AFI DOCS to Begin With Hal Holbrook, End With Roger Ebert

Jason Dick
Posted May 15, 2014 at 2:53pm

AFI DOCS, the American Film Institute’s documentary film festival , announced its opening and closing night shows on Thursday — they’ll focus on some serious Americana in the form of Hal Holbrook (and his long-time Mark Twain show) and the late, great film critic Roger Ebert.  

The June 18 opening night will feature “Holbrook/Twain: An American Odyssey,” by Scott Teems. Holbrook himself will introduce the film at its Newseum premiere, a world debute in point of fact, which details the six-plus decades Holbrook has been portraying the great Samuel Clemens in “Mark Twain Tonight!”  

The June 21 closing night feature is “Life Itself,” by Steve James. The director, like Ebert, knows his way around Chicago, after having made the seminal documentary “Hoops Dreams.” The movie is made from Ebert’s own memoir of the same name.  

The festival, which runs June 18-22 at various D.C. venues and at the AFI Silver Theater in Silver Spring, Md., is now in its 12th year.