IDA Executive Michael Lumpkin Takes Over AFI Docs Festival in D.C.

Michael Lumpkin - P 2014
AP Images/Invision

Michael Lumpkin - P 2014

Documentary luminary Michael Lumpkin jumps from IDA to AFI Docs

Michael Lumpkin has been appointed director of AFI Docs, the annual documentary festival in Washington, D.C., the American Film Institute announced Dec. 11.

Lumpkin, a producer whose doc The Celluloid Closet earned a Peabody Award and an Emmy nomination, has been executive director of the International Documentary Association (IDA) for six years and, for more than 25 years, executive director of Frameline and festival director for the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival. "Michael is uniquely qualified to lead AFI Docs into the future," said Bob Gazzale, AFI president and CEO. AFI also announced the return of AT&T as AFI Docs' sponsor.

"I'm dying to find out how this all works out," said Patricia Aufderheide, American University professor and director of D.C.'s Center for Media & Social Impact, which was a partner of Silverdocs, as the festival was known for 10 years before AFI took it over in 2013. The center has also worked with AFI Docs during the transition. "It's great to see AFI making an investment in AFI Docs with the appointment of a festival director. The town is  so perfect for a well-managed doc fest. Michael Lumpkin is perfectly positioned to leverage the possibilities. I also think D.C. is a universe apart from L.A., and so it will be important for Michael and his staff to cultivate a local network as well as to leverage his film contacts."