Michelle Benham / Full Frame / / (919) 433.9802

Full Frame Documentary Film Festival Receives
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Grant
for Second Consecutive Year to Fund
“School of Doc” Educational Program

$11,000 Award Supports Intensive Summer Program for Teens

Durham, N.C. – May 1, 2017 – The Academy Foundation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has announced 44 recipients of its 2017 FilmCraft and FilmWatch grant programs. The Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) at Duke University has been awarded a FilmCraft grant of $11,000 to support the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival’s annual School of Doc summer program for teens. The School of Doc is a free five-week camp that teaches attendees all aspects of documentary filmmaking.

A total of $500,000 was awarded by AMPAS in the FilmCraft and FilmWatch categories for the 2017–2018 grants year. Full Frame is the only North Carolina film institution to be awarded a FilmCraft or FilmWatch grant, and was awarded $2,500 above the 2016 grant amount.

“We are enormously grateful that the Academy has once again chosen to honor the School of Doc with this prestigious FilmCraft grant,” said Full Frame director Deirdre Haj. “It is impossible to describe how impactful this program is for the teenagers who participate each year. It has been and will continue to be a life-changing opportunity. We are extremely proud that the School of Doc’s growth mirrors the emergence of North Carolina—and Durham in particular—as a true epicenter for documentary filmmaking.”

The Academy’s FilmCraft and FilmWatch grants were established to identify and empower future filmmakers from nontraditional backgrounds, cultivate new and diverse talent, promote motion pictures as an art form, and provide a platform for underrepresented artists. The School of Doc program supports this mission by cultivating immersive experiences for students and providing a platform for new filmmakers to make connections through meaningful stories.

“This year, the grants will support nonprofit organizations in 24 communities across the country, reach underserved high school students, support emerging and mid–career filmmakers of all ages, and provide unique opportunities for enrichment and engagement with the cinematic community and its artists,” said Buffy Shutt, chair of the Academy’s grants committee.

The 2017 School of Doc will welcome its seventh group of students this summer. Participants will work as a crew to complete their own short documentary film, and learn real-world applications for the skills they acquire. In addition to studying a wide variety of filmmaking techniques, students gain self-esteem from working as a group to tell their own stories.

At the conclusion of the program, in mid-July, each class of young filmmakers hosts a free screening that is open to the public. School of Doc students are also invited to attend the next annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, where their work is screened again and where they learn more about the documentary form by watching films and meeting with attending filmmakers.

The 21st annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival will be held April 5–8, 2018, in Durham, N.C., with Duke University as the presenting sponsor.

2016 School of Doc participants at Full Frame, April 2017. Photo credit: Todd Tinkham.

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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