AFI DOCS and NBCUniversal Showcase 2016 Impact Lab


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AFI DOCS and NBCUniversal Showcase 2016 Impact Lab
  • Pro Social Initiatives
August 01, 2016

Earlier this summer, NBCUniversal partnered with the American Film Institute (AFI) once again in support of the AFI DOCS Festival that was held in Washington DC. AFI DOCS brings together artists, audiences, and political leaders to highlight documentary film and its ability to create change.

As part of our commitment to using media to drive change, NBCUniversal was also proud to support the AFI DOCS Filmmaker Forum. The Filmmaker Forum is a four-day summit which takes place within the DOCS Festival. The Forum presents a variety of development and networking events for filmmakers and industry professionals. This year’s Forum cast a spotlight on issues of diversity, representation and inclusion within the documentary community allowing independent producers and cultural critics to examine the key role public media has played in fostering diverse storytelling and how it can continue to be relevant in the current media landscape.

Additionally, for the second year in a row, NBCUniversal powered the AFI DOCS Impact Lab, an innovative, two-day intensive that teaches filmmakers digital and marketing skills, community organizing and media relations. Impact Lab participants also receive training on effectively engaging grassroots policymakers who work on solving critical global issues. In addition to hearing from prominent leaders in the documentary and change-making field and learning how to utilize technology to engage viewers, Impact Lab participants also met U.S. Representatives Ted Lieu, Jim McGovern and David Price, as well as key staffers on Capitol Hill to discuss how filmmakers can help influence community policy and inspire change.

At the heart of our sponsorship, NBCUniversal desires to empower these filmmakers to create lasting change through their Films. To assist in this, NBCUniversal awards AFI Docs/NBCUniversal Impact Grants to filmmakers who have participated in the AFI DOCS Impact Lab, enabling them to leverage the power of story and film to catalyze social change. By funding the outreach and social action campaigns for select films, NBCUniversal empowers the filmmakers to exponentially increase their impact and effect long-term change by supporting each of the winning documentaries. Winners of the AFI DOCS/NBCUniversal Impact Grants will be announced this fall.

Here are trailers for the 2016 AFI DOCS roster:

Almost Sunrise -- In an intimate story that exposes the growing epidemic of soldier suicides and moral injury, two Iraqi War veterans walk from Milwaukee to California on a journey of hope and healing.

American Baghdad -- A short documentary profiling Iraqi refugees trying to assimilate to American culture after being displaced from Iraq due to the war. El Cajon, a county in San Diego, has one of the highest concentrations of Iraqi refugees in America. A majority of these refugees are known as Chaldean and are of Christian descent. Many of them fled Iraq after the war broke out in 2003. This is their story.

Care -- Reveals the deep humanity and poignancy of care work, as well as the challenges and frustrations of the elderly, their families and care workers.

Check It - Focuses on a LGBT African American gang struggling to survive in one of Washington D.C.’s most violent neighborhoods.

Farewell Ferris Wheel -- Explores how the U.S. carnival industry fights to keep itself alive by legally employing Mexican migrant workers with a controversial work visa.

Newtown -- Newtown documents a traumatized community fractured by grief and driven toward a sense of purpose. Joining the ranks of a growing club to which no one wants to belong, a cast of characters interconnect to weave an intimate story of community resilience.


The Opposition -- The Opposition, based in  Paga Hill – the luscious mountain peninsula of Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea investigates how we ethically build sustainable industry in developing countries.

Raising Bertie -- Challenged by poverty and a lack of educational and economic opportunities, three African American boys in Bertie, NC, transition from boyhood to adult lives.

The Islands and The Whales -- In the North Atlantic archipelago of the Faroe Islands the traditional hunting of seabirds and pilot whales continues to provide food for the table, but many doubt this way of life will continue. As the islanders come to terms with health revelations, they face increasing pressure from the outside world to stop the whale hunts.

They Call Us Monsters -- Takes us behind the walls of The Compound, where Los Angeles houses its most violent juvenile offenders and calls into question criminal sentencing of minors.