Documentaries rely heavily on festivals to obtain the much-needed attention of distribution companies. And few doc festivals carry as much prestige as the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, which will be celebrating its 17th year from April 3-6 and has just announced its “Invited Program” and “NEW DOCS” lineup of new feature and short films.
Opening the festival is acclaimed director
Doug Block’s documentary “112 Weddings,” which is set to have its world premiere. The film, an HBO documentary feature, is described as “a heartwarming examination of
the struggles and joys that come with lifelong partnership.” After two
decades filming weddings part-time, Block revisits couples years after the big
day in order to see how love and life have unfolded after vows.
Full Frame, a
qualifying event for consideration for the nominations for both the
Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject and the Producers
Guild of America Awards, features 21 films screening out of competition in its “Invited Program.” Within this list are the
festival’s “Center Frame” screenings, which feature moderated panel
discussions following the films and take place in Fletcher Hall at the
Carolina Theatre. The
“NEW DOCS” program includes 48 titles (33 features and 15 shorts) from
across the United States and around the world, selected from over 1,200
submissions, including 10 World and 10 North American Premieres.
of Programming Sadie Tillery stated, “I’m inspired by the quality of the
filmmaking and the wide breadth of subject matter represented in these
works. I’m also proud that a number of vibrant films will be having
their debuts at Full Frame.” Specific screening
times and venues will be announced with the release of the full
schedule on March 13th.
Popular on IndieWire
Check out the lineup below:
112 Weddings (Director: Doug Block)
Documentary filmmaker and part-time wedding videographer Doug Block
tracks down couples he’s filmed over the years, contrasting past with
present to see how love and life have unfolded after vows. World Premiere
20,000 Days on Earth (Directors: Iain Forsyth, Jane Pollard)
Equal parts document and daydream, Jane Pollard and Iain Forsyth’s
innovative film features the inimitable Nick Cave in a series of
revelatory and imaginative vignettes.
Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq (Director: Nancy Buirski)
Tanaquil Le Clercq inspired choreographers unlike any ballerina
before her, but in 1956, at the height of her fame, she was stricken
with polio. A mesmerizing film of love, loss, and surprising grace.
Alive Inside: A Story of Music & Memory (Director: Michael Rossato-Bennett)
When a social worker discovers that music can unlock the memories of
patients whose minds are clouded by dementia, he embarks on a mission to
transform lives one iPod at a time.
The Battered Bastards of Baseball (Directors: Chapman Way, Maclain Way)
A celebratory portrait of the Portland Mavericks, who joined the
minor leagues in 1973 as the lone single-A team without a major-league
The Case Against 8 (Directors: Ben Cotner, Ryan White)
This behind-the-scenes film, shot over five years, follows the
unlikely team who fought to overturn California’s ban on same-sex
marriage, and won.
E-Team (Directors: Katy Chevigny, Ross Kauffman)
Four fearless activists from the Human Rights Watch’s Emergency Team
take us to the frontlines of Syria and Libya as they investigate and
document war crimes.
Freedom Summer (Director: Stanley Nelson)
Remarkable archival footage and unforgettable eyewitness accounts
take us back to the summer of 1964, when hundreds of civil rights
activists entered Mississippi to help enfranchise the state’s African
The Green Prince (Director: Nadav Schirman)
A real-life thriller about the complex relationship between a Palestinian spy and his Israeli Shin Bet handler.
Ivory Tower (Director: Andrew Rossi)
Is a college degree worth the price? This sweeping examination of
higher education questions the value of college in an era of rising
tuition costs and staggering student debt.
Last Days in Vietnam (Director: Rory Kennedy)
Historical footage and reflections by U.S. diplomats and soldiers
transport us to Saigon in April 1975 and the moral quandaries
surrounding the order to evacuate American citizens only.
The Missing Picture (Director: Rithy Panh)
This deeply poetic and personal document uses hundreds of clay
figurines—as so few photos exist—to recreate events and validate
memories of the atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.
My Prairie Home (Director: Chelsea McMullan)
Transgender singer-songwriter Rae Spoon tours Canada in this
impressionistic merging of dreamy music videos and intimate interviews.
No More Road Trips? (Director: Rick Prelinger)
Compiled from hundreds of home movies to create a dream ride across
20th-century America, this mixtape’s soundtrack and narration is
provided by the audience.
One Cut, One Life (Directors: Lucia Small, Ed Pincus)
Two filmmakers undertake the making of a very personal documentary
when one of them is diagnosed with a terminal illness, approaching
matters of life and death with profound honesty. World Premiere
Our Man in Tehran (Directors: Drew Taylor, Larry Weinstein)
This riveting film recounts Canadian ambassador Ken Taylor’s role in
the high-risk rescue of six Americans from Tehran during the Iran
hostage crisis. US Premiere
Soft Vengeance: Albie Sachs and the New South Africa (Director: Abby Ginzberg)
Lawyer, writer, art lover and freedom fighter Albie Sachs fights to overthrow South Africa’s apartheid regime. World Premiere
Supermensch (Director: Mike Myers)
As entertaining as it is heartfelt, this star-studded film celebrates
the adventurous life of talent manager, producer, and dealmaker
extraordinaire Shep Gordon.
Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People (Director: Thomas Allen Harris)
This invaluable document is a journey through the African American
family photo album: its political, social, and artistic history; its
stories of loss, self-invention, community, and beauty.
The Visitors (Director: Godfrey Reggio)
Stunning black-and-white images set to a score by Philip Glass propel
this visceral rumination on humanity’s relationship with an
increasingly digital world.
WHITEY: United States of America V. James J. Bulger (Director: Joe Berlinger)
This true-crime doc examines the sensationalized trial of a notorious
South Boston gangster and brings new allegations of law-enforcement
corruption to light.
Ana Ana (Directors: Corinne van Egeraat, Petr Lom)
Four young women in Egypt tell their stories in an unforgettable
cinematic collaboration that merges the personal and the political. North American Premiere
Apollonian Story (Directors: Ilan Moskovitch, Dan Bronfeld)
A modern hermit has spent the last 40 years single-mindedly carving a
home out of a Mediterranean cliff. When his estranged son comes to
help, the pair must navigate long-standing tensions. North American Premiere
Book of Days (Director: Ian Phillips)
Filmed over seven years, this fascinating short follows an enigmatic
artist and bookseller as he struggles to get his book, Hannibal Barca,
published. World Premiere
Born to Fly (Director: Catherine Gund)
“Action architect” Elizabeth Streb choreographs performances that
push the human body to extremes in this exhilarating portrait of Streb
and her company of dancers as they take to the air.
Bronx Obama (Director: Ryan Murdock)
An unemployed Puerto Rican father chases the “look of a lifetime”
when he realizes he bears an uncanny resemblance to our 44th president.
Buffalo Dreams (Director: Maurice O’Brien)
Fanciful dreams meet cold reality as a Scottish family tries to raise American bison far from their native grasslands. North American Premiere
Butterfly Girl (Director: Cary Bell)
An unsentimental, deeply moving portrait of a young woman trying to
live a “normal life” despite having a rare, often fatal, skin disease.
Can’t Stop the Water (Directors: Rebecca Ferris, Jason Ferris)
Abandoned homes line the one road of the disappearing Isle de Jean
Charles in Louisiana, home to a Choctaw community. This is the story of
those who’ve stayed.
CAPTIVATED: The Trials of Pamela Smart (Director: Jeremiah Zagar)
In telling the story of the first fully televised trial in the U.S.,
this incisive, multilayered film looks at how mass-media coverage and
sensationalism impact the workings of justice.
The Case of the Three Sided Dream (Director: Adam Kahan)
Rahsaan Roland Kirk, an extraordinary musician who preferred the term
“black classical music” to “jazz,” lived in a world of sound and
The Chaperone (Directors: Fraser Munden, Neil Rathbone)
Charm and surprise characterize this animated story of a fight that
breaks out between chaperones of a middle-school dance and a biker gang.
The Circle (Director: Bram Conjaerts)
Scientific data, animation, and man-on-the-street interviews collide
in this portrait of life above the world’s largest high-energy particle
DamNation (Directors: Ben Knight, Travis Rummel)
This poetic, reflective film follows the growing and increasingly
successful movement to tear down America’s dams and restore
long-standing fisheries, through both legal means and guerilla tactics.
Evolution of a Criminal (Director: Darius Clark Monroe)
Ten years after robbing a bank as a teenager, filmmaker Darius Monroe
returns home and turns the camera on himself—to tell the story of what
happened and look at the fallout from his actions
Fairytale of the Three Bears (Director: Tristan Daws)
Three hardworking men recall the story of the “Three Bears” as they muse on their lives in post-Soviet Russia. North American Premiere
Flowers from the Mount of Olives (Director: Heilika Pikkov)
Mother Ksenya, an 83-year-old nun in a convent in Jerusalem, reflects
on her remarkable life as she embarks on one final challenge: silence. North American Premiere
Foundry Night Shift (Director: Steven Bognar)
In the wee hours, when electrical demand is down, workers stoke
elaborate furnaces to produce the steel frames for Steinway pianos.
The Great Invisible (Director: Margaret Brown)
A chilling investigation of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill through
the stories of people still experiencing its aftereffects, from oil
executives to Gulf Coast residents—long after the media moved on.
Hacked Circuit (Director: Deborah Stratman)
A single suspenseful shot takes us inside the art of aural illusion and reveals that all is not as it seems or sounds.
