Werner Herzog to Be Honored at AFI Docs

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Werner Herzog

Alex Gibney's 'Zero Days' will open the fest, while Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady's 'Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You' will close things out.

Werner Herzog has been named the 2016 Charles Guggenheim Symposium honoree by the American Film Institute as a part of the AFI Docs fest, organizers announced Thursday. The honor is meant to recognize filmmakers who produce outstanding nonfiction storytelling.

The festival, which is set to run June 22­-26 in Washington, D.C., also announced their opening- and closing-night gala screenings, with the North American premiere of Alex Gibney's Zero Days kicking off the event and Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady's Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You closing things out. Following the opening-night screening, Oscar-winner Gibney will participate in a Q&A, while TV legend Lear will be on hand during the closing-night screening to discuss the doc and his storied career with Ewing and Grady.  

Herzog's career will be highlighted at a June 24 symposium with clips from his award-winning documentaries as well as a conversation between the director and filmmaker Ramin Bahrani. Following that will be a screening of Herzog's latest film, Lo and Behold, which premiered at this year's Sundance Film Festival.

The Oscar-nominated filmmaker's expansive work includes Grizzly Man, Encounters at the End of the World and Into the Abyss. Herzog will join such previous Guggenheim Symposium honorees as Martin Scorsese, Jonathan Demme and Spike Lee.

"Whether exploring unseen corners of the world or contemplating technology in our lives, Werner Herzog's cinematic voice is unmistakably evocative," said AFI Docs director Michael Lumpkin. "He wields a world-class power, using his artistry to provoke audiences into seeing their world from the most esoteric angles. We are honored to celebrate his distinguished storytelling career."

The symposium and both gala screenings will take place at Washington's Newseum Theater.