Arts Desk

AFI Docs Announces Two Premieres

This morning, AFI Docs announced the first two premieres for this year's festival: Letters to Jackie and Documented.

Bill Couturié (who directed the Oscar-winning doc Common Threads: Stories From the Quilt) is behind Letters to Jackie, a documentary in which 20 Hollywood performers read letters sent to Jacqueline Kennedy in the wake of President John F. Kennedy's assassination in 1963. Some of the readers include Kirsten Dunst, Frances McDormand, Mark Ruffalo, Zooey Deschanel, Jessica Chastain, Laura Linney, Betty White, and Channing Tatum. Letters to Jackie will show at AFI Docs' opening night gala at the Newseum and premiere on TLC in November.

Former Washington Post journalist Jose Antonio Vargas co-directed Documented, a film that looks at immigration in the United States via Vargas' own experiences. Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize winner, famously "came out" as an undocumented immigrant in a 2011 New York Times Magazine essay that told the story of his childhood trip from the Philippines to the United States and his life as an undocumented adult.

AFI Docs Presented by Audi—the festival's full name—recently announced a name change and an expansion into D.C. The festival, formerly Silverdocs, will be held at Silver Spring's AFI Theatre as well as D.C. venues from June 19-23.

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