Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Nixon, Cheney, Hemingway, Beatles Make Full Frame Doc Fest


Full Frame is the famous documentary festival held in Durham, North Carolina every spring. Dawn Porter’s “Gideon’s Army” opens the festival on April 4th. There will be docs about LBJ, Dick Cheney, Richard Nixon, Hemingway, and the Beatles.

Invited Program

Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me (Directors: Drew DeNicola, Olivia Mori)
Myth and music collide in this story of the influence and impact of revered power-pop band Big Star, featuring never-before-seen footage, photos, and interviews.

Citizen Koch (Directors: Carl Deal, Tia Lessin)
A multilayered dissection of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United campaign finance decision as seen through the lens of Wisconsin’s 2011 election standoff.

The Crash Reel (Director: Lucy Walker)
After a training accident leaves Kevin Pearce with a traumatic brain injury, the intrepid snowboarder undertakes a remarkable recovery.

DaVinci (Director: Yuri Ancarani)
This surreal portrait of a fantastic voyage features visuals from a camera-based surgical computer controlled by a single joystick.

The Editor and the Dragon: Horace Carter Fights the Klan (Directors: Martin M. Clark, Walter E. Campbell)
A smalltown newspaper editor in North Carolina stands up to the KKK and is awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1953 for his courageous and tireless dissent.

Fight Like Soldiers, Die Like Children (Director: Patrick Reed)
If you’ve been to hell and back, how do you exorcise the memories? Former U.N. commander Roméo Dallaire’s new mission: end the use of child soldiers. North American Premiere

First Cousin Once Removed (Director: Alan Berliner)
In this stirring tribute, Alan Berliner traces the tenacious lines of connection between him and his cousin Edwin Honig as Edwin slowly succumbs to Alzheimer’s disease.

Free Angela & All Political Prisoners (Director: Shola Lynch)
Activist Angela Davis recounts her 1970 arrest and trial, which helped define her life as a revolutionary icon and champion of free speech.

The Fruit Hunters (Director: Yung Chang)
Extremely dedicated connoisseurs seek to devour, yet also sustain, the world’s most intoxicating and elusive produce.

Gideon’s Army (Director: Dawn Porter)
This remarkable film—a powerful testament to what it means to dedicate one’s life to the service of others—follows three young public defenders as they wrestle with massive caseloads and overwhelming student loans in order to ensure the rights of the accused.

If You Build It (Director:Patrick Creadon)
Innovative teachers, striving students, and a radical curriculum in Bertie County, N.C., are chronicled over the course of one transformative year.
World Premiere

In So Many Words (Director: Elisabeth Haviland James)
This intensely revealing biography of writer Lucy Daniels expands the documentary form with its imaginative visualization of the stresses of her early life. World Premiere

The Last Shepherd (L’ultimo pastore) (Director: Marco Bonfanti)
This beautifully shot story of the last travelling shepherd shows that pastoral bliss may be sustained even in industrial northern Italy.

Leviathan (Directors: Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Verena Paravel)
This gripping multi-perspective account takes us deep within the shadows of a commercial fishing vessel.

Manhunt (Director: Greg Barker)
This spellbinding film dissects the painstaking search for Osama bin Laden, which originated with the “Sisterhood,” a remarkable team of CIA analysts.

Mussels in Love (L’Amour des Moules) (Director: Willemiek Kluijfhout)
In this magnificently photographed and playful ode, a variety of characters profess their devotion to the briny mollusk. US Premiere

Open Heart (Director: Kief Davidson)Rwandan six-year-old Angelique must have heart surgery, but her dad isn’t allowed to go with her to the hospital in Sudan, or to recover her body if she dies.

Pandora’s Promise (Director: Robert Stone)
Environmentalists and former anti-nuclear activists on three continents reflect upon their changes-of-heart about the safety and tremendous potential of nuclear energy.

Running from Crazy (Director: Barbara Kopple)
In light of her family’s history of suicide, Mariel Hemingway refuses to let mental illness overwhelm her own life: “control is everything.”

Sofia’s Last Ambulance (Director: Ilian Metev)Krassi, Mila, and Plamen staunchly navigate the potholes that pepper Bulgaria’s capital, Sofia, in one of the city’s few remaining ambulances.

Venus and Serena     (Directors: Maiken Baird, Michelle Major)
This unprecedented look at the tennis legends’ lives on and off the court is accentuated by the testaments of family, friends, and some of their more famous fans.

We Always Lie to Strangers (Directors: AJ Schnack, David Wilson)
This touching portrayal takes us into the lives of four families who perform for tourists in the “live music capital of the world,” Branson, Missouri.

Which Way Is the Front Line from Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington (Director: Sebastian Junger)
A warm and candid portrait of the extraordinarily brave, empathic photographer, who died in Libya in 2011, by his partner on the film Restrepo.

