AFI DOCS, the American Film Institute’s annual documentary celebration held June 22-26, 2016, in the nation’s capital, has announced the Newseum will be the festival’s official Gala Screening partner.
Opening AFI DOCS 2016 is the North American premiere of Magnolia Pictures’ ”Zero Days” directed by Alex Gibney. Closing the festival is Music Box Films’ “Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You,” directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady. Both Gala Screenings will be held at the Newseum on historic Pennsylvania Avenue.
“The Newseum has an established reputation of celebrating free expression around the world,” said Jeffrey Herbst, president and CEO of the Newseum. “We’re delighted to partner with AFI DOCS to showcase the work of these talented documentarians, and to have these films shown here in our award-winning venue.”
The Opening Night Gala and North American premiere of “Zero Days” will be held June 22 at the Newseum and will feature a Q&A with Academy Award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney after the screening. “Zero Days” explores Stuxnet, a self-replicating computer worm discovered in 2010 that was commissioned by the U.S. and Israeli governments to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program. Gibney returns to AFI DOCS after being honored at the 2014 Charles Guggenheim Symposium and presenting his film “Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine” in 2015.
The Closing Night Gala screening of “Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You” will be held June 26 at the Newseum and will feature a post-screening discussion with film subject Norman Lear and Academy Award®-nominated directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady. The film chronicles the life and work of one of the most influential writers and producers in television history. Lear’s legendary TV shows, which include “All in the Family,” “The Jeffersons” and “Maude,” boldly addressed topics of race, class and feminism. Ewing and Grady previously brought their Oscar-nominated film “Jesus Camp” to AFI DOCS in 2006.
“The Newseum has become a well-known location in Washington, D.C., for movie premieres and events,” said Michael Lumpkin, director of AFI DOCS. “We’re thrilled that our festival attendees will be able to experience these amazing films in a first-class venue.”
Tickets to AFI DOCS, including Opening Night and Closing Night screenings, will be available early to AFI members exclusively May 9 to 17, and to the public on May 18. Passes for AFI DOCS 2016 are now on sale at AFI.com/afidocs. More information about AFI DOCS screenings and other special events will be announced in the coming weeks.