The third edition of the AFI DOCS Impact Lab will take place June 13–14. Presented in collaboration with NBCUniversal, the intensive program is designed for select filmmakers with issue-driven films who aim to create broader social and political change through the power of film.
The Lab will provide filmmakers with training in the areas of advocacy, grassroots communications and grasstops engagement. After completion of the Lab, participating projects are eligible to apply for the AFI DOCS/NBCUniversal Impact Grants, which support the outreach and social action campaigns of select Lab participants.
Selected from films screening at AFI DOCS 2017, the 10 films participating in the Impact Lab are ACORN AND THE FIRESTORM (DIRS Reuben Atlas, Sam Pollard), CHASING CORAL: THE VR EXPERIENCE (LEAD ARTIST Jeff Orlowski), EDITH+EDDIE (DIR Laura Checkoway), FOR AHKEEM (DIRS Jeremy Levine, Landon Van Soest), THE FORCE (DIR Peter Nicks), I AM EVIDENCE (DIRS Trish Adlesic, Geeta Gandbhir), NOWHERE TO HIDE (DIR Zaradasht Ahmed), A SUITABLE GIRL (DIRS Sarita Khurana, Smriti Mundhra), WHAT LIES UPSTREAM (DIR Cullen Hoback) and THE WORK (DIRS Gethin Aldous, Jairus McLeary).
Last year, six out of 10 AFI DOCS Impact Lab projects were selected to receive funding from the AFI DOCS/NBCUniversal Impact Grants. These films include ALMOST SUNRISE (DIR Michael Collins), CARE (DIR Deirdre Fishel), CHECK IT (DIRS Dana Flor, Toby Oppenheimer), NEWTOWN (DIR Kim A. Snyder), RAISING BERTIE (DIR Margaret Byrne) and THEY CALL US MONSTERS (DIR Ben Lear). Receiving a total of $75,000 in support from AFI DOCS/NBCUniversal Impact Grants, the selected documentaries were recognized for demonstrating their ability to leverage distribution and enact change.
Five of the 2016 AFI DOCS/NBCUniversal Impact Grants recipients went on to receive theatrical or television distribution. ALMOST SUNRISE will air on PBS’ POV on November 13, 2017; CARE will air on the World Channel’s America Reframed this fall; Gunpowder & Sky Distribution and Kartemquin Films acquired RAISING BERTIE, which opens in theaters on June 9, 2017; THEY CALL US MONSTERS aired on PBS’ Independent Lens on May 22, 2017; and NEWTOWN aired on Independent Lens on April 3, 2017.
The 2017 AFI DOCS Impact Lab is sponsored by NBCUniversal, with additional support from CrossCurrents Foundation and the Embrey Family Foundation. The Impact Lab is produced by AFI DOCS and The Raben Group.
Pictured above: ACORN AND THE FIRESTORM