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Melissa Starker, Creative Content & PR Manager
Jun 18, 2020
As more film presenters adjust to the new normal of streaming as an alternative to theatrical premieres, more festivals that were once limited to one location are rolling out programs to audiences across the world wide web. Through Sunday, you can pay a virtual visit to one of them: AFI Docs, a highly respected showcase for the best in new nonfiction filmmaking. It boasts an advisory panel that includes Ken Burns, Frederick Wiseman, Spike Lee, and Werner Herzog, and presents panels, interviews, and other opportunities to hear from filmmakers and policy experts along with a slate of exceptional documentaries.
This year’s lineup includes one we know well at the Wex: 9to5: The Story of a Movement (pictured at top of page), which makes its world premiere in its completed form tonight at 12:01 AM. Screened as a work in progress during the 2019 Unorthodocs fest, the new film from Oscar winners Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar chronicles the movement to establish gender parity in offices around the country. Anyone who came to the Unorthodocs screening and stuck around after the film to share feedback, here’s your chance to see how audience participation affected the final cut. In addition, you can watch a new recorded interview with Reichert and Bognar conducted by NBC News correspondent Andrea Mitchell.
Other film highlights on the AFI Docs schedule include City So Real, a four-part portrait of Chicago by Hoop Dreams director Steve James; Coded Bias, Shalini Kantayya’s investigation of gender and racial biases in facial recognition software; a virtual world premiere of Freedia Got a Gun, about how a New Orleans bounce legend uses her voice to reveal the impact of gun violence on her community; White Noise, another world premiere offering an inside look at the white nationalist movement, and Through the Night by Loira Limbal, which tells the story of two childcare providers in a New York suburb who run a 24-hour operation to support working parents and fill a significant hole in the social safety net.
The hot ticket in talks is tomorrow at 10 AM: a panel on freedom of the press that features Philippines journalist Maria Ressa, who was convicted earlier this week and faces as much as 100 years in prison for a bogus charge of "cyber libel" for a story she didn't write.
All films are available to view for at least 24 hours after their online premiere time, some are streaming throughout the weekend, and most include live or recorded conversations as part of the virtual presentation. More details are available on the festival website.
View the complete schedule for AFI Docs 2020
9to5: The Story of a Movement image courtesy of the filmmakers
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