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Bill Courterie’s “Boffo! Tinseltown’s Bombs and Blockbusters” To Open Silverdocs

Bill Courterie's "Boffo! Tinseltown's Bombs and Blockbusters" To Open Silverdocs

Silverdocs, the AFI/Discovery Channel Documentary Film Festival, has announced the lineup for its 2006 edition, which will kick-off with Bill Couterie‘s “Boffo! Tinseltown’s Bombs and Blockbusters,” about the risky business of filmmaking, featuring candid interviews with George Clooney and Charlize Theron, among other industry professionals. The festival is set to screen 100 films from 22 countries and will take place from June 13-18 in the Washington, D.C. area. Silverdocs will close with Christopher Quinn‘s “21 Up America,” the third installment in a series that has followed the same subjects at ages 7 and 14, and now documents what it means to be a 21-year-old American today. Quinn took the Jury and Audience Awards at Sundance this year for “God Grew Tired of Us.”

This year’s fest will feature a special segment called “Docs Rx: A World of Documentaries on Global Health,” which will showcase documentaries that illuminate complex issues in public health, a festival release states. The segment features the world premiere screening of Ruby Yang‘s “The Blood of The Yingzhou District,” a documentary set in rural China about a young orphan with AIDS who is searching for a permanent home. Following the screening, there will be a discussion with the Global Health Council president and several health experts about the potential for AIDS eradication.

Another highlight of the fest is the International Documentary Conference, where former Vice President, Al Gore, will deliever the keynote address. The theme of the 2006 conference is “The Future of Real,” and will explore the future of documentary storytelling in the face of changing distribution technology. Other events include the festival’s signature program, the Charles Guggenheim Symposium, which recognizes a filmmaker’s legacy for artistic excellence. This year, Silverdocs will honor director Martin Scorsese at the Guggenheim Symposium for his “extraordinary body of documentary work,” a festival release states. Scorsese will be on-hand to discuss his career in a conversation with auteur filmmaker Jim Jarmusch. Several emerging filmmakers will be attending the fest with new work this year. They include: Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg (“Trials of Darryl Hunt“); and Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing (“Boys of Baraka“) who will be screening “Jesus Camp.”

“Four years ago, we set out with the American Film Institute to create the world’s premiere documentary film festival,” Senior Executive Vice President, Donald A. Baer, said in a festival release. “Since then, Silverdocs has built a reputation as a forum for some of the most important and provocative films around the world. We’re proud to say that this year’s festival offers the best international films, special events and in-depth panel discussions in the history of Silverdocs.”

For more information on film screenings and events, please visit the festival website.

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