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Title: SilverDocs  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Freakonomics, Jesus Dress Up
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Location Silver Spring, Maryland
Founded 2003
Awards Ace Documentary Grant
Sterling Award for Short and Feature (US and World)
Number of films 108 (2008)

The AFI DOCS (formerly Silverdocs) documentary festival is an American international film festival created by the American Film Institute and the Discovery Channel. It is held every year in Silver Spring, Maryland, near Washington, D.C.. Started in 2003, the festival is held for eight days in June at the AFI Silver and Discovery Communications World Headquarters. AFI DOCS is dedicated to showcasing the best in documentary films.

AFI DOCS also offers the concurrent 5-day International Documentary Conference, the largest professional conference of its kind in the U.S.. It explores the business of documentary film making with 1,200 industry participants and 80 workshops, seminars and networking events. The conference brings together business leaders, film makers, broadcasters, distributors and funders from both established and emerging media markets.

AFI DOCS bestows awards valued at over $80,000 in cash and prizes. Awards and grants include:

  • Ace Documentary Grant
  • Cinematic Vision Award for Short and Feature
  • Music Award
  • Sterling Award for Short and Feature (US and World)

Notable participants

AOL vice-chairman emeritus Ted Leonsis, BET co-founder Sheila Johnson, former Vice President Al Gore, Academy Award-winning film makers Martin Scorsese, Jonathan Demme, Barbara Kopple, LeBron James and Alex Gibney.

Participating organizations

BBC, CPB, Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, The Ford Foundation, HBO, Latino Public Broadcasting, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Miramax, National Black Programming Consortium, National Geographic, PBS, the Sundance Institute, The Weinstein Company.


AFI DOCS has been called the "pre-eminent US documentary festival" (Screen International) and as "non-fiction nirvana" (Variety).


The 2008 Festival presented 108 films selected from 1,702 entries, included 27 significant premieres and welcomed over 21,000 attendees. All six 2009 Academy Award-nominated documentary films were screened at Silverdocs 2008. Of these, The Garden and Smile Pinki were Silverdocs world premieres.

The 2009 festival ran from June 15-22.

The 2010 festival will run June 21-27.

External links

  • The 2003 festival at
  • Silverdocs Award Winners (via UC Berkeley)
  • Lathrios Film Festival Database - the Lathrios listing for the 2007 SilverDocs including a film list and analysis of the event.

Coordinates: 38°59′47″N 77°1′39″W / 38.99639°N 77.02750°W / 38.99639; -77.02750

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