The Hand That Feeds (Directors: Rachel Lears, Robin Blotnick)
A group of NYC restaurant workers stand up for their rights, despite
the threat of job loss and deportation, in this moving story of a bitter
labor dispute. World Premiere
Happy Valley (Director: Amir Bar-Lev)
This compelling look at Penn State’s football scandal goes beyond the
surface of spectacle to get at the heart of the responses of an
The Hip-Hop Fellow (Director: Kenneth Price)
Music producer and turntablist supreme Ninth Wonder travels from
North Carolina to Massachusetts to become Harvard’s first Hip-Hop
Fellow. World Premiere
In Country (Directors: Mike Attie, Meghan O’Hara)
The lines between what’s real and what’s pretend blur as members of a
platoon of Vietnam War re-enactors go to battle, each for their own
complicated reasons. World Premiere
The Lab (Director: Yotam Feldman)
Israeli filmmaker Yotam Feldman points a chilling lens at his
country’s defense industry, the fourth largest arms exporter in the
world. North American Premiere
Light Fly, Fly High (Directors: Susann Ostigaard, Beathe Hofseth)
Born into the “untouchable” caste, an Indian girl challenges her fate
by entering a government-subsidized (and unfortunately, corrupt) boxing
program. North American Premiere
Monk by Blood (Director: Ema Ryan Yamazaki)
Scion Sasaki, an aspiring chef and sometimes DJ, grapples with the
responsibility of taking over his family’s ancestral Buddhist temple, a
tradition dating back 23 generations. North American Premiere
Monk with a Camera (Directors: Guido Santi, Tina Mascara)
Nicky Vreeland trades in his rarified high-society existence for a
Tibetan Buddhist monk’s maroon robes. Luckily, he brings his camera
The Notorious Mr. Bout (Directors: Tony Gerber, Maxim Pozdorovkin)
With unprecedented access and years of home movies, this
multidimensional film points a lens at international arms smuggler and
philosophical businessman Viktor Bout.
Olga – To My Friends (Director: Paul Anders Simma)
A young woman living alone on a reindeer herding post 1,000 miles
north of Moscow contemplates solitude and purpose, and what she will do
if the post is shut down. North American Premiere
The Overnighters (Director: Jesse Moss)
The unintended consequences of good intentions become evident when a
pastor in an oil boomtown opens his doors to desperate and disillusioned
A Park for the City (Director: Nicole Macdonald)
Surveillance cameras give us a Night at the Museum look inside
Detroit’s abandoned zoo on Belle Isle, a no-man’s land of flora and
fauna reverting to wilderness.
Private Violence (Director: Cynthia Hill)
“Why didn’t you leave?” This urgent and inspiring film follows two
women’s complex stories of survival while exploring the way we talk
about and deal with domestic violence as a society.
Return to Homs (Director: Talal Derki)
This film takes us to the frontlines of the Syrian Civil War as two
friends who are determined to defend their city abandon peaceful
resistance and take up arms, heading straight for the heart of the
Rich Hill (Directors: Tracy Droz Tragos, Andrew Droz Palermo)
Three boys from a small Missouri town grapple with isolation and
instability in this expressionistic film that portrays, with grace and
complexity, family bonds, poverty, and survival.
Ronald (Director: John Dower)
One man, one supersized pair of red shoes, over ninety-nine billion served. World Premiere
Santa Cruz del Islote (Director: Luke Lorentzen)
On this remote island, the most densely populated on the planet, a
community struggles to maintain their way of life as resources and
opportunities dwindle. World Premiere
Seeds of Time (Director: Sandy McLeod)
As humans face a “perfect storm” of disastrous scenarios, scientist
Cary Fowler demonstrates the importance of biodiversity by developing
seed banks across the globe.
Sex(Ed) The Movie (Director: Brenda Goodman)
Remember the first time you heard about sex? Through clips from film
and TV archives, this hilarious, humbling film takes a look at our
country’s earnest attempts to share the facts of life.
The Silly Bastard Next to the Bed (Director: Scott Calonico)
JFK handles a scandal over some pricey bedroom furniture in the last summer of his presidency. World Premiere
Summer 82 When Zappa Came to Sicily (Director: Salvo Cuccia)
Frank Zappa’s 1982 European tour comes to a surprising, and riotous,
conclusion in Palermo in this film featuring rare footage and local
insights. North American Premiere
The Supreme Price (Director: Joanna Lipper)
Hafsat Abiola fights to realize her parents’ dreams of alleviating
poverty and ending military dictatorship in this powerful look into the
Nigerian pro-democracy movement. World Premiere
Swallow (Director: Genevieve Bicknell)
Eating: a pleasant or unpleasant task? Food: tasty and bubbling or oozy and disgusting? North American Premiere
Tough Love (Director: Stephanie Wang-Breal)
Two parents navigate the red tape of America’s child welfare system as they fight to regain custody of their children. World Premiere
Ukraine Is Not a Brothel (Director: Kitty Green)
The women of FEMEN, the provocative topless feminist movement in the
Ukraine, confront the power structure fueling their organization.
Watchers of the Sky (Director: Edet Belzberg)
extraordinary people embody the vision of Rafael Lemkin, who created
international law to stop genocide and hold leaders accountable.
Where is My Son? (Director: Qu Zhao)
Abandoning a successful career in the big city, JunKyo Lee returns home to care for his ailing mother in her final years. North American Premiere
White Earth (Director: J. Christian Jensen)
Against the backdrop of an ethereal North Dakota winter, three
children and their immigrant mother describe scenes of isolation and
exertion—the impact of the oil boom on their everyday lives.
Yangtze Drift (Director: John Rash)
In gorgeous black and white, this updated city symphony moves along the varied sights, sounds, and rhythms of a great river. World Premiere