The American Film Institute kicked off its 2014 Documentary Festival on Wednesday, June 18 at the Newseum in downtown Washington, DC, with a screening of Holbrook/Twain: An American Odyssey. The film, directed by Scott Teems, depicts the life and work of actor Hal Holbrook. Holbrook began portraying legendary American writer Mark Twain in 1954, and, for the past 60 years, he has continued his role in the award-winning one man show, “Mark Twain Tonight!.” In the film, Teems tells the story of the show, from its beginnings to its appearance on international stages, Broadway, and television. He examines Holbrook’s deep appreciation and understanding of Twain’s timeless wit, advice, and satire, and the ways in which his performances ensure Twain’s lasting legacy on American culture.
Avalon team members Dara Igersheim and Lucy Quinn attended the film screening and volunteered for AFI during the event. AFI Director Bob Gazzale opened the evening with remarks introducing Teems, who spoke about the film. Later, Holbrook himself (pictured below) spoke to the audience and described his joy and ongoing appreciation for the making of the film. The Avalon team is always excited to actively participate in AFI DOCS and to see the amazing work AFI has accomplished as a result of the contributions of donors and AFI members.
The festival ends this Sunday, June 22 – be sure to check out afi.com/AFIDOCS for a schedule of films and venues!
Photo: Hal Holbrook walks onstage and receives a standing ovation from the crowd!