Access Pollywood: AFI Discovery Silverdocs

by Laura

Join Washington’s cinemaphiles for a sneak peek into the 10th annual docu-fest.

By Anne H. Kim

Mandy Stein and Benjamen Logan's "Bad Brains: A Band in DC" is featured this year. (Film still courtesy AFI Discovery Silverdocs)

Washington area film fans won’t want to miss AFI Discovery Channel Silverdocs, sponsored by Washington Life. Always an eye-opening experience, this year’s week-long documentary feast, which runs June 18 through June 24, showcases area gems as well as award-winning projects from around the world. Filmmakers can also participate in a five-day International Documentary Conference, where 1,000 filmmakers and industry leaders will discuss the future of non-fiction storytelling.

With 114 thought-provoking films from 44 countries, there are enough documentaries to keep you holed up inside Silver Spring, Md.’s AFI Silver Theatre for quite some time. For a more a targeted approach, we’ve laid out a few selections that may appeal to Washingtonians below.


Bad Brains” (June 21 and June 23). Mandy Stein and Benjamen Logan’s doc explores Washington’s own Bad Brains, from their inception in the 1970s through their rise as one of punk’s most influential bands.

"Beware of Mr. Baker" (Film still courtesy AFI Discovery Silverdocs)

Beware of Mr. Baker” (June 19 and June 23). Washington native Jay Bulger suffers legendary Cream guitarist Ginger Baker’s verbal fireworks for an entertaining and rare look inside this reclusive musician.

"Ann Richards' Texas" (Film still courtesy AFI Discovery Silverdocs)

Ann Richards’ Texas” (June 21 and June 23). Keith Patterson and Jack Lofton spin an energetic tale of the rise of one of the Democratic Party’s most outspoken liberals, who rose to power in a state that later elected staunch conservatives George W. Bush and most recently Rick Perry.

"Strong!" Film still courtesy AFI Discovery Silverdocs)

Strong!” June 20 and June 24 — In the spirit of the Olympics, Julie Wyman profiles unconventional weightlifter Cheryl Haworth and her trials and tribulations in weighing her professional future.

"Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel" Film still courtesy AFI Discovery Silverdocs)

Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel” (June 22 and June 24). Incomparable Bazaar fashion editor Diana Vreeland in all her glory, as depicted by her granddaughter-in-law Lisa Immordino Vreeland.

"Escape the Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare" (Film still courtesy AFI Discovery Silverdocs)

Escape the Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare” (June 20 and June 22). Matthew Heineman and Susan Froemke take a hard look at the American health care system and tries to find solutions.

For more, see the video trailer on Washington Life’s home page.

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