The World According to Dick Cheney (Directors: R.J. Cutler, Greg Finton)
A wealth of archival material and interviews shape this comprehensive, even-handed portrait of one of America’s most divisive politicians.


12 O’Clock Boys (Director: Lotfy Nathan)
A struggling adolescent seeks acceptance from a group of extreme dirt bikers, an illegal gang seen to be terrorizing the streets of Baltimore.

After Tiller (Directors: Martha Shane, Lana Wilson)
After the murder of their friend and colleague Dr. George Tiller, only four physicians continue to perform late-term abortions, risking their lives for women’s right to choose.

AKA Doc Pomus (Directors: Peter Miller, Will Hechter)
This biopic celebrates blues legend Doc Pomus, AKA Jerome Felder, a man who didn’t just write “Lonely Avenue” but lived it.

American Promise (Directors: Michèle Stephenson, Joe Brewster)
This personal film follows the directors’ son and his best friend from their first day of kindergarten through high school graduation, and how their lives diverge.

Ash (Director: Nathan S. Duncan)
This moody, experimental portrait of Austin State Hospital’s vacated spaces is a ghostly memorial to the patients who once stayed there. World Premiere

The Baby (De Baby) (Director: Deborah van Dam)
As one woman pieces together the fragmented memories of her childhood, she finds herself linked to a photograph of Anne Frank holding an infant girl. North American Premiere

Battery Man (Biba Struja) (Directors: Dusan Cavic, Dusan Saponja)
“Electricity has no friends but me.” The story of a (super)man who can withstand, and control, up to 20,000 volts of electricity.

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. North American Premiere

Blood Brother (Director: Steve Hoover)
A man’s life is changed forever when he travels to India and realizes he cannot leave the children he has met at an orphanage behind.

Buzkashi! (Director: Najeeb Mirza)
A visually stunning film in which a Tajikistani shepherd must confront momentous changes both at home and in his beloved sport of Buzkashi.

By Her Side (Ik stond erbij) (Director: Niels van Koevorden)
Three fathers-to-be share their hopes, dreams, and anxieties as they anticipate the birth of their children. North American Premiere

Camera/Woman (Director: Karima Zoubir)
A Moroccan divorcée supports her family by documenting wedding parties while navigating her own series of heartaches. North American Premiere

Cutie and the Boxer (Director: Zachary Heinzerling)
The tension between an artist and his supportive wife of forty years is further strained when a curator expresses interest in her work.

Dance for Me (Dans for mig) (Director: Katrine Philp)
A teenage Russian dancer relocates to Denmark to live with his adolescent partner so they can prepare for a series of prestigious ballroom championships. North American Premiere

Downloaded (Director: Alex Winter)
The history of Napster, from its humble chatroom beginnings to its takedown at the hands of a music industry that didn’t know what hit it.

The Expedition to the End of the World (Ekspeditionen til verdens ende) (Director: Daniel Dencik)
A motley collection of scientists and artists board a restored three-mast schooner and set out for uncharted territory, engaging in equal measures of exploration and whimsy.

Far Out Isn’t Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story (Director: Brad Bernstein)
Expect the unexpected from this outré graphic artist, erotic illustrator, and revolutionary children’s book author and his unconventional views.

First Comes Love (Director: Nina Davenport)
In this autobiographical portrait, Nina Davenport boldly lays bare the hardships and triumphs of her journey toward single motherhood in a modern age.

God Loves Uganda (Director: Roger Ross Williams)
American Christian evangelists export virulent anti-gay teachings to Sub-Saharan Africa with deadly consequences.

Good Ol’ Freda (Director: Ryan White)
Liverpudlian teenager Freda Kelly was the Beatles secretary and tells “one of the last true stories of the Beatles you’ll ever hear.”

Homegoings (Director: Christine Turner)
This film explores the mind of a man whose heart and passion for the dead inspires our own appreciation for the human soul.

Irish Folk Furniture (Director: Tony Donoghue)
Spirited animation brings handmade furniture to life in this colorful and delightfully quirky slice of rural Ireland.

Magnetic Reconnection (Director: Kyle Armstrong)
The Canadian Arctic is the terrestrial, and extraterrestrial, setting for a contemplative survey of transience, from generations-old decay to fleeting particles of light.

Maidentrip (Director: Jillian Schlesinger)
Follow teenager Laura Dekker across three oceans and five continents on her journey to become the youngest person to sail around the world—alone.

Medora (Directors: Andrew Cohn, Davy Rothbart)
In Indiana, a high school basketball team on a 44-game losing streak isn’t reaching for the championship—they just want to win a single game.

