Michelle Benham / Full Frame / / (919) 433-9802


Award Presentation on Opening Night, April 6, Kicks Off Festival’s 20th Anniversary

Durham, N.C.(March 8, 2017) – The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, celebrating its 20th anniversary April 6–9 in Durham, N.C., today announced that it will honor Duke University President Richard Brodhead with its 2017 Advocate Award.

The prestigious Advocate Award is given annually in recognition of individuals who exemplify the heart, soul, and spirit of Full Frame through their leadership and support of the festival and the documentary community. As Duke’s president, Brodhead has personally invested his time and energy as a catalyst for Full Frame, a program of the Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) at Duke University. This focus is indicative of his commitment to the arts, which have flourished at Duke during his 13-year tenure. President Brodhead is also recognized for cultivating and strengthening the vital relationships between the festival, the university, and the city of Durham and its residents.

“Full Frame has become an integral part not only of Duke and Durham but of the international community of artists and professionals working in documentary cinema,” said Brodhead. “I am honored by this recognition, as it has been my privilege to watch the festival grow and thrive, and it has been a continual enjoyment for the university to celebrate this important and inspiring art form every year.”

While much of the recent focus in education has been on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), Brodhead has remained a passionate champion of the arts. At a university with a deserved reputation for producing world-class doctors, lawyers, and business leaders, Brodhead succeeded in simultaneously elevating Duke’s focus on arts as integral to higher education.

“President Brodhead’s support for the arts ensures his legacy of creating more well-rounded students and citizens,” said Full Frame director Deirdre Haj. “He understands that the arts broaden the educational experience from learning how to make a living, to appreciating and valuing what makes a life worth living. I can’t imagine a worthier recipient for the Full Frame Advocate Award on our 20th anniversary.”

Haj added that Brodhead’s involvement was particularly valuable in returning Full Frame to the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke, aligning the festival more closely with the university and making it central to Duke’s contributions to the Triangle region. He is also credited with helping to generate more than $3 billion in financial gifts for the university’s Duke Forward campaign—contributing to the funding of numerous arts-focused programs, including the acclaimed Nasher Museum of Art, the Center for Documentary Studies, and Full Frame—and establishing Duke’s only Master of Fine Arts degree in Experimental and Documentary Arts.

As a result, Full Frame has enjoyed continued success; renowned for its film curation, artist support, and vibrant atmosphere, the festival has evolved into one of the world’s premiere showcases for nonfiction film, and attracts more than 12,000 attendees from around the world to Durham every spring.

Past recipients of the Advocate Award include Durham icons Jim Goodmon and Michael Goodmon, president and vice president of Capitol Broadcasting Company; the eminent Molly Thompson, president of A&E IndieFilms; and Josh Braun, co-president of Submarine Entertainment, the renowned distribution and production company.

Haj will present this year’s award to President Brodhead at the Full Frame Opening Night champagne reception on Thursday, April 6.

For information on the 20th annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, including festival passes and individual tickets to screenings and parties, please visit

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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