Durham, NC – The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival is underway in Durham this weekend and showcases some of the newest and best films in the genre. The four-day festival, which continues through Sunday, will screen nearly 100 documentary films, spanning a wide range of subject matters. The festival line-up includes a mix of short films and full-length features; and the varied offerings are sure to include something that appeals to all tastes and interests.
International Documentary Debuts
Among the unique elements of the festival is that, for several of the films, the director will step onto the stage after the screening and personally field audience questions. The Q&A sessions afford a special opportunity for attendees to gain a deeper understanding of the motives and inspirations for the film, as well as insights into the sometimes quirky “behind the scenes” experiences that often emerge over the course of filming.
2017 is the 20th Anniversary for Full Frame, a film festival that has become nationally and internationally renowned. In recognition of this milestone, selected screenings on the schedule for this year include popular films and past festival award winners, dating to when Full Frame first launched back in 1998.
In addition to the retrospective, this weekend’s line-up features numerous new documentary films, several of which are making their U.S., North America or international debuts. The number of new documentary films, thematic screenings and special festival selections are too numerous to list within this article but a complete schedule and detailed descriptions of each film that will be featured in the festival can be found online. The film schedule for Sunday will include “encore” screenings of previously sold-out shows, festival favorites and award winners, as voted on by festival attendees.
How You Can Go
In addition to the many ticketed film screenings, there are a number of free festival events open to the public:
- Panel discussions sponsored by A&E (daily, check schedule for details)
- Outdoor film screening of “Presenting Princess Shaw” (Saturday at 8:30 PM Durham Central Park) – Free, no ticket required
- The School of Doc presentation – Sunday at 2:30 PM- Free, no ticket required
- Closing night film “STEP”, Sunday at 7:20 PM- Free, but must reserve ticket in advance
- Closing Night Party hosted at the 21c Museum Hotel, Sunday at 6-8 PM
The hub for the festival is the historic Carolina Theater in downtown Durham but several theaters and viewing rooms have been created in the adjacent Durham convention center and nearby Durham Armory, making it a veritable “documentary film buffet” for those who may wish to indulge, where screenings are just steps apart from one another.
Individual tickets, purchased in advance, are $16 per film but students, teachers, military, seniors 65+ and Duke faculty/staff (Duke University is a festival sponsor) all receive a $2 discount. Last minute tickets for sold out films, if seating becomes available, can be purchased for $15 (cash only).
The Full Frame Film Festival has undoubtedly become one of the largest and most respected documentary film festivals in the county if not the world…and it is right here in our backyard for all to enjoy. For additional information and to purchase tickets and for a complete listing of all of the documentary films that will be screen at this years’ festival, visit www.fullframefest.org.
If you are unable to attend this year, make a note on your calendar for next year when the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival returns to Durham for its 21st year in April 2018.
Story by Daniel J. Evarrs. Photos and images provided courtesy of Full Frame Film Festival.