directed by a woman. And unlike most mainstream films, many also have female protagonists at their center. If you’d like to learn about a recent and miraculous advance in medicine, see the “Face the Music” series of shorts for Beyond Recognition, whose subject, a woman named Carmen, is undeniably brave. You can catch the contagious optimism of Abbie, an 18-year-old with a rare and deadly skin disease, in Butterfly Girl. Or get acquainted with FEMEN, a feminist protest group—and its unlikely leader—in Ukraine Is Not a Brothel.

Of course, this fest isn’t all about the grrls. Despite AFI DOCS’ ostensible repositioning as a more Washington-appropriate, policy-centric event, the documentaries’ subjects and approaches are diverse. Political controversies both old and new (1971; The Newburgh Sting), drug addiction and homelessness (The Fix; The Homestretch), and controversial artistry (Dangerous Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus; Art and Craft) are included in a buffet that nearly everyone can find satisfaction in sampling. Film itself is even a subject in Point and Shoot, about a Baltimorean adventure documentarian-turned-Libyan revolutionary, and Life Itself, the closing-night film, about the late movie critic Roger Ebert. It’s a fitting choice to close out a festival that is, as Ebert was, a reliable and discerning champion of the art.

—Tricia Olszewski

For more, read our essay on the state of the festival, Ctrl + Alt + Doc: A Year After Hitting Reset, AFI DOCS Is Still in Transition.

AFI Docs takes place from June 18 to 22 at the AFI Silver Theatre, Goethe-Institut, the National Portrait Gallery, the Naval Heritage Center, and the Newseum. Tickets to individual movies range from $11 to $14. For a full schedule and information on festival passes, visit afi.com/afidocs.

Thursday, June 19

Openings

Schedule (Openings marked with **)

"€œFace the Music" (shorts series)** 1:15 p.m. AFI Silver
"Gone Hollywood" (shorts series)** 1:30 p.m. Goethe-Institut
1971** 1:30 p.m. National Portrait Gallery
Silenced** 1:30 p.m. Naval Heritage Center
"Odds and Ends" (shorts series)** 1:45 p.m. AFI Silver
The Agreement** 3:45 p.m. Goethe-Institut
The Dog** 3:45 p.m. AFI Silver
The Newburgh Sting** 4 p.m. National Portrait Gallery
Ukraine Is Not a Brothel** 4:15 p.m. AFI Silver
The Fix** 6:15 p.m. AFI Silver
Dior And I** 6:30 p.m. AFI Silver
The Homestretch** 6:45 p.m. AFI Silver
The Internet's Own Boy** 7:15 p.m. Naval Heritage Center
Alfred and Jakobine** 8:30 p.m. AFI Silver
Virunga** 9 p.m. AFI Silver
The Possibilities are Endless** 9:15 p.m. AFI Silver

Friday, June 20

Openings

Schedule (Openings marked with **)

The Homestretch 11 a.m. Naval Heritage Center
"Gone Hollywood" (shorts series) 11:15 a.m. AFI Silver
"Odds and Ends" (shorts series) noon AFI Silver
Apollonian Story** 2:15 p.m. Goethe-Institut
The Possibilities are Endless 2:15 p.m. AFI Silver
Alfred and Jakobine 2:30 p.m. AFI Silver
Misconception** 4:30 p.m. AFI Silver
Back on Board** 4:45 p.m. National Portrait Gallery
The Hand That Feeds** 4:45 p.m. AFI Silver
112 Weddings** 6:30 p.m. AFI Silver
Dangerous Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus** 7 p.m. AFI Silver
Butterfly Girl** 7 p.m. Goethe-Institut
Point and Shoot** 7:15 p.m. AFI Silver
The Supreme Price** 9 p.m. AFI Silver
Art and Craft** 9 p.m. Naval Heritage Center
Virunga 9:15 p.m. Goethe-Institut
Heaven Adores You** 9:30 p.m. AFI Silver

Saturday, June 21

Openings

Schedule (Openings marked with **)

Slaying the Badger** 11 a.m. AFI Silver
Bronx Obama** 11 a.m. National Portrait Gallery
The Special Need** 11 a.m. Goethe-Institut
1971 11:15 a.m. AFI Silver
The Agreement 11:30 a.m. AFI Silver
112 Weddings 1:15 p.m. Goethe-Institut
I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story** 1:45 p.m. National Portrait Gallery
Back on Board 1:45 p.m. AFI Silver
Butterfly Girl 2 p.m. AFI Silver
The Internet's Own Boy 3:45 p.m. AFI Silver
The Hand That Feeds 3:45 p.m. Goethe-Institut
The Newburgh Sting 4:15 p.m. AFI Silver
Dior And I 4:30 p.m. National Portrait Gallery
Heaven Adores You 6:15 p.m. Goethe-Institut
SlingShot** 6:45 p.m. AFI Silver
Silenced 7 p.m. AFI Silver
The Overnighters** 7:30 p.m. Naval Heritage Center
Life Itself** 7:30 p.m. National Portrait Gallery
Ukraine Is Not a Brothel 9 p.m. Goethe-Institut

Sunday, June 22

Openings

Schedule (Openings marked with **)

"€œFace the Music" (shorts series) 11 a.m. Goethe-Institut
I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story 11 a.m. AFI Silver
Art and Craft 1 p.m. AFI Silver
The Overnighters 1:30 p.m. AFI Silver
SlingShot 1:30 p.m. Naval Heritage Center
The Special Need 2 p.m. AFI Silver
Bronx Obama 3:30 p.m. AFI Silver
Slaying the Badger 4 p.m. Goethe-Institut
Freedom Summer** 4:15 p.m. Naval Heritage Center
The Supreme Price 6 p.m. AFI Silver
Apollonian Story 6:45 p.m. AFI Silver
Misconception 7:30 p.m. Naval Heritage Center
Dangerous Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus 8:30 p.m. Goethe-Institut
The Dog 9 p.m. AFI Silver

Our Readers Say

Why is "The Last Days of Vietnam" which is showing twice as part of this festival not on the list? It has a great deal of local appeal.

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