Silver Spring, Maryland, May 19, 2009. AFI–Discovery Channel SILVERDOCS Documentary Festival today announced one of this year’s special programs during the eight-day event held just outside Washington, DC.
Muhammad Ali, one of the most iconic figures of the 20th century will be making an exclusive appearance at SILVERDOCS to present Lionsgate/Spike TV' in association with Muhammad Ali Enterprises’ "Facing Ali" from director Pete McCormack and producer Derik Murray.
From the moment he captured the gold at the 1960 Summer Olympics, the fighter who first came to prominence as Cassius Clay electrified the world and transformed the art of boxing. Articulate, handsome, charismatic and outspoken, he became an icon of the burgeoning civil rights movement and a hero to millions around the globe. A master showman and a brilliant strategist, Ali won as much by getting inside his opponents’ heads as by his astounding physical talents. With exclusive interviews and vintage footage from the champ’s unmatched career, FACING ALI recreates his most unforgettable rivalries, and recounts his triumphs, tragedies and unstoppable spirit.
Through fascinating and deeply personal conversations with some of The Greatest’s most renowned opponents, including Ken Norton, Earnie Shavers, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Leon Spinks and Larry Holmes, FACING ALI tells the story of modern prize fighting. As the boxers each recount their pivotal experiences in the ring with Ali, they also provide touching snapshots of their own remarkable careers, and unique insights into a man who remains one of the most prominent figures in American history.
"Muhammad Ali is a larger than life figure who has captured the hearts and minds of generations. We are honored to welcome him to the Festival and to present this important part of his legacy,” said Sky Sitney, SILVERDOCS Artistic Director.
SILVERDOCS will release its Competition films on May 20, 2009 and its full slate on May 21, 2009.
AFI–Discovery Channel SILVERDOCS Documentary Festival is an eight-day internationally recognized event that honors excellence in filmmaking, supports the diverse voices and free expression of independent storytellers and celebrates the power of documentary to improve our understanding of the world. Now in its seventh year, the Festival runs June 15-22 at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in the Washington, DC, area. The 2008 Festival featured 108 films from 63 countries presented to more than 25,000 attendees, including the influential audiences of the nation’s capital and media professionals from around the world. The concurrent five-day SILVERDOCS International Documentary Conference presents thought-provoking presentations and engages a diverse group of more than 1,000 filmmakers and media leaders concerned with the future of nonfiction storytelling, production and distribution. For more information, go to www.SILVERDOCS.com.
About the American Film Institute
AFI is a national institute providing leadership in screen education and the recognition and celebration of excellence in the art of film, television and digital media. Additional information about AFI is available at AFI.com.
About Discovery Communications
Discovery Communications is the world’s number-one non-fiction media company reaching more than 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers in over 170 countries. Discovery empowers people to explore their world and satisfy their curiosity through 100-plus worldwide networks, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Science Channel, Planet Green, Investigation Discovery and HD Theater, as well as leading consumer and educational products and services, and a diversified portfolio of digital media services including www.HowStuffWorks.com. Discovery Communications is owned by Discovery Holding Company (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB), Advance/Newhouse Communications and John S. Hendricks, Discovery's founder and chairman. For more information, please visit www.discoverycommunications.com.