AFI DOCS announces its opening and closing night films

“United Skates” will being the closing film of the 2018 AFI DOCS.

For its 16th edition, AFI DOCS, the American Film Institute’s annual celebration of documentary film in the nation’s capital, will open with the world premiere of “Personal Statements,” by directors Juliane Dressner and Edwin Martinez, and will close with “United Skates,” by directors Dyana Winkler and Tina Brown.

This year’s program will also includes “Above and Beyond: NASA’s Journey to Tomorrow,” by director Rory Kennedy, as its centerpiece film. And AFI DOCS’ four special screenings will be the world premiere of “The Cold Blue,” by director Erik Nelson; “Kinshasa Makambo,” by director Dieudo Hamadi; “Mr. Soul!,” by directors Sam Pollard and Melissa Haizlip; and “Witkin & Witkin,” by director.

“We are at a cultural crossroads where identity, race and personal agency are redefining what it is to be American in 2018,” said Michael Lumpkin, Director, AFI Festivals. “With ‘Personal Statement,’ ‘United Skates,’ and this year’s Centerpiece and Special Screenings, AFI DOCS will continue its legacy of introducing new perspectives to audiences, while challenging longstanding conventions.”

The opening night screening of “Personal Statement” will be held on Weds., June 13, at the Newseum and will be followed by a Q&A with directors Juliane Dressner and Edwin Martinez. The film centers on three Brooklyn high school seniors who, lacking support services at school, band together to help each other get into college.

The closing night screening of “United Skates” will be held on Sun., June 17, at the Landmark E Street Cinema and will be followed by a Q&A with directors Dyana Winkler and Tina Brown. The film chronicles the fight to save roller-skating rinks, which have played a critical role in modern African-American culture.

Tickets to AFI DOCS, including opening night and closing night screenings, will be available early to AFI members exclusively beginning May 11, and to the public on May 14. Passes for AFI DOCS 2018 are now on sale at More information about AFI DOCS full slate of films and other special events will be announced in the coming weeks.

Troy Petenbrink

Troy, also known as The Gay Traveler, is a well known travel and food writer. His has been a regular contributor to a variety of outlets including National Geographic, Travel Channel, DCRefined, CBS Local, and Metro Weekly. He also appears on local Washington news outlets as a travel expert.

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