Docu-wood of the East Coast'
Silver Spring transforms for annual SilverDocs
Whether you're a movie buff or not, event planners say next month's SilverDocs Documentary Festival in Silver Spring will offer plenty of attractions both inside and outside the theater.
The full schedule for SilverDocs was released last week and will bring a varied cast of characters and several community events to the American Film Institute's Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, Discovery Communications, the Round House Theatre and the surrounding downtown area.
Organizers say the festival, held June 15 to June 22, will provide a boost to the Silver Spring community that can benefit from the expected 25,000 attendees throughout the week.
"We want Silver Spring to be the Docu-wood' of the East Coast," said David Leavy, executive vice president of corporate affairs and global communications for cosponsors Discovery Communications, at a schedule release event last week in Washington, D.C. Individual tickets will be available to the public Thursday.
There will be several community events open to Silver Spring residents. On June 19 there will be a free outdoor screening of "For All Mankind," the story of the men involved in the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing. It will be held on a large projector screen at Silver Plaza on Ellsworth Drive in Silver Spring.
Jackie's Restaurant at 8081 Georgia Ave. will serve as the "Cinema Lounge" for attendees who buy exclusive SilverDocs passes. The Pyramid Atlantic Community Arts Store at 924 Ellsworth Drive will be turned into a café for the festival and the Quarry House Tavern at 8401 Georgia Ave. will feature events and live music.
"When you put this many people in the neighborhood and the hotels it's a significant impact" on the local economy, said Ray Barry, the director of AFI Silver Theatre.
Also in the plaza June 19 will be a free live performance by the Fred Wesley Quartet, a jazz musician featured in the film "Soul Power," which focuses on the 1974 concert held before Muhammad Ali and George Foreman's famed heavyweight boxing match. The film will be screened just after the concert.
Ali will receive a lot of attention at SilverDocs with a June 16 screening of "Facing Ali," an account of his boxing career from former opponents. AFI announced last week Ali will be in attendance for the film, which he produced.
Other notable appearances include professional basketball star LeBron James, who is the subject of SilverDocs opening night film "More Than a Game" on June 15. James is expected to attend if his Cleveland Cavaliers team, which is currently playing in the NBA playoffs, does not have a game scheduled.
The festival's closing film will be the June 22 world premiere of "The Nine Lives of Marion Barry," which chronicles the tumultuous life of former Washington, D.C., mayor and current City Councilman Marion Barry, who will attend if his schedule and health permits.
Every year SilverDocs honors one legendary filmmaker at its Charles Guggenheim Symposium. This year the symposium will honor longtime documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles, who will be joined by other artists to discuss his career.
The filmmakers behind "Convention," a look at various aspects of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, will be on-hand for the film's screening 7 p.m. June 17. Two men chronicled in "Splitting Hairs" as they prepare for the World Beard and Mustache Championships will speak about the film 10:30 p.m. June 18.
And the film "RIP: A Remix Manifesto," a focus on electronic music and the copyright issues that hinder its artists, will be featured 10:15 p.m. June 17, followed by a performance by London-based audio-visual act Eclectic Method, who are featured in the film.
The festival will feature 122 films from more than 50 countries, picked among a group of more than 2,000 submissions.
"Even in a challenging economy, we find we are getting more and more submissions," said Sky Sitney, the first-time artistic director for SilverDocs.
Other notable films include "Racing Dreams," which follows young aspiring stock car drivers on their go-kart racing circuits; "Best Worst Movie" on legendarily awful horror movie "Troll 2" and its cult following; Sundance Film Festival winner "September Issue," an account of how Vogue magazine's September fashion issue is published; and "No Impact Man," a New York City man's attempt to make an environmental impact of zero over the course of a year.
-The full schedule for SilverDocs is available at www.silverdocs.com. Individual tickets will be on sale Thursday at the AFI box office at 8633 Colesville Road, online at www.silverdocs.com or by phone at 1-877-DOCS-TIX.
-Currently SilverDocs new voucher packs are on sale, where attendees can purchase 20 individual passes for $150. Vouchers are good for all regular screenings, and exclude special events such as Opening Night and Guggenheim Symposium.
-SilverDocs passes, which allow attendees access to special screenings and events are available now with prices varying depending on the access the pass allows. For more information on passes go to www.silverdocs.com/
event/attend and click on "passes."