Today it was officially announced that AFI Docs 2014 will host The Homestretch’s US Premiere. The film, which follows three homeless youth in Chicago, will screen at 6:45PM on Thursday, June 19th at the AFI Silver Theatre. A second screening will take place at 11:00AM on June 20th at The Naval Heritage Theatre in Washington DC.
On their website, AFI Docs notes that “this festival is the only one of its kind to connect audiences and documentary filmmakers to policy leaders in the seat of our nation's government.” It was thus a perfect match for The Homestretch, which over the course of its multi-year outreach campaign hopes to not only change perceptions of homeless youth, but impact legislation that affects these young people.
Premiere attendees will include the director’s Anne de Mare and Kirsten Kelly, as well as all four of the film’s main subjects. The Homestretch’s national partners, The National Network for Youth (NN4Y) and The National Association for the Education of Children and Youth (NAECHY), will also be in attendance. These organizations, both headquartered in DC, are working feverishly on Capitol Hill, championing bills that will help get homeless youth the support they need. Moving forward, The Homestretch will be used by NN4Y and NAECHY as a tool for generating awareness and empathy.
Immediately following AFI Docs, The Homestretch will have its New York Premiere at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival. The film will screen at 8:45PM on Friday, June 20 at Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater, and again at 7:00PM on Saturday June 21 at the IFC Center. Both screenings will be presented with True Colors Fund, one of The Homestretch’s national partners. This organization, co-founded by Cyndi Lauper, works to end GLBT youth homelessness.
“In selecting films for the festival, Human Rights Watch concentrates equally on artistic merit and human rights content” says HRWFF’s website. The Homestretch is honored to be acknowledged as both art and advocacy by this noble organization.
After The Homestretch’s world premiere and roaring success at Hot Docs (“One of the best films to ever be made about the stigma of homelessness” –Andrew Parker, Dork Shelf) the film’s presence at AFI Docs and the Human Rights Watch Film Festival will continue what is poised to be widespread festival run. Follow the film on Facebook and Twitter for more information about upcoming screenings and events.