The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival is one of Durham's premier events, bringing in filmmakers and film lovers from around the globe. If you've never been, or if you want to find ways to get even more involved, check out these tips from the Full Frame staff to see why you should attend in 2015, and consider making it an annual tradition:
See next year's Oscar nominees and winners now! 2014 Full Frame films Last Days in Vietnam and White Earth are both currently nominated for Oscars. Many films shown at the festival have gone on receive to receive Oscar nominations (Cutie and the Boxer, How to Survive a Plague, The Invisible War) and some have even won the big prize (20 Feet from Stardom)!
Love free movies? Come to Full Frame! The festival offers tons of free events, including free outdoor screenings at Durham Central Park, free screenings at the Full Frame Theater at the American Tobacco Campus, and our free Closing Night Film Sunday night at the Carolina Theatre's Fletcher Hall! These screenings are family friendly and are open to the public.
Speaking of free, our Speakeasy Conversations – panels featuring documentary filmmakers and insiders, talking about the issues confronting documentary today – are free and open to the public. These panel discussions are a must attend for anyone interested in the documentary industry, and take place throughout the day on Friday and Saturday at the festival.
Great conversation can be found not just at the Speakeasy panels, but also throughout the festival! Q&As with filmmakers and film subjects follow most screenings. Filmmakers, subjects, and audience members routinely rub elbows in Full Frame's intimate landscape – in lines waiting for films, in the Convention Center hallway between screenings, and even grabbing a bite under the Giorgios Hospitality Food Tent on the Convention Center Plaza.
Every year Full Frame shows amazing new documentary work from around the world, but the festival also presents older works through the Full Frame Tribute series and the Thematic Program.
The Full Frame Tribute is awarded to a documentary filmmaker every year, and a retrospective of that filmmaker's works are presented during the festival. This year's Full Frame Tribute recipient is Marshall Curry, an Academy Award-nominated filmmaker who has shown many films at the festival.
The Thematic Program invites a filmmaker to the festival to curate series of documentary films centering around a specific theme; this year's program will be curated by acclaimed filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal, who will be examining the ethics of representation in documentary film.
Sundays are particularly special at Full Frame. Films that receive awards at the lunchtime Awards Barbecue – which the public can attend! –are then encored throughout Sunday afternoon. In between seeing the festival's award-winning documentaries, you can relax and enjoy free music on the plaza. And our Closing Night Film, always free and open to the public, is a great way to end Full Frame weekend!
The 2015 festivals takes place on April 9-12. Are you ready to put Full Frame on your calendar and make it official? Head over to Full Frame's website to buy passes: they're on sale now, and they're likely to sell out quickly. You can buy tickets to individual films starting on April 2.