Film Program Director Wins AFI Grand Jury Prize
June 26, 2020
On June 22, the American Film Institute (AFI) announced its 2020 AFI Docs award winners. Film Program Director Mike Attie’s short documentary, Abortion Helpline, This is Lisa, won the Grand Jury Prize for Short Films at the AFI DOCS Film Festival. AFI Docs is one of the major nonfiction film festivals in the U.S.
According to afi.com, “AFI DOCS is the only festival in the U.S. dedicated to screenings and events that connect audiences, filmmakers and policy leaders in the heart of our nation’s government. The AFI DOCS advisory board includes Ken Burns, Davis Guggenheim, Chris Hegedus, Werner Herzog, Barbara Kopple, Spike Lee, Errol Morris, Stanley Nelson and Frederick Wiseman.” The event normally takes place annually in Washington, D.C., but was completely virtual this year.
For its simple yet profound approach to a polarizing issue, we have selected a film which puts humanity ahead of an agenda.
-AFI DOCS Jury
AFI DOCS also announced that the Shorts Grand Jury Prize is a qualifying award for Academy Award eligibility, meaning that Abortion Helpline, This is Lisa qualifies for Oscar nominations. The jury said about the short, “For its simple yet profound approach to a polarizing issue, we have selected a film which puts humanity ahead of an agenda.”
Attie says, “It’s really exciting to be honored by AFI DOCS. Personally, it means a lot, because I screened my first student film at this festival over 10 years ago and just attending was a transformative experience. It’s also great to see a festival of this caliber recognize a film about reproductive rights. We’re hoping that this can become a springboard to a more meaningful campaign that raises awareness about the Hyde Amendment and the importance of reproductive justice.”
Earlier this year, Abortion Helpline, This is Lisa was selected from roughly 9,000 submissions to be screened at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.