Doc Days are Here Again! AFS’s 2nd Annual Festival of Brand New Non-Fiction Films Starts Next Week

Doc Days, AFS’s second annual mini-festival of outstanding new non-fiction films from around the world with filmmakers in attendance, takes place next week from May 30 through June 2. In addition to our favorite new documentaries from the festival circuit, the weekend will include events, parties, discussions, and Q&As moderated by Austin’s documentary film community.

Doc Days is a highlight of this season after the success of last year’s inaugural festival, which saw three of the seven festival selections (MINDING THE GAP; OF FATHERS AND SONS; HALE COUNTY, THIS MORNING, THIS EVENING) go on to be nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the Academy Awards. The festival is an opportunity for Austin’s vibrant documentary community, filmmakers and audiences, to come together, see new work, and meet with visiting filmmakers.

Come celebrate the series kick off on Thursday, May 30 with a performance by jazz musician Jeff Lofton at 6:30 PM prior to the screening of MILES DAVIS: BIRTH OF THE COOL by Stanley Nelson. Producer Nicole London will introduce the film, which chronicles the unusual life of one of the premiere figures in the history of jazz through rare archival footage and interviews. Following the screening, we invite you to stay for an after party featuring records spun by Violet Sound and cocktail specials.

During the festival, filmmakers will join us for these screenings:

On Friday, May 31, AFS welcomes director Benjamin Berman to present his film THE AMAZING JOHNATHAN DOCUMENTARY—a truly bizarre and often hilarious journey into the making of a documentary about a strange comedian.

Director and AFS Grant recipient Jeffrey Peixoto will present his mesmerizing film OVER THE RAINBOW on Saturday, June 1. It’s an insider’s look at the belief systems of those practicing Scientology and other newer religions.

Roberto Minervini, the director of WHAT YOU GONNA DO WHEN THE WORLD’S ON FIRE?, will attend the festival on June 1 with his meditation on the state of race in America through the eyes of residents in New Orleans. The film won four major awards at last year’s Venice Film Festival.

On Sunday, June 2, AFS welcomes director Jesse Sweet to present his film CITY OF JOEL, the story of a conflict between a Hasidic Jewish community and their secular neighbors in the Hudson Valley.

Director and AFS Grant recipient Juan Pablo González will present his film CABALLERANGO on June 2—an intimate portrait of a local tragedy in a small village in Mexico. Producer Makena Buchanan will also be in attendance.

Additional not-to-be-missed screenings over the weekend include Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar’s AMERICAN FACTORY and COLD CASE HAMMARSKJÖLD by Mads Brügger. Both films were recipients of directing awards at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. DARK SUNS by Canadian filmmaker Julien Elie, was just awarded a top prize at CPH:DOX in Copenhagen. Another CPH:DOX winner, KABUL, CITY IN THE WIND, also won a major prize at its world premiere at the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) in the fall.

Passes are available to attend the entire program and individual tickets will be sold to each film. Member discounts apply to all screenings and passes. For more information, tickets and passes, visit

Check out the full Doc Days schedule here.