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“Borg vs. McEnroe” part of EU Film Showcase at AFI Cultural Center

  • Published in Film

BORG MCENROE copyThe Swedish film "Borg vs. McEnroe," starring Shia LaBeouf and Sverrir Gudnason as tennis rivals John McEnroe and Björn Borg, kicks off the annual European Union Film Showcase now playing through Dec. 20 at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center. COURTESY PHOTO  Todd Hitchcock and Abbie Algar get to watch movies as part of their jobs.

In preparation for the annual European Union Film Showcase, to take place next month at the American Film Institute Theatre and Cultural Center, Hitchcock, the AFI director of programming, and Algar, the AFI associate director of programming, attend such prestigious film festivals as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes, and Toronto.

“Each of us sees some 40 to 50 films on each of these trips,” said Hitchcock. “There are screenings all day and into the night.”

That's because the showcase is a curated event, “not an open-submission process,” Hitchcock explained.

At this time of year, the theater will present many classic holiday films, including such perennial favorites as “It's a Wonderful Life,” “The Shop around the Corner,” and “Miracle on 34th Street.”

However, the European Union showcase, now in its 30th year, will also take place from Dec. 1 to Dec. 20.

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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.”

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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.

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