AFI taps doc fest head

Braitman to head up Silver next year

The American Film Institute has named Wendy Braitman to head the new Silver: AFI/Discovery Documentary Film Festival, which kicks off in Silver Spring, Md., in June 2003.

The festival will be held in the AFI Silver, a newly restored art deco theater. Event will include screenings and competitions for international documentaries to attract filmmakers, buyers and commissioning editors from around the world.

“Braitman’s talent and experience will set the bar for the festival, which is destined to be one of the premier documentary venues in the world,” said James Hindman, AFI co-director and chief operating officer.

“Documentaries often allow for the most original visions in film,” Braitman said. They have the “potential to impact our world. I see the festival as a great opportunity to bring filmmakers and executives together in a productive environment, while heightening audience appreciation of the art form.”

Braitman discovered an outlet for her dedication to docus in 1994 as founder and director of the Intl. Film Financing Conference, an important source of funding for independent films. She was associate producer of “The Celluloid Closet,” co-directed and co-written by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, and was co-producer on “Life Tastes Good,” which premiered at Sundance in 1999.

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