With both Hot Docs and Full Frame Documentary Film Festivals coming up this spring, we put together a compendium of the burgeoning list of doc fests around the world. Each has its own personality. See which one suits you.
(Full Frame’s lineup, after the jump.)
Here’s the annual calendar of twelve top doc-fests:
FULL FRAME TRIBUTE
Full Frame honors the work of Steve James. The Full Frame
Tribute will be presented at the Awards Barbecue on Sunday.
At the Death House Door (Directors: Steve James, Peter
An unflinching account of the work of Reverend Carroll
Pickett, who presided over 95 executions during his 15-year tenure as a death
house chaplain in a Texas prison.
Hoop Dreams (Director: Steve James)
This deeply moving film follows Arthur Agee, Jr., and
William Gates as they strive to achieve professional basketball stardom and
escape poverty in Chicago.
Hoop Dreams at 20
In celebration of the landmark documentary’s 20th
anniversary, this panel conversation features insider commentary, rarely seen
footage, and special guests.
The Interrupters (Director: Steve James)
Three brave “interrupters” from Chicago’s CeaseFire
organization take on inner-city violence with a dangerous form of intervention.
A Place Called Pluto (Director: Steve James)
When a reporter is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s
disease, he boldly faces his prognosis by putting his experiences into words.
Reel Paradise (Director: Steve James)
The final month of an American family’s yearlong stay in
Fiji, where they screened movies in one of the most remote cinemas in the
Stevie (Director: Steve James)
Ten years later, Steve James visits a young man to whom he
was a Big Brother and finds him at a turbulent crossroads in his life.
FULL FRAME THEMATIC PROGRAM: APPROACHES TO CHARACTER
Filmmaker Lucy Walker presents a series of documentaries
featuring memorable subjects revealed through a diverse array of filmmaking
The Arbor (Director: Clio Barnard)
This unconventional portrait of the late British playwright
Andrea Dunbar features actors lip-synching audio interviews with her family,
friends, and neighbors.
Creature Comforts (Director: Nick Park)
In this short film, claymation zoo animals reveal how they
feel about their living conditions, and living perpetually on display.
David Hockney IN THE NOW (in six minutes) (Director: Lucy
A tribute to the evolving work of the iconic British painter
and photographer, an artist who insists on living in the present.
Devil’s Playground (Director: Lucy Walker)
Amish teenagers choose between their faith and the
temptations of the modern world following a period of experimentation known as
The Five Obstructions (Directors: Lars von Trier, Jørgen
Lars von Trier challenges fellow filmmaker Jørgen Leth to
create five new iterations of his film The Perfect Human, placing a new
restriction on each production.
Hôtel Terminus: The Life and Times of Klaus Barbie
(Director: Marcel Ophüls)
This epic examination of the life of Nazi war criminal Klaus
Barbie, the “Butcher of Lyons,” doggedly explores questions of evil,
complicity, memory, responsibility, and evasion.
The Kid Stays in the Picture (Directors: Nanette Burstein,
Robert Evans, the first actor to become head of a major film
studio, narrates this Hollywood insider tell-all detailing his rise, his fall,
and his rise again.
Land of Silence and Darkness (Director: Werner Herzog)
Fini Straubinger, deaf and blind since her teens, attempts to
help those who are similarly afflicted overcome their isolation.
The Lion’s Mouth Opens (Director: Lucy Walker)
With the support of family and friends, a young woman takes
the daring step of determining whether she carries the genetic marker for Huntington’s
Metallica: Some Kind of Monster (Directors: Joe Berlinger,
At work on their album St. Anger, the members of the
legendary band find themselves embroiled in bitter disputes, so they bring in
their therapist to help.
On the Bowery (Director: Lionel Rogosin)
Part-time railroad worker Ray Salyer spends three days
drinking on drifting on Manhattan’s Skid Row in this seminal postwar work of
Portrait of Jason (Director: Shirley Clarke)
Drink in hand, Jason Holiday, a gay African American hustler
and aspiring nightclub performer, regales us with stories of his life.