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AFI DOCS, the acclaimed documentary festival formerly known as Silverdocs, looks like it will hit yet another bullseye in 2014. As a bonus, this year could come with a subtitle: Women in Film. Nearly half of the movies Washington City Paper reviewed in advance of this year’s fest were directed or co-directed by a woman. And unlike most mainstream films, many also have female protagonists at their center. If you’d like to learn about a recent and miraculous advance in medicine, see the “Face the Music” series of shorts for Beyond Recognition, whose subject, a woman named Carmen, is undeniably brave. You can catch the contagious optimism of Abbie, an 18-year-old with a rare and deadly skin disease, in Butterfly Girl. Or get acquainted with FEMEN, a feminist protest group—and its unlikely leader—in Ukraine Is Not a Brothel.

Of course, this fest isn’t all about the grrls. Despite AFI DOCS’ ostensible repositioning as a more Washington-appropriate, policy-centric event, the documentaries’ subjects and approaches are diverse. Political controversies both old and new (1971; The Newburgh Sting), drug addiction and homelessness (The Fix; The Homestretch), and controversial artistry (Dangerous Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus; Art and Craft) are included in a buffet that nearly everyone can find satisfaction in sampling. Film itself is even a subject in Point and Shoot, about a Baltimorean adventure documentarian-turned-Libyan revolutionary, and Life Itself, the closing-night film, about the late movie critic Roger Ebert. It’s a fitting choice to close out a festival that is, as Ebert was, a reliable and discerning champion of the art.

—Tricia Olszewski

For more, read our essay on the state of the festival, Ctrl + Alt + Doc: A Year After Hitting Reset, AFI DOCS Is Still in Transition.

AFI Docs takes place from June 18 to 22 at the AFI Silver Theatre, Goethe-Institut, the National Portrait Gallery, the Naval Heritage Center, and the Newseum. Tickets to individual movies range from $11 to $14. For a full schedule and information on festival passes, visit afi.com/afidocs.

Thursday, June 19

Openings

Schedule (Openings marked with **)

“€œFace the Music” (shorts series)**1:15 p.m.AFI Silver
“Gone Hollywood” (shorts series)**1:30 p.m.Goethe-Institut
1971**1:30 p.m.National Portrait Gallery
Silenced**1:30 p.m.Naval Heritage Center
“Odds and Ends” (shorts series)**1:45 p.m.AFI Silver
The Agreement**3:45 p.m.Goethe-Institut
The Dog**3:45 p.m.AFI Silver
The Newburgh Sting**4 p.m.National Portrait Gallery
Ukraine Is Not a Brothel**4:15 p.m.AFI Silver
The Fix**6:15 p.m.AFI Silver
Dior And I**6:30 p.m.AFI Silver
The Homestretch**6:45 p.m.AFI Silver
The Internet’s Own Boy**7:15 p.m.Naval Heritage Center
Alfred and Jakobine**8:30 p.m.AFI Silver
Virunga**9 p.m.AFI Silver
The Possibilities are Endless**9:15 p.m.AFI Silver

Friday, June 20

Openings

Schedule (Openings marked with **)

The Homestretch11 a.m.Naval Heritage Center
“Gone Hollywood” (shorts series)11:15 a.m.AFI Silver
“Odds and Ends” (shorts series)noonAFI Silver
Apollonian Story**2:15 p.m.Goethe-Institut
The Possibilities are Endless2:15 p.m.AFI Silver
Alfred and Jakobine2:30 p.m.AFI Silver
Misconception**4:30 p.m.AFI Silver
Back on Board**4:45 p.m.National Portrait Gallery
The Hand That Feeds**4:45 p.m.AFI Silver
112 Weddings**6:30 p.m.AFI Silver
Dangerous Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus**7 p.m.AFI Silver
Butterfly Girl**7 p.m.Goethe-Institut
Point and Shoot**7:15 p.m.AFI Silver
The Supreme Price**9 p.m.AFI Silver
Art and Craft**9 p.m.Naval Heritage Center
Virunga9:15 p.m.Goethe-Institut
Heaven Adores You**9:30 p.m.AFI Silver

Saturday, June 21

Openings

Schedule (Openings marked with **)

Slaying the Badger**11 a.m.AFI Silver
Bronx Obama**11 a.m.National Portrait Gallery
The Special Need**11 a.m.Goethe-Institut
197111:15 a.m.AFI Silver
The Agreement11:30 a.m.AFI Silver
112 Weddings1:15 p.m.Goethe-Institut
I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story**1:45 p.m.National Portrait Gallery
Back on Board1:45 p.m.AFI Silver
Butterfly Girl2 p.m.AFI Silver
The Internet’s Own Boy3:45 p.m.AFI Silver
The Hand That Feeds3:45 p.m.Goethe-Institut
The Newburgh Sting4:15 p.m.AFI Silver
Dior And I4:30 p.m.National Portrait Gallery
Heaven Adores You6:15 p.m.Goethe-Institut
SlingShot**6:45 p.m.AFI Silver
Silenced7 p.m.AFI Silver
The Overnighters**7:30 p.m.Naval Heritage Center
Life Itself**7:30 p.m.National Portrait Gallery
Ukraine Is Not a Brothel9 p.m.Goethe-Institut

Sunday, June 22

Openings

Schedule (Openings marked with **)

“€œFace the Music” (shorts series)11 a.m.Goethe-Institut
I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story11 a.m.AFI Silver
Art and Craft1 p.m.AFI Silver
The Overnighters1:30 p.m.AFI Silver
SlingShot1:30 p.m.Naval Heritage Center
The Special Need2 p.m.AFI Silver
Bronx Obama3:30 p.m.AFI Silver
Slaying the Badger4 p.m.Goethe-Institut
Freedom Summer**4:15 p.m.Naval Heritage Center
The Supreme Price6 p.m.AFI Silver
Apollonian Story6:45 p.m.AFI Silver
Misconception7:30 p.m.Naval Heritage Center
Dangerous Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus8:30 p.m.Goethe-Institut
The Dog9 p.m.AFI Silver