Full Frame: Film Festival Announces Slate of Documentaries
Full Frame Documentary Film Festival founder, CEO and Artistic Director Nancy Buirski released the slate of 83 new documentaries chosen for "New Docs: Films in Competition," as well as the lineup of special programs and invited films.
To celebrate Full Frame's 10th anniversary, "New Docs: Films in Competition" reaches a record number with a mix of 62 features and 21 shorts, with 17 world premieres, 11 North American premieres and three U.S. premieres. "New Docs: Films in Competition" netted over 1,100 submissions this year from filmmakers both in the U.S. and from around the world.
World premieres cover an array of subjects from Le Cirque's Sirio Maccioni and his dynamic family to a world-renowned English psychic to Palestine, where two mothers from opposite sides of the Mideast conflict come together to confront their painful connection.
The festival also offers up never-before-seen footage of Bob Dylan and a Hunter S. Thompson work-in-progress.
This year, the festival received an unprecedented number of films about Africa and will present them in a sidebar along with "Africa Stories," a panel consisting of many of their directors to look at the growing interest in Africa by filmmakers from outside the continent.
Selected for the opening night film is the North American premiere of Gereon Wetzel's "Castells," documenting one season with the Colla Joves, a 400-person human pyramid building team from the small town of Valls in Catalonia. The film gracefully and exuberantly illustrates the many ways a community can hold together.
Buirski reflected on this choice, "The jubilant story of community that is at the heart of this lovely film deeply resonated with us as we get ready to welcome back the filmmakers and audiences that have made this festival possible for 10 years. These four festival days bring our own community together to see films that make us laugh or ask us to bear terrible witness, excite our curiosity or shock us with outrage, and always give us new perspectives. We are really proud of the mix of films and panels that we'll be sharing this year and we are looking forward to the conversations they'll spark."
Center Frame, introduced last year as a new element of the festival's programming highlighting films with extended conversations with special guests, will present two events. "Larry Flynt The Right to be Left Alone" is the story of the pugnacious First Amendment defender and pornography publisher. Flynt will join the filmmaker onstage. "In the Shadow of the Moon," a film that features the surviving men who walked on the moon, will be accompanied by an exciting presentation by the Morehead Planetarium.
"The Southern Sidebar: Truth and Reconciliation" will feature a panel and three films that look at reunion and resolution in the American South: Marco Williams' "Banished," Godfrey Cheshire's "Moving Midway" and Adam Zucker's "Greensboro: Closer to the Truth," which will be followed by a panel dealing with the critical issues brought up by these films.
A full roster of invited films round out the 2007 program including:
n The theatrical premiere of DA Pennebaker's new work, "Bob Dylan: 65 Revisited," culled from over 20 hours of never-before-seen footage 40 years after the release of "Don't Look Back";
n "Conjure Bearden" directed by Tom Whiteside comprised entirely of archival footage of 1930s African American life in North Carolina, with a stirring score by Anthony Kelley;
n Spike Lee's renowned film, "Do The Right Thing," about the tensions that arise on the hottest day of the year in Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood;
n "Nuremberg: The Nazis Facing Their Crimes," Christian Delage's film includes new courtroom footage by John Ford;
n Jeff Plunkett and Jigar Mehta direct "Playing the News," about men who create and play computer games based on actual war events -- with a documentary gaming panel;
n "The Prisoner or: How I Planned to Kill Tony Blair," directed by Michael Tucker and Petra Epperlein, a recollection of an Iraqi journalist's capture and incarceration after being wrongfully accused of plotting to assassinate the British Prime Minister, preceded by;
n Jacqueline Goss' "Stranger Comes to Town," an animated short on the alienating experience of immigrating to the U.S.;
n A work-in-progress, "Gonzo: The Life of Hunter S. Thompson," directed by Alex Gibney;
n Peter Raymont's new work-in-progress, "A Promise to the Dead: The Exile Journey of Ariel Dorfman," exploring the experiences of the Chilean novelist and playwright.
Author Allan Gurganus will be on hand to help honor Ross McElwee as Full Frame presents him with the 2007 Career Award. As part of this tribute, Full Frame will be screening four of McElwee's films: "Charleen," "Backyard," "Sherman's March" and "Time Indefinite." Full Frame's 2007 Industry Award will be presented to PBS' ground-breaking documentary series P.O.V.
Woven throughout the four-day festival will be Full Frame's 10th anniversary program, "Power of Ten," in which 10 powerhouse filmmakers, writers, and producers including St. Clair Bourne, Charles Burnett, Ariel Dorfman, Cara Mertes, Walter Mosley, Michael Moore, Mira Nair, DA Pennebaker, Julia Reichert, and Martin Scorsese, have selected films that reflect on the past decade. The guest curators are expected to be in attendance to introduce and share their thoughts on these films and their impact both personally and culturally.
The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival is scheduled for April 12 -15. For more information visit www.full framefest.org.
More like this story