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‘Icarus,’ ‘Year of the Scab’ to Open, Close AFI Docs

Variety logo Variety 5/6/2017 Ted Johnson
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Netflix’s “Icarus” and ESPN Films’ “Year of the Scab” will be the opening and closing night films at this year’s AFI Docs. The 2017 event is scheduled to be held from June 14-18 in Washington, D.C. and Silver Spring, Md.

Icarus,” pictured, is Bryan Fogel’s documentary as he sets out to uncover the truth about doping in sports, featuring the unfolding scandal among Russian Olympians. The movie’s East Coast premiere will be on June 14 at the Newseum, with a Q&A with Fogel.

“Year of the Scab” chronicles the 1987 NFL strike and the Washington Redskins team of substitute players, who went on to beat some of the best teams in the NFL. The screening on June 18 also will take place at the Newseum, with a Q&A afterward with director John Dorsey.

Michael Lumpkin, the director of AFI Docs, described the two movies as “two very different David-and-Goliath tales.” “Remarkable — even unthinkable — stories like these are what make documentaries such compelling cinema,” he said.

AFI Docs, in its 15th year, is the annual documentary festival from the American Film Institute. Its advisory board includes Ken Burns, Davis Guggenheim, Chris Hegedus, Werner Herzog, Rory Kennedy, Barbara Kopple, Spike Lee, Errol Morris, Stanley Nelson, D.A. Pennebaker, Agnes Varda, and Frederick Wiseman.

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