Spotlight: Full Frame

courtesy Full Frame Documentary Film Festival

courtesy Full Frame Documentary Film Festival

by Jessie Ammons

You can catch next year’s possible Oscar nominees in Durham this month.

Full Frame Documentary Film Festival often debuts works that go on to become acclaimed independent films. Because it’s an Oscar-qualifying festival for documentary shorts, the short that wins its juried award is automatically eligible for Academy Award nomination consideration. Last year’s winner, White Earth, was one of five nominated documentary shorts at this year’s Oscars. The Full Frame lineup packs hundreds of productions – from shorts to feature-length films – at all times of day April 9-12, in various venues.

Last year, Full Frame attendees were the first to see Raleigh-based Kenneth Price’s film The Hip-Hop Fellow about local hip hop artist and producer 9th Wonder. It’s now garnered ample recognition and gone on to multiple other festivals (you can watch it online at

This year, don’t miss Althea, a look at the life of African American tennis great Althea Gibson. It was directed, produced, and shot by Durhamites Rex Miller and Elisabeth Haviland James, and by Full Frame founder Nancy Buirski. Be on the lookout, too, for the debut of Chapel Hill-based filmmaker Olympia Stone’s latest film, Curious Worlds: The Art & Imagination of David Beck.

While the films take center stage, also check out opening parties, question-and-answer sessions, and more. Follow the festival at @FullFrame on Twitter to keep up with the lights, camera, and action.