Looking Back at Full Frame ’08

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The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival came to a close on Sunday, April 6th with the traditional North Carolina barbeque awards ceremony. The first Full Frame since Nancy Buirski stepped down as director featured a streamlined, more user-friendly ticketing process, new venues and a greater diversity of student fellows from colleges and universities around the U.S.

The Full Frame Festival took place at the Carolina Theater in Durham, NC

The Full Frame Festival took place at the Carolina Theater in Durham, NC from April 3-6, 2008.

Despite the persistent drizzle, spirits were high and many of the festival’s screenings sold out. There was a general sense of camaraderie as natives and visitors alike soaked up a year’s worth of docs in just four days. Some of the standouts from my perspective were: Life. Support. Music., an intense portrait of what it takes to bring a loved one back from brain injury by POV alum Eric Metzgar (Chances of the World Changing, POV 2007); City of Cranes by Eva Weber; and My Olympic Summer, a short film by Daniel Robin. My Olympic Summer pushes the boundaries of documentary pretty far. I’ll discuss the film and the issues it raises in a later post.
There’s quite a bit in the blogosphere already about Full Frame ’08. To get a 360-degree picture of the festival, supplement your reading with a visit to All These Wonderful Things and Still in Motion. AJ Schnack and Pamela Cohen both offer incisive takes on many of the discussions around the films that were screened in Durham over the weekend. I especially think the discussion around the credits on Trouble the Water that began on these blogs ought to be continued.
William Greaves accepts a career award at Full Frame, 2008One thing that hasn’t received as much attention in the days since the festival wrapped up is the Full Frame Career Award presented to William Greaves (read Rachel Hall’s essay here). Greaves is among the pioneers of cinema in the U.S., and one of the most accomplished African American directors of his generation. Full Frame was punctuated by screenings of his films Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One and Take 2½, as well as The Fight, and The First World Festival of Negro Arts. The First World, which screened just prior to the awards ceremony, is a masterful display of cinematic prowess and just shows what a brilliant cinematographer Greaves is. His camera follows the explosive dances from around Africa as if he knew what moves were coming next. Unfortunately, The First World is not currently in distribution. The festival also screened a work-in-progress sample of his current project, Once Upon a Time in Harlem, which looks back at the Harlem Renaissance and the evolution of black culture. During his remarks, Greaves shared that the project had recently received major foundation support — good news for documentary fans everywhere.

Yance Ford
Yance Ford
Yance works closely with POV's executive director and programming director to evaluate films submitted to POV She is instrumental in curating the series, a showcase of acclaimed documentary film on PBS. Yance frequently represents POV | American Documentary at conferences, festivals and markets, procuring work from filmmakers both nationally and internationally. Yance also oversees POV's annual call for entries, which yields upwards of one thousand entries, and coordinates POV's annual programming advisory board. Yance is a Programming Consultant and Pre- Screener for film festivals around the country, including the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, the Black Maria Film Festival, the Newport International Film Festival, Latino Public Broadcasting, Creative Capital and the Sundance Film Festival. She has served on festival juries at Full Frame and Silverdocs, appeared on panels at Sunny Side of the Doc and DocuClub and served on the IFP Advisory Committee. A graduate of Hamilton College and the production workshop at Third World Newsreel, Yance is a former Production Stage Manager for the Girls Choir of Harlem and has worked as a Production Manager on numerous independent productions for the Discovery Health and History channels. Ford has also worked in various capacities on the documentaries The Favorite Poem Project, Juanita Anderson, Executive Producer, Brian Lanker's They Drew Fire (PBS), and Barry Levinson's Yesterday's Tomorrows (Showtime). Yance's favorite documentaries include: 1. Hands on a Hard Body 2. Tongues Untied 3. Harlan County, USA 4. Cul de Sac 5. When We Were Kings 6. The Thin Blue Line 7. Night and Fog