Charles Guggenheim Symposium

Steve James
2018 honoree Steve James

The AFI DOCS Charles Guggenheim Symposium honors masters of the non-fiction art form who inspire audiences by documenting and exploring the human experience. The Symposium takes place during the documentary festival and celebrates a master documentary filmmaker and their work.

AFI is proud to welcome Steve James to Washington, DC, as the 2018 Guggenheim honoree.

Steve James is one of the world's most remarkable living storytellers, known for his observant, civic-minded films tackling issues of race, class and communities in crisis. The acclaimed HOOP DREAMS (1994), about two inner-city teenagers with NBA ambitions, began his long and fruitful affiliation with Kartemquin Films. THE INTERRUPTERS (2011) follows the brave volunteers who put their lives on the line to stop gang violence. His Oscar-nominated ABACUS: SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL (2016) focuses on a familyrun Chinese-American bank scapegoated after the financial crisis. His latest project, AMERICA TO ME (2018), profiles a racially diverse Chicago high school that is still divided along economic lines.

The 2018 Guggenheim Symposium will pay tribute to this unique and socially committed filmmaker with an onstage discussion of his career, clips from his films and a screening of AMERICA TO ME (EPISODE ONE). The Symposium will be moderated by Michael Phillips, film critic of the Chicago Tribune.

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Werner Herzog at the AFI DOCS Charles Guggenheim Symposium
Filmmaker Werner Herzog at the AFI DOCS 2016 Guggenheim Symposium


Steve James (2018)
Laura Poitras (2017)
Werner Herzog (2016)
Stanley Nelson (2015)
Alex Gibney (2014)
Errol Morris (2013)
Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky (2012)
Chris Hegedus and D A Pennebaker (2011)
Frederick Wiseman (2010)
Albert Maysles (2009)
Spike Lee (2008)
Jonathan Demme (2007)
Martin Scorsese (2006)
Barbara Kopple (2004)
Charles Guggenheim (2003)