Documentary fest to kickoff on June 15

AFI and Discovery’s Silverdocs Documentary Festival has set Kristopher Belman’s “More Than a Game” as its opening night film on June 15.

Pic follows the rise of five talented young basketball players from Akron, Ohio, led by future NBA star LeBron James. The festival said James, whose Cleveland Cavaliers are in the NBA semifinals, and other guests will attend “schedule permitting.” Game 6 of the finals will take place the following night.

Silverdocs also announced its closing night film on June 22 will be “The Nine Lives of Marion Barry,” directed by Dana Flor and Toby Oppenheimer. The helmers are scheduled to attend along with Barry.

The fest’s Centerpiece Screening on June 17 will be the world premiere of “Convention,” an ensemble documentary about the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Project, headed by A.J. Schnack, includes work by Laura Poitras, Paul Taylor, Julia Reichert, Steven Bognar and Daniel Junge.

The fest also said Muhammad Ali has been set to appear June 16 to present “Facing Ali,” directed by Pete McCormack and produced by Derik Murray.

The festival, now in its seventh year, takes place at the AFI Silver Theater and Cultural Center in Washington, D.C. It includes 122 films plus special screenings, music performances and panel discussions.

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