From AFI’s current schedule, ‘Mr. Rogers’ may be the sentimental favorite

  • Published in Film

Fred Rogers with “Neighborhood” friend King Friday from the documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” about his long-running PBS children’s television show. COURTESY PHOTOFred Rogers with “Neighborhood” friend King Friday from the documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” about his long-running PBS children’s television show. COURTESY PHOTO  AFI Silver features multiple offerings, but Todd Hitchcock, Director of Programming, expects that one film will resonate the most emotionally currently.

That would be “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” that reviewers are describing as an affectionate but incisive look at Fred Rogers. From 1968 to 2001, he hosted “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood,” one of the longest-running and fondly-remembered children’s television shows.

The documentary by Morgan Neville, an Academy Award winner (for another film), focuses on how the cardigan-clad Rogers, a trained minister, was both radical and gentle.

“People got snifffly even during the trailer,” said Hitchcock, who grew up watching the program as well as “Sesame Street.”


Emmy-nominated filmmaker to present her film at Docs In The City

  • Published in Film

American Promise poster 1WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Silver Spring-based nonprofit organization Docs In Progress will present the second installment of its Docs In This City this weekend. Docs In Progress is the brainchild of its executive director, Erica Ginsberg, a graduate of Albert Einstein High School who became interested in documentary production while taking classes at Montgomery County Public Schools' Visual Arts Center. Docs In Progress supports aspiring filmmakers by connecting them with established documentary producers and providing venues for public screenings.

In July, Docs In Progress presented the first installment of Docs In The City, an NEA-funded series which pairs aspiring and established documentary filmmakers whose works share a common theme.

For this installment, filmmaker Michèle Stephenson will present her acclaimed documentary “American Promise,” which she co-directed with her husband Joe Brewster. The film, which follows two middle-class African-American youths from Brooklyn over 13 years at the prestigious Dalton private school, won the Special Jury Prize at the 2013 Sundance Festival and was featured on the PBS series “POV.”


Event will showcase local documentary filmmaker and her work

On August 6, a local non-profit organization will present the first installment of a series designed to allow aspiring documentary filmmakers to receive feedback.

Erica Ginsberg, co-founder and executive director of Docs in Progress, said she became interested in filmmaking while participating in Montgomery County Public Schools Visual Arts Center as a student at Albert Einstein High School.

“While I ended up focusing on international relations in my undergrad studies, I never lost my love for making art and other creative pursuits, and that was part of the impetus for my earning a graduate degree in film and becoming a documentary filmmaker.”


Documentaries shine in AFI DOCS Festival

Programming staff, front-line screeners and members of a screening committee spent the better part of this year winnowing down documentary films to include in the American Film Institute’s 15th annual AFI DOCS Festival, which took place at the AFI Silver in downtown Silver Spring, as well as Landmark’s E Street Cinema and the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

“It’s a very long process,” said Michael Lumpkin, director of the festival. “Over 2000 films were submitted this year, of which we chose 103.”

“The films come from 28 countries. All have not yet been released and not yet been shown in movie theaters, online, or on television,” Lumpkin said.


Small crowd gathers for fun at the Art Barn

GAITHERSBURG – At the Gaithersburg Arts Barn, the small crowd found its seats as “Oil and Water,” a documentary about two young men at the opposite ends of the world joining for one cause, began Friday night in The Kentlands.

The movie focused on how huge oil companies were drilling close to territories that belonged to Ecuadorian tribes, pushing tribes to the edge of their homes.


Women in combat reflect on rebel roots

IMG 0742Olney resident Sylvia Henderson (left) moderated a panel discussion featuring documentary filmmaker Maria Agui Carter (right) and four other women discussing the history of women serving in combat. The panel discussion at the Black Rock Center for the Arts followed a screening of Carter's 2013 documentary, "Rebel." PHOTO BY DANICA ROEM

GERMANTOWN – The term “You’ve come a long way baby,” took on special significance to a small group of veterans as they assembled this week and celebrated their rebel roots.

On Sunday at the Black Rock Center for the Arts, documentary filmmaker Maria Agui Carter answered questions after a screening of her movie, “Rebel,” about Loreta Janeta Velazquez, who served as a trailblazer 153 years ago when she fought for the Confederacy posing as a man.


Getting together for a good cause: Clayton Powell

Clayton PowellClayton Powell

SILVER SPRING – Sometimes folks come together for a good cause and that was certainly the case Friday night at Dominic’s Italian Grille on New Hampshire Avenue.

 A standing-room only crowd packed into the restaurant to screen a film dedicated to a man that was loved by the community.

“Clayton Powell: The Master of Community Love” is a 45-minute  documentary about an African-American custodian at White Oak Middle School who loved his community so much that he would open the gymnasium to students in order to keep them off the streets.

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