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Full Frame Announces Opening Night and Tribute Programming

Indiewire By Austin Dale | Indiewire March 6, 2012 at 11:38AM

The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival has announced the world premiere of Laurens Grant's "Jesse Owens" as its Opening Night film on Thursday, April 12 in Durham, NC. The film about the African American track and field star is produced and written by Full Frame Tribute honoree Stanley Nelson.
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Filmmaker Stanley Nelson

The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival has announced the world premiere of Laurens Grant's "Jesse Owens" as its Opening Night film on Thursday, April 12 in Durham, NC. The film about the African American track and field star is produced and written by Full Frame Tribute honoree Stanley Nelson.

Nelson will receive a tribute with a line-up of four of his titles: "The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords," "Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple," "A Place of Our Own" and "Sweet Honey in the Rock."

Full press release reprinted below:

Full Frame Announces Opening Night Film and

2012 Tribute Programming Honoring Stanley Nelson

Durham, N.C., - March 6, 2012 – The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival has announced the World Premiere of Laurens Grant’s “Jesse Owens” as its 2012 Opening Night Film on Thursday, April 12, at the Carolina Theatre. Produced and written by 2012 Full Frame Tribute honoree Stanley Nelson, the film centers on the African American track and field star, who triumphed at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin amidst the rise of Nazi propaganda.

“Jesse Owens” is an American Experience film in association with Firelight Films. It is the first feature documentary Laurens Grant has directed for PBS. Grant has a long history with Stanley Nelson and American Experience. She produced the 2010 award-winning film “Freedom Riders” directed by Nelson and was a coordinating producer for Nelson’s film “The Murder of Emmett Till” in 2003. Both were American Experience titles. Grant previously attended Full Frame with “Freedom Riders” in 2010 and as a juror for the Award for Best Short in 2011.

“To have my film screen at Full Frame is an incredible honor. And to screen as the Opening Night Film is just tremendous,” said Grant. “Full Frame is an incredible festival that really appreciates documentary films, and I am truly delighted to be a part of it. It is also a great tribute to Jesse Owens, and serves to ensure his legacy is not forgotten.”

Full Frame also announced its lineup of films around its 2012 Tribute honoring Stanley Nelson.  Four titles have been selected, including early work from his Firelight Films banner: “The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords,” “Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple,” “A Place of Our Own,” and “Sweet Honey in the Rock: Raise Your Voice.”

“Having this wonderful tribute to my work and the World Premiere of “Jesse Owens” at this year's Full Frame Documentary Film Festival is for me a double honor,” said Nelson.  

Nelson and Grant will take part in a moderated conversation following the film on Opening Night. Nelson will also be on hand for screenings of his work throughout the weekend. Other attending guests will be announced closer to the festival. Screening times and venues will be available March 22.

“We are thrilled to be the home for the World Premiere of “Jesse Owens,” said Full frame executive director Deirdre Haj. “This film, while looking back at history, begs questions that still call for answers today about sports, celebrity, and race in our culture. It is a great example of documentary creating a platform for further examination and discussion, which is what Full Frame thrives on.”

The 2012 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival will be held April 12-15, in Durham, N.C., with Duke University as the presenting sponsor. Tickets for programs are available to passholders beginning March 23 and will go on sale to the general public at fullframefest.org on April 2.

2012 Opening Night Film

Jesse Owens (Director: Laurens Grant)

African American track and field star, Jesse Owens, triumphed at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin amidst the rise of Nazi propaganda. Despite winning four gold medals, the iconic athlete found the brilliant start to his career would not be met with easy opportunity. World Premiere

2012 Full Frame Tribute Films

The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords (Director: Stanley Nelson)

The little known history of Black newspapers is highlighted in this film about the pioneering men and women who gave voice to the African American experience across the nation. 

Jonestown: The Life and the Death of Peoples Temple (Director: Stanley Nelson)

Over 900 people died at the Peoples Temple Agricultural Project in Guyana, the largest mass suicide in history. The film traces the optimistic rise and devastating collapse of this utopian movement. 

A Place of Our Own (Director: Stanley Nelson)

A personal meditation on the significance of Oak Bluffs, a town on Martha’s Vineyard where generations of upper-middle class black families, including Stanley Nelson’s own, have vacationed undisturbed by the tensions of racial America.

 Sweet Honey in the Rock: Raise Your Voice (Director: Stanley Nelson)

Unprecedented footage from Sweet Honey in the Rock’s 30th anniversary tour is accented with in-depth interviews exploring the influence of the African American women’s a cappella group.

About Full Frame

The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival is an annual international event dedicated to the theatrical exhibition of non-fiction cinema. Each spring Full Frame welcomes filmmakers and film lovers from around the world to historic downtown Durham, N.C., for a four-day, morning to midnight array of over 100 films as well as discussions, panels, and southern hospitality. Set within a four-block radius, the intimate festival landscape fosters community and conversation between filmmakers, film professionals and the general public.

This article is related to: Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, Stanley Nelson