Festival coverage sponsored by IndiePix.
We're just days before the 11th edition of the prestigious Full Frame Film Festival kicks off in Durham, North Carolina. This year's fest is the first without festival founder Nancy Buirski in the captain's seat, although Buirski is programming the "Inhabiting Space" Sidebar (you can read her essay on the subject here).
In addition to 56 features in the New Docs section of the fest, Full Frame is offering special screenings of more than a dozen recent favorites, including Nanette Burstein's AMERICAN TEEN, Lucia Small and Ed Pincus' THE AXE IN THE ATTIC and Werner Herzog's ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD.
Traditionally, the festival doesn't release the names of its competition slates until the day the festival begins (this has led to some controversy in years past), but we've managed to get a sneak peak at this year's lineup for the Grand Jury prize.
The 15 films that were selected (3 more than last year) offer a wide variety of topic and style, with both newcomers and award-winning veterans in the running. Filmmakers RJ Cutler, Thomas Allen Harris, Gary Hustwit, Lucy Walker and the Flaherty Seminar's Mary Kerr constitute this year's jury.
Here. with screening times, are this year's films in consideration for the Anne Dellinger Grand Jury Award (descriptions provided by the festival):
AT THE DEATH HOUSE DOOR
Directed by Steve James and Peter Gilbert
This film offers an unflinching look at the career of Carroll Pickett,
who presided over ninety-five executions during his fifteen-year tenure
as death house chaplain to the Walls prison unit in Huntsville, Texas.
Screens Friday, April 4 at 7:15 PM at the Durham Civic Center
AT THE DEATH HOUSE DOOR premiered at SXSW.
THE BETRAYAL (NERAKHOON)
Directed by Ellen Kuras and Thavisouk Phrasavath
Exquisitely photographed over twenty-three years, this epic film
follows one family of Laotian refugees who escaped the ravages of the
Vietnam War to resettle in the United States.
Screens Saturday, April 5 at 4:15 PM at the Durham Civic Center
THE BETRAYAL premiered at Sundance.
BIGGER, STRONGER, FASTER*
Directed by Christopher Bell
An exhilarating synthesis of interviews, archival footage, and striking
personal testimony provide an in-depth look at body image in America
and the increasing role of performance enhancing drugs in Americans'
quixotic search for perfection.
Screens Friday, April 4 at 4:15 PM at the Carolina Theater - Fletcher Hall
BIGGER, STRONGER premiered at Sundance and has also screened at True/False. I wrote about the film here.
Directed by Stefan Forbes
The rollicking, controversial story of Lee Atwater, a blues-playing
kingmaker who helped elect three Presidents, reshaped American
politics, and rocked the (Grand Old) Party.
Screens Saturday, April 5 at 7:45 PM at the Durham School of the Arts - Weaver Auditorium
GONZO: THE LIFE AND WORK OF DR. HUNTER S. THOMPSON
Directed by Alex Gibney
A richly entertaining and thoughtful look at the "gonzo" journalist and great American iconoclast.
Screens Friday, April 4 at 10 PM at the Durham Civic Center
GONZO premiered at Sundance and has also screened at True/False and SXSW. I wrote about the film here.
Directed by Tell Johansson and Peter Gerdehag
North American Premiere
This is the story of Stig-Anders, a truly old-fashioned farmer whose
epic love for his horses and the remote Swedish village they call home
represents the last of a dying breed.
Screens Saturday, April 5 at 1:45 PM at the Carolina Theater - Cinema One
Directed by Aitor Arregi and Jose Mari Goenaga
Lucio, a seventy-five-year-old Spanish anarchist, recounts his exploits
as a "good bandit" who swindled twenty-five million dollars from the
First National Bank (now CitiBank) in support of radical social
Screens Friday, April 4 at 8 PM at the Carolina Theater - Cinema One
LUCIO previously screened at IDFA and True/False
MAN ON WIRE
Directed by James Marsh
In 1974, young Frenchman Philippe Petite spent an hour balancing on a
high wire suspended between the new Twin Towers of the World Trade
Center before being hauled off by police. Through meticulous
recreations and intimate interviews with all involved, this moving film
unveils the intricate preparations for what was to become the "artistic
crime of the century."
Screens Saturday, April 5 at 7:30 PM at the Carolina Theater - Fletcher Hall
MAN ON WIRE premiered at Sundance and has also screened at True/False. I wrote about the film here.
THE ORDER OF MYTHS
Directed by Margaret Brown
The secret societies and young kings and
queens of Mardi Gras in Mobile, Alabama, inhabit a world invested in
many traditions, including segregation.
Screens Saturday, April 5 at 1 PM at the Durham Civic Center
ORDER OF MYTHS premiered at Sundance and has also screened at True/False and SXSW. I wrote about the film here.
STRANDED: I've come from a place that crashed on the mountains
Directed by Gonzalo Arijon
The incredible story of the famous 1972 plane crash in the Andes
reveals the importance of friendship and solidarity in the face of
Screens Friday, April 4 at 1 PM at the Durham Civic Center
STRANDED premiered at IDFA and has also screened at Sundance and True/False. I wrote about the film here.
Directed by Iris Olsson
North American Premiere
Eleven-year-old Svetlana lives in a children's home in Karelia, Russia,
but she will spend what promises only at first blush to be an idyllic
summer in Finland with host parents.
Screens Friday, April 4 at 2 PM at the Carolina Theater - Cinema One
Directed by Doug Pray
Trading in a budding medical career for surfing in the 1950s, Dr.
Dorian"Doc" Paskowitz built his own way of life, traveling the
continent in a 24-foot-long camper with his wife and nine kids in tow.
Screens Saturday, April 5 at 10 PM at the Durham Civic Center
SURFWISE premiered at Toronto and has also screened at IDFA and Denver.
TODAY THE HAWK TAKES ONE CHICK
Directed by Jane Gillooly
In Swaziland, a country ravaged by AIDS, elderly women—or "gogos"
(grandmothers)—take care of children, many of them orphans. But what
will happen when the gogo is gone?
Screens Saturday, April 5 at 6:45 PM at the Durham Arts Council
Previously, TODAY THE HAWK has screened in Boston at the Museum of Fine Arts.
TROUBLE THE WATER
Directed by Tia Lessin and Carl Deal
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Ninth Ward resident Kimberly Roberts
turns on her video camera and so begins an inspiring story of heroism
Screens Friday, April 4 at 4:30 PM at the Durham Civic Center
TROUBLE premiered at Sundance (where in won the Grand Jury Prize).
UP THE YANGTZE
Directed by Yung Chang
This film takes the viewer on a poignant farewell tour of the Yangtze
River, meeting some of the two million inhabitants of shoreline
villages who will lose their homes when the Three Gorges Dam is
Screens Thursday, April 3 at 4:15 PM at the Carolina Theater - Fletcher Hall
UP THE YANGTZE previously screened at IDFA and Sundance.
Much more this week as we prepare for Full Frame 2008 and full coverage of the festival this weekend from Durham.