The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, one of the world’s most prestigious celebrations of nonfiction cinema, will celebrate its 20th anniversary in Durham, April 6–9. Passes went on sale Tuesday.
Full Frame has earned an international reputation as the essential filmmaker’s festival, reflective of the soul, authenticity, diversity and independent spirit of its hometown. Duke University will again be a festival sponsor.
“Our journey for the past two decades tracks closely with the explosion of growth here in Durham and in the world of documentary film,” said Festival Director Deirdre Haj. “Our success, growing from a small, four-day event to a year-round arts leader in Durham and in documentary film circles, would not be possible without the extraordinary support of our city and the filmmakers who showcase their work here. We are eager to celebrate our 20th anniversary with these two special communities who make us the organization that we are.”
This year’s event will feature a special programming change. The festival’s thematic program, typically featuring films addressing a specific area of interest, will be a cinematic look back on 20 years of Full Frame. Curated by Artistic Director Sadie Tillery, the commemorative retrospective will highlight many of the notable films, filmmakers, and special moments that have distinguished Full Frame since it was founded in 1998. Titles for the series will be announced in early March.
“Full Frame has showcased nearly 2,000 documentaries, from prominent titles to films that may never be shown in a North Carolina theater again,” said Tillery. “It’s the chemistry between these works – between the loud and the quiet, the accessible and the bizarre, the new voices and the legends – that continues to inspire me. It is impossible for a single series to encompass all that this festival has embraced and championed over 20 years. I’ve chosen to reflect on films that remain harder to see, that may not have set box office records, but are essential to the Full Frame canon.”
Full Frame is also announcing the recent addition of five new members to its national advisory board, including Leo S. Chiang, Marshall Curry, Bernardo Ruiz, Toby Shimin and Academy Award-winning filmmaker Roger Ross Williams. Williams, a member of the Board of Governors for the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, won the Full Frame Audience Award in 2016 for his film, Life, Animated, which is currently nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
"Full Frame has evolved into one of the most important documentary festivals in the world with extraordinary audience engagement, mentorship and education programs,” said Williams. “I've had some of my most memorable festival experiences screening my films there, and I am honored to be part of the Full Frame advisory board.”
In addition to the annual line-up of VIP events, ticketed exhibitions, private receptions and outdoor screenings, Full Frame is expanding its reach and impact in the local community by adding new events that are free and open to the public. On Thursday, April 6, the 21c Museum Hotel and Runaway Clothing are hosting an open, late-night Full Frame birthday bash featuring a local DJ. On Sunday, a closing night party at 21c is also open to the public and free to attend.
For more information on the 20th Annual Full Frame Film Festival, including festival passes and individual tickets to screenings and parties, visit www.fullframefest.org.