AFI DOCS, the American Film Institute’s annual documentary celebration in the nation’s capital, has opened submissions and announced the dates for the 2021 edition of the festival. Now in its 19th year, AFI DOCS will be held June 22-27, 2021.

The festival program presents the very best of contemporary non-fiction filmmaking from across the globe, including world and international premieres and works by master and emerging filmmakers alike. The AFI Festivals team is committed to achieve the same high standard of programming and engagement that has defined AFI DOCS over the years, while planning a virtual and/or hybrid in-person festival experience for 2021. Submissions for 2021 AFI DOCS are now open.

During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, AFI DOCS presented a successful virtual event with over 55 films from 11 countries – 61% directed by women – with a lineup that explored social and political issues in the US and across the world. A national audience of 20,000 attended the festival safely from home.

2020 program highlights included Special Presentation of Apple and A24’s award-winning film Boys State, Ron Howard’s Rebuilding Paradise and world premieres of 9to5: The Story of A Movement, White Noise and Miracle Fishing. The virtual experience also included over 50 intimate conversations with subjects from around the world such as Philippine Journalist Maria Ressa, who was convicted by a Manila court days before A Thousand Cuts screened at the festival, to a live Q&A of The Fight with the ACLU’s lawyers focused on protecting civil rights and a call from President Carter during the live Q&A for Closing Night film Jimmy Carter: Rock & Roll President.

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