An overflow audience at an outdoor film showing at the 2019 Full Frame Festival.

Celebrating the Return of Full Frame Film Festival to In-Person Programming

Tickets go on sale Tuesday, Feb. 13

The festival began in 1998 as the DoubleTake Documentary Film Festival before being renamed in 2002. It was held virtually from 2020 to 2022 because of the pandemic and was then put on hold for 2023 as the Center for Documentary Studies (CDS), which oversees Full Frame, began a strategic planning review.

This year’s festival will be a partnership between CDS and Duke Venue and Production Management (VPM), the campus arm that handles planning, ticketing and other logistics for arts and other Duke events.

Passes and ticket packages go on sale Tuesday, Feb. 13. Single tickets go on sale Thursday, March 28.

More than 60 films are expected to be screened at the Carolina Theatre - the traditional festival epicenter - and at the nearby Durham Convention Center, the American Tobacco Campus and Durham Central Park, the site of two free outdoor screenings. The area around the theater will be abuzz all weekend. There will be a popup café on the plaza, an opening night party Thursday evening, and the Awards Barbecue Sunday afternoon, where the festival will present more than $35,000 in cash prizes to filmmakers.

The festival’s intimate landscape makes it unusual, Foster said.

“Part of what makes Full Frame so special – and it’s a rarity in the festival world – is that it all takes place within a few square blocks,” she said.

Filmmakers and attendees connect in formal conversations but also in the interactions that unfold organically over the four days.

“Some of the most meaningful exchanges happen in line, as artists and attendees experience films together,” Tillery said. “The proximity fosters unexpected interactions and a distinctive sense of community around exceptional documentary filmmaking.”

More than 200 filmmakers are expected to attend to participate in post-film Q&As, panels, and enjoy the films alongside audiences.

A final note: Full Frame remains an Academy Award-qualifying film festival. This means that the recipient of the Jury Award for Best Short is eligible to be nominated for an Oscar.