Menstrual Man (Director: Amit Virmani)
A microenterpreneur has a dream: to reduce gynecological diseases among rural Indian women by teaching them to make, and sell, sanitary pads. World Premiere

Muscle Shoals (Director: Greg ‘Freddy’ Camalier)
There is more than meets the ear in these vivid and surprising accounts of performance and perseverance in the Muscle Shoals, Alabama, music scene.

Nile Perch (Director: Josh Gibson)
An austere and contemplative observation of Lake Victoria fishermen rendered in arresting chiaroscuro.

Our Nixon (Director: Penny Lane)
Super 8 footage by Oval Office intimates Haldeman, Ehlrichman, and Chapin deliver an astonishingly fresh view of the Nixon White House.

Outlawed in Pakistan (Directors: Habiba Nosheen, Hilke Schellmann)
After a young woman is brutally raped, her family overcomes severe social customs and tribal norms in order to take her case to trial.

Pablo’s Winter (Director: Chico Pereira)
Former Almadén mercury miner Pablo spends his halcyon days cursing, kvetching, and chain-smoking to the chagrin of his wife and his doctor.

The Palace (Director: Tomasz Wolski)
A fascinating and witty cinematic portrait of a gigantic Soviet-era edifice and its denizens in Warsaw, Poland.

The Pleasures of Being Out of Step (Director: David L. Lewis)
This non-linear profile of jazz critic Nat Hentoff is laced with music and illuminates the civil libertarian’s enduring influence. World Premiere

Pussy Riot – A Punk Prayer (Directors: Mike Lerner, Maxim Pozdorovkin) The titular band’s controversial performance and subsequent imprisonment are documented in this revealing portrait of the women and their cause.

Reborning (Directors: Yael Bridge, Helen Hood Scheer)
The story of one woman’s calling to create dolls that look exactly like newborn babies.

The Record Breaker (Director: Brian McGinn)
Even though he holds more Guinness Book of World Records than anyone else on the planet, Ashrita Furman is not slowing down.

Remote Area Medical (Directors: Jeff Reichert, Farihah Zaman)
Over the course of one weekend, RAM’s dedicated team sets up a “pop-up” clinic at a NASCAR speedway to provide no-cost, accessible healthcare to people in need. World Premiere

A River Changes Course (Director: Kalyanee Mam)
Is convenience progress? A beautiful and heartbreaking vérité look at three families subsisting in (what may be the end of) rural Cambodia.

Slomo (Director: Josh Izenberg)
A wealthy neurologist leaves the rat race behind and gracefully skates his way, on one foot, to spiritual fulfillment.

Spinning Plates (Director: Joseph Levy)
From a small cocina to a mecca for country dining to a three-star restaurant in Chicago, this film celebrates our passion for eating out.

A Story for the Modlins (Director: Sergio Oksman)
After discovering a stranger’s box of family photos on the sidewalk, Oksman pieces together a sketch of the Modlins’ bizarre lives.

Suitcase of Love and Shame (Director: Jane Gillooly)
This experimental film reconstructs a mid-century love affair using erotically charged correspondence left behind on reel-to-reel tape. North American Premiere

Taxidermists (Director: Nicole Triche)
This story of artists who love wildlife culminates in the “Olympics of taxidermy” and presents some of the most breathtaking animal sculptures ever captured on film.

True-Life Adventure (Director: Erin Espelie)
A dramatic four-minute nature documentary chronicling what happens in a tiny area of a Rocky Mountain stream on a lovely June afternoon. North American Premiere

Twenty Feet from Stardom (Director: Morgan Neville)
Backup singers, the unsung heroes of pop music, finally get their moment in the spotlight in this jubilant history and appreciation.

The Undocumented (Director: Marco Williams)
An unvarnished account of the repatriation of the remains of immigrants who died crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in the Arizona desert. World Premiere

A Will for the Woods (Directors: Amy Browne, Jeremy Kaplan, Tony Hale, Brian Wilson)This film explores the green burial movement by focusing on one man’s quest for a final resting place that will do no harm to the earth. World Premiere

Wolf Mountain (Directors: Dan Duran, Brendan Nahmias, Sam Price-Waldman)
At Wolf Mountain Sanctuary in the Mojave Desert, Tonya Littlewolf literally runs with the wolves, those that were born in captivity and are unsuited for life as pets or in the wild.

Wrong Time Wrong Place (Director: John Appel)
Survivors of the 2011 bombing and mass shooting in Norway recount the day’s tragic events in this look at how chance circumstances can have profound consequences. North American Premiere

You Can’t Always Get What You Want (Director: Scott Calonico)
Diplomacy, arm-twisting, and gastronomy as lifted from LBJ’s daily diaries and recorded phone conversations and animated by archival photographs.

Yucca Mtn Tally (Director: Phoebe Brush)
An artful reflection on a nuclear waste repository in the Nevada desert is filmed against a backdrop of boundless horizon and thoughts about deep time.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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