Full Frame Documentary Film Festival announced the lineup for its 9th year, taking place April 6-9 in Durham, North Carolina. The fest will include a thematic focus on "Class in America" and a special Southern sidebar devoted to premiering documentaries about Hurricane Katrina.
Full Frame's Southern sidebar program has traditionally been a showcase of regional films, but this year it will feature nine films that are some of the first documentaries to be shot in the Gulf region in the aftermath of Katrina. Films slated for the section include "An Eye in the Storm," director Neil Alexander's video diary that follows Hurricane Katrina's devastating path, and Alex LeMay's "Desert Bayou," an account of the airlift of 600 African-Americans to Utah in the wake of the hurricane.
The tribute to Katrina victims continues with a panel that will give the filmmakers an opportunity to speak about the challenges they faced filming in the hard-hit regions, as a well as a musical performance by Branford Marsalis.
"The tragic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina has shone a spotlight on an issue in America that has needed attention for some time," said Full Frame founder, CEO and artistic director Nancy Buirski, in a festival release. "In 'Class in America' we want to address not only the tragedies, but all the stories that go with this volatile topic and engage our audiences with some of the most moving--and thought-provoking-- accounts we can find," Buirski added.
The Full Frame fest has been growing over the past nine years and now features over 100 films from filmmakers around the U.S. and world. The fest recently revealed this year's opening night film, Sydney Pollack's "Sketches of Frank Gehry," the first documentary to be made by the Academy Award winning director. Pollack's new film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and is a look into the creative mind and life of architect Frank Gehry, who is known for designing such famous buildings as the Guggenheim Museum in Bilboa, Spain, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California.
The festival also announced that 73 new documentaries are slated for the Films in Competition section. The films chosen represent 15 countries and include a mix of 53 features and 20 shorts. Among the highlights will be a sneak preview of Alan Berliner's work in progress, "Wide Awake," a personal account of the filmmaker's insomnia, and the world premiere of "Time Piece," an anthology of short films produced by a collaboration of filmmakers from the U.S. and Turkey.
In addition, Full Frame will present its "Career Award" to filmmaker Richard Leacock, to honor the work of the director and cinematographer.
[For more information on the films, panels and special events, visit the festival website.]