Michelle Benham / Full Frame / / (919) 433.9802


Durham, N.C. – March 15, 2017 – The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival celebrating its 20th anniversary April 6–9 in Durham, N.C., has announced the titles included in this year’s Thematic Program, DoubleTake. The special program was curated by Full Frame artistic director Sadie Tillery as a retrospective celebrating the films and filmmakers who helped establish the festival as one of world’s premier showcases of nonfiction cinema.

“It was a remarkable journey to take, looking back over the milestones and moments highlighting two decades of Full Frame,” said Tillery. “Above all else, this retrospective is a celebration of the the artistry, courage, and power of storytelling we see every year from documentary filmmakers around the world. We’re proud to continue to provide a stage where their work can be experienced and appreciated.”

Over two decades, Full Frame has showcased nearly 2,000 documentaries, featuring titles in wide circulation alongside films that are harder to see. While it would be impossible for a single series to encompass all that Full Frame represents to the filmmakers, film lovers, and community members it serves, DoubleTake reflects on a spectrum of films that embody the Full Frame canon.

In addition to the 19 films included in the DoubleTake program—one from each year in Full Frame’s history—the festival’s NEW DOCS slate and Invited Program include 71 additional titles (49 features and 22 shorts), some of which will make their World or North American premieres. Specific screening times and venues will be announced with the release of the full schedule on Thursday, March 16, at Individual tickets go on sale March 30.

2017 Thematic Program: DoubleTake

12 Notes Down (12 Toner ned) (Director: Andreas Koefoed)
This touching portrayal of transition follows a talented adolescent as he is forced to abandon his longstanding role in the Copenhagen Royal Chapel Choir when his voice begins to change. Festival Year: 2009

Benjamin Smoke (Directors: Jem Cohen, Peter Sillen)
A portrait of the band Smoke’s lead singer unfolds through a patchwork of still images, rehearsal and performance footage, black-and-white collages, and interviews with Benjamin himself. Festival Year: 2001

Black Out (Director: Eva Weber)
With no power at home, Guinean children walk miles to study for exams beneath the humming glow of airport, gas station, and parking lot lights. Festival Year: 2013

The Chances of the World Changing (Director: Eric Daniel Metzgar)
What begins as a desire to help save endangered turtles becomes an all-consuming passion for New Yorker Richard Ogust, who eventually shares his apartment with 1,200 tortoises from around the globe. Festival Year: 2006

Father’s Day (Director: Mark Lipman)
With its deceptively restrained tone, this film investigates a father’s passing through edited home movies and a contemporary soundtrack in which family members talk about the father’s life. Festival Year: 2004

Flag Wars (Directors: Linda Goode Bryant, Laura Poitras)
This stark journey into the heart of a divided community documents the gentrification of an African American working-class neighborhood in Ohio, where the white newcomers are mostly gay. Festival Year: 2003

Helvetica (Director: Gary Hustwit)
An insightful examination of typography, graphic design, and global visual culture through the lens of the iconic typeface. Festival Year: 2007

Il Capo (Director: Yuri Ancarani)
This stunning cinematic short follows an Italian machinery conductor as he deftly directs his crew to carve marble out of a mountain. Festival Year: 2011

In Harm’s Way (Director: Jan Krawitz)
An affecting portrait of the filmmaker’s own life story, told through striking contemporary images and excerpts from the “safety first” films shown in school classrooms during the 1950s and 60s. Festival Year: 1998

La Laguna (Director: Aaron Schock)
In the rainforests of southern Mexico, a Mayan boy faces the impending loss of his childhood freedoms as family pressures and economic realities close in. Festival Year: 2016

Last Day of Freedom (Directors: Dee Hibbert-Jones, Nomi Talisman)

Beautiful animation accompanies poignant testimony in this haunting short about a man who discovers his brother has committed a serious crime. Festival Year: 2015

Paradise – Three Journeys in This World (Director: Elina Hirvonen)
A lyrical exploration of the fragile hopes and harsh realities of African immigrant journeys to Spain. Festival Year: 2008

Phantom Limb (Director: Jay Rosenblatt)
This experimental fusion of found footage and home movies takes us through the grieving process the filmmaker, who lost his brother when he was just nine years old, was denied as a child. Festival Year: 2005

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. Festival Year: 2014

Strong at the Broken Places: Turning Trauma into Recovery (Directors: Margaret Lazarus, Renner Wunderlich)
Four individuals who survived unspeakable trauma in their youth tell their stories, and in doing so, make profound statements about inner strength and empowerment. Festival Year: 1999

Sun Come Up (Director: Jennifer Redfearn)
When climate change causes the ocean to slowly consume their idyllic South Pacific island, residents of the Carteret Atoll must make a painful choice—evacuate or cling to the land they love—and time is running out. Festival Year: 2010

Two Towns of Jasper (Directors: Whitney Dow, Marco Williams)
After the murder of a black man makes national headlines, the filmmakers dispatch two crews to Jasper, Texas—one black, one white—to get at the truth of what life in the town is really about. Festival Year: 2002

The Waiting Room (Director: Peter Nicks)
This gripping vérité film is a symphony of patients, caregivers, loved ones, bureaucracy, and hard choices in an Oakland ER’s waiting room. Festival Year: 2012

The Way I Look at You: 5 Stories of Driving School (La bonne conduite: 5 histoires d’auto-école) (Director: Jean-Stéphane Bron)
This uniquely insightful film explores the relationships that develop between five pairs of Swiss driving school instructors and their students; in their obligatory interactions, complex personal stories are revealed. Festival Year: 2000

About Full Frame

The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival is an annual international event dedicated to the theatrical exhibition of nonfiction cinema. Each spring, Full Frame welcomes filmmakers and film lovers from around the world to historic downtown Durham, N.C., for a four-day, morning-to-midnight array of nearly 100 films, as well as discussions, panels, and Southern hospitality. Set within a few city blocks, the intimate festival landscape fosters community and conversation among filmmakers, film professionals, and the general public. The 2016 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival yielded $2,788,650 for Durham’s local economy, and had a local tax impact of $81,890.

The festival is a qualifying event for nominations for the Academy Award® for Best Documentary Short Subject and The Producers Guild of America Awards. The milestone 20th annual festival will showcase nearly 100 documentary features and short films from around the world, some of which will make their World or North American premieres. Festival screenings will be held at multiple locations in downtown Durham, including venues within the iconic Carolina Theatre and the Durham Convention Center.

Serving the local Durham area as well as the documentary film community throughout the year, Full Frame also promotes the festival’s mission by presenting documentary work in the Full Frame Theater and other venues both locally and nationally. Full Frame encompasses education and training opportunities such as the Full Frame Fellows Program, the School of Doc summer program for teenagers, the documentary literacy program Teach the Teachers for local educators, and the annual Youth Screening, drawing hundreds of students and teachers to the Carolina Theatre for an immersive, instructive experience.

The Festival is a program of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, a nonprofit 501(c)3, and receives support from corporate sponsors, private foundations, and individual donors whose generosity provides the foundation that makes the event possible. To learn more about the mission of Full Frame, scheduled films, festival tickets, or how to support Full Frame, visit

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