AFI Docs Announces Plans For Online Film Festival, ‘Boys State’ Will Open Event

The American Film Institute’s annual documentary film festival will be online this year, the latest event to be reimagined in the face of the coronavirus crisis, and it will open with the project Boys State. 

The festival will run from June 17 to 21, and films will be available to view on The festival traditionally is held in the Washington, D.C. area. AT&T is returning as presenting sponsor.

“AFI is committed to the documentary art form in the best of times and in the most challenging of times,” said AFI Festivals director Michael Lumpkin. “Now more than ever, we are dedicated to supporting extraordinary films because the world needs stories that educate, inspire hope and remind us of humanity’s strength.”

Boys State, which won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize, follows a group of teenage boys at an annual civics program hosted by the American Legion in Austin, Texas, where they create a mock government with campaigns and creation of party platforms. The project sheds light on political divisions and other aspects of the future of American democracy through the eyes of youth. The movie is directed by Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine

The full slate will be announced on June 10.

The festival will be presented in different sections — special presentations, features, cinema’s legacy and shorts, as well as a virtual AFI Docs Forum. The cinema legacy section will feature non fiction movies that have had an impact on the documentary art form. The program will be dedicated to films that feature “landmark moments in our nation’s political history,” organizers said.


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