Full Frame Documentary Film Festival

An image from 'Two Trains Runnin''
Ben Hedin

 In the early 1960s, a group of young. white blues enthusiasts ventured through the South to find blues musicians Skip James and Son House. As the group tried to locate these roots musicians, racial violence grew across Mississippi. 

'Two Trains Runnin'' connects the stories from this blues quest with the civil rights protests taking place as a part of Freedom Summer in 1964.

An image of 'Dada' from 'Raising Bertie'
Kartemquin Films

Bertie County is a predominantly African-American in eastern North Carolina, and about a third of it's population lives under the poverty line. 

A new documentary, "Raising Bertie," shows the obstacles of the area through the experiences of three young African-American men.

Reginald Askew
Kartemquin Films

Thousands of documentary film-lovers are in Durham this week for the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.  Close to 100 films from around the world will be featured, but one film in particular hits close to home.

The documentary “Raising Bertie” will have its world premiere at the festival.  It follows the lives of three struggling young men in Eastern North Carolina.

Black Panthers

Documentary lovers are in downtown Durham today through Sunday for the 18th annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.

This year features three Center Frame documentaries, selected by a special committee.  One of this year’s featured films is “3 1/2 Minutes," by Director Marc Silver. 

The film "Cairo in One Breath" takes a look at the Adhan Unification Project.

The adhan, or call to prayer, is a 1,400 year-old oral tradition in the process of change in Cairo, Egypt. In 2004, after generations of having muezzins—the man who calls Muslims to prayer from the minaret of a mosque—make the call, the Mubarak government decided to make a change. They began to replace Cairo's approximately 200,000 muezzins with a single radio broadcast.

Rex Miller

Tennis legend Althea Gibson emerged from South Carolina to break color barriers in professional tennis.

In 1956, she became the first person of color to win a Grand Slam tournament, and went on to win Wimbledon and the U.S. Open the following year. 

She became a champion despite the rules of the segregation era, a time when country clubs would not allow her to dress in their clubhouses. 

The new documentary “Althea” provides a glimpse of how she did it.

Chad Stevens

Last weekend marked the fifth anniversary of the Upper Big Branch mine disaster in West Virginia—the nation’s worst coal mine disaster in decades. Massey Energy, one of the largest American coal companies, ran the mine, and its CEO Don Blankenship has since been indicted on charges that he deliberately concealed health and safety violations at the mining site.

Olympia Stone's film 'Curious Worlds' follows artist David Beck.

Artist David Beck carves, sculpts, paints and creates playful and imaginative creatures from dragonflies to elephants.

Much of his art is miniature, in contrast to the sculptures of many of his contemporaries. He has been praised as a “master craftsman and ingenious mechanic.”

Olympia Stone's latest film goes inside the magical world of miniature architect David Beck. 

  The documentary Bronx Obama follows the story of Luis Ortiz, an unemployed man living in the Bronx who one day in 2008 is told he looks an awful lot like a guy named Barack Obama from Chicago who is running for President—and that changes everything. 

The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival has begun in Durham.  One of the films making its world premiere is The Supreme Price, which follows the return of Hafsat Abiola back to her home country of Nigeria.   Hafsat Abiola is the daughter of the former president of Nigeria, M.K.O Abiola and Kudirat Abiola,  who spoke out boldly against political corruption in that country in the 1990’s and ultimately lost her life because of it.

Lawyer and freedom fighter Albie Sachs is one of the lesser-known heroes of South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement. He spent time incarcerated and years in exile before nearly dying from a car bomb. 

Full Frame Theater at ATHD
Gurnal Scott

Documentary film enthusiasts are in downtown Durham today through Sunday for the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.  City leaders like the business. 

There could easily be an extra 12,000 to 13,000 people packed in a few city blocks because of Full Frame.

“And they’ll be laughing and smiling and talking about the films that they’ve seen.  It’s really a great, great event.”

  Darius Monroe was 17 years old living in Texas when he committed a crime that would shape the course of his life.  He and two friends robbed a bank in their hometown making off with tens of thousands of dollars.  He was caught and spent 5 years in prison. A decade later, he returned home to try to figure out what impact his crime had on his family and the others who were in the bank that day.                     

Hot & Crusty is one the chain delis in New York City that line most street corners, offering fast, affordable food one step up from the fare you might receive at big national chains like McDonalds, or Subway.   Many of the employees at chains such as these are undocumented workers.  They are men and women that are here in this country with no papers, working long hours without the benefit of insurance or job security.  The new documentary ‘The Hand That Feeds’ follows the plight of one group of workers fighting for better working conditions at a Hot & Crusty restaurant on the Upper

Hip Hop Studies is a growing field in academia led by the work of scholars like Patrick Douthit, the hip-hop producer and artist better known as 9th Wonder

Tom Rankin served as director of Duke's Center for Documentary Studies for 15 years.
Duke University

The former director of Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies, Tom Rankin, stepped down after 15 years at the helm.

The Center has a mission of being at the crossroads of documentary work and academia. CDS started the Full Frame Festival — though it was called Double Take at the time. 

Nicole Triche

Rivalries are fierce at the World Taxidermy Championships. Judges, armed with flashlights and magnifying glasses, examine anatomy and artistry. And taxidermists, who fancy themselves artists, vie for the legitimacy of their craft.

Nicole Triche’s new documentary, “Taxidermists,” premiers at the annual Full Frame Documentary  Film Festival. Triche is also an assistant professor at Elon University in the school of communications.

The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival begins today. Lovers of non-fiction cinema travel from all over the world to Durham to view this juried competition.

Leoneda Inge:  This is Full Frame’s 15th year.  As many as 12-hundred documentaries pour in from every corner of the globe.  Just over 100 films will be shown during the festival.  That’s a lot of films, ranging from “The Invisible War,” about rape in the military, to a family’s quest to eat local in Alabama.

Full Frame

Apr 3, 2012

The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival kicks off Thursday, April 12. Out of 1,200 films submitted in the New Docs category, only 60 were chosen for viewing.

One of them, “CatCam,” is a short film by first- time director Seth Keal. It’s the only movie at Full Frame this year that has the distinction of having sizable chunks of it shot by a cat. Host Frank Stasio talks to director Seth Keal about “CatCam” and the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.

Raising Renee

Apr 15, 2011
Beverly McIver
Leoneda Inge

  Many of us may have made a promise to go home and take care of parents or other family members when they need us the most.  But do we all keep our promise? The new documentary titled – Raising Renee – looks at one such life-changing promise.  The film centers on Durham-based artist Beverly McIver and her sister Renee McIver.  The U.S. premiere ofRaising Renee is today at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham.    

Full Frame Opens

Apr 14, 2011

The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival kicks off today in downtown Durham.  There are more than 100 screenings for enthusiasts to see.

Two Sundance Film Festival winners will be shown – How to Die in Oregon and Hell and Back Again about a soldier’s return home from Afghanistan. Sadie Tillery is director of programming at Full Frame. She says all levels of talent and experience make the festival.

Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
Full Frame

The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival's annual celebration of the documentary brings artists from around the world to Durham. This year, the lineup includes a rich variety of offerings from filmmakers based in North Carolina.