The twentieth annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival will be held in downtown Durham, N.C., starting on Thursday, April 6, 2017. The festival runs through Sunday, April 9th.
Although tickets are required to attend film screenings and festival events, there are a handful of free things to enjoy at the fest each year – including panel discussions with industry leaders. This can be incredibly helpful to filmmakers interested in learning about what is happening in the industry.
All of the 2017 conversations are free, open to the public, and held at The Durham Hotel.
Here’s the 2017 panel discussion schedule:
- Friday, April 7th at 9:15 am: Framing the Conversation
- Friday, April 7th at 12:15 pm: Out of the Echo Chamber
- Friday, April 7th at 3:15 pm: Advanced Circuitry: 20 Years of Festivals
- Saturday, April 8th at 9:15 am: Sustainability Now
- Saturday, April 8th at 12:15 pm: #DocsSoWhite 2.0: Representation, Agency, and Authorship in Doc Film
- Saturday, April 8th at 3:15 pm: The In-Between
Descriptions of each conversation, taken from the Full Frame website, are included below:
Framing the Conversation
Friday, April 7th at 9:15 am
As part of our 20th anniversary celebration, Full Frame is pleased to launch “Framing the Conversation”, a new series of discussions in the A&E IndieFilms Speakeasy in which individual filmmakers reflect on their work. In this inaugural year, two of the field’s most renowned filmmakers—Chris Hegedus and D A Pennebaker—discuss their careers and the documentary filmmaking profession.
Panelists include: Chris Hegedus (Unlocking the Cage, The War Room) and D A Pennebaker (Don’t Look Back, Monterey Pop). Moderated by: Nancy Buirski (By Sidney Lumet, The Loving Story, Full Frame Founder)
Out of the Echo Chamber
Friday, April 7th at 12:15 pm
Since Donald Trump’s stunning win in the 2016 presidential election, many in the documentary field are asking the same question: Are nonfiction filmmakers, and the profession in general, out of touch with a huge swath of fellow Americans, and if so, where do we go from here?
Panelists include: Katy Chevigny (E-Team, Deadline), Marshall Curry (If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front, Street Fight), and Cynthia Hill (Private Violence, The Guestworker), among others.
Advanced Circuitry: 20 Years of Festivals
Friday, April 7th at 3:15 pm
Full Frame is one of the oldest and largest documentary-only festivals in the United States. Back when we started, there were far fewer nonfiction films and distribution streams than there are now, when there are so many of both. Using the festival as a frame, these esteemed documentary professionals look back at the business of utilizing the festival circuit to promote a film, and how it might work best in the future
Panelists include: Amir Bar-Lev (Long Strange Trip, My Kid Could Paint That), Ryan Harrington (Discovery Communications), Matthew Heineman (City of Ghosts, Cartel Land), and Gary Hustwit (Helvetica, Objectified). Moderated by: Julie Goldman (Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, Weiner)
Saturday, April 8th at 9:15 am
At their recent “Getting Real” conference, the International Documentary Association began a series of conversations on sustainability for the documentary film field. With the NEA, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and PBS once again on the chopping block for federal funding, how do documentary filmmaking professionals respond?
Panelists include: Justine Nagan (POV) and Michael Schoenfeld (Duke University), among others. Moderated by: Claire Aguilar (International Documentary Association).
#DocsSoWhite 2.0: Representation, Agency, and Authorship in Doc Film
Saturday, April 8th at 12:15 pm
Who gets to tell whose story, and how do we diversify the world of documentary filmmaking? This panel, begun at last year’s festival, spawned several national op-eds and articles as filmmakers wrestled with the ethics of representation, as well as building support for colleagues who have less opportunity than those in the ethnic majority. Full Frame advisory board member Leo Chiang participated in last year’s discussion and moderates this year’s group, as panelists discuss an issue that is not evolving quickly.
Panelists include: Patricia Benabe (They Took Them Alive, The Hand That Feeds), Whitney Dow (Two Towns of Jasper, Whiteness Project), and Yance Ford (Strong Island). Moderated by: S. Leo Chiang (Out Run, Mr. Cao Goes to Washington)
Saturday, April 8th at 3:15 pm
Documentary filmmaking often creates a feast-or-famine cycle for makers who continue to produce work over the course of many years. After releasing a film, there’s a period of time in which the filmmakers are on the road across the country and the world to promote their work. The next creative phase involves digging into the often-lonely and highly unglamorous development process of bringing nascent ideas to life as new, full-fledged projects. Per filmmaker request, this open space for conversation is about giving “between-projects” creative life, professional support, and focused creative feedback.
Recordings of the Conversations
Can’t attend the panel discussions in person? The festival typically records and shares the Speakeasy conversations. We’ll keep an eye out for their availability, and share them on the blog.
2016 Full Frame Speakeasy Conversations
Watch the conversations from last year’s festival online now. We’ve embedded them all for you on the blog here. Use the comments to tell us what you think of the conversations.