Filmmaker RaMell Ross Visits School of Doc

    On Wednesday, Full Frame hosted RaMell Ross, one of the most acclaimed documentarians of 2018. He generously mentored School of Doc students and answered questions about his journey as a filmmaker and his work, including his groundbreaking documentary and 2018 Full Frame Grand Jury winner Hale County This Morning, This Evening. It was an experience the students, staff, and instructors will not soon forget.

    “Visits from established filmmakers like RaMell make a career in documentary filmmaking no longer abstract but real,” said Deirdre Haj, Full Frame’s director. “Support from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences means these young people have an intimate and in-depth encounter not in the classroom but while they are actively working in production. RaMell’s visit is an essential step in their learning of what is possible, regardless of background or where we live, and equally important to us at Full Frame as we continue to refine and improve all that we do with this life-changing program.”

    “RaMell’s visit inspired every School of Doc student, and both instructors, to be the best filmmakers they can be,” said Todd Tinkham, School of Doc instructor. “RaMell is a master of cinematic magic and a delightful human being. He can visit us anytime.” Instructor Eric Barstow added, “RaMell was incredibly generous with both his time and attention to the students of School of Doc. Along with opening their creativity on a technical level, he also facilitated rich conversations around his work.”

    Student Jake Terry-Edmunds said “RaMell’s visit was an amazing experience because it allowed me and my fellow classmates to get insight into the mind of a professional filmmaker and talk about the deeper meanings that are present in films.”

    For their final project, School of Doc students spent several days scouting, planning, and shooting a documentary about The Scrap Exchange in Durham. RaMell joined them on location and offered insightful advice about film techniques and how to tell a story with powerful visuals. The students had a wonderful time and learned so much about the filmmaking process from him.

    “Spending the day with a professional filmmaker like RaMell was incredibly transformative and powerful for our kids,” said Ashley Solesbee, Full Frame’s educational coordinator. “He merged with our talented instructors – jumping in to teach and mentor like he’d been with us from our first day. Our students were so grateful for their time with RaMell and for everything he taught them through his brilliant film, and through that beautiful day he spent at School of Doc.”

    The School of Doc students will present the World Premiere of Renaissance of Reuse: The Scrap Exchange at 6:30 pm on Tuesday, July 17 at Full Frame Theater at American Tobacco Campus in Durham, NC. The event is free and open to the public.

    Hale County This Morning, This Evening is constructed in a form that allows the viewer an emotive impression of the Historic South – trumpeting the beauty of life and consequences of the social construction of race, while simultaneously a testament to dreaming. The film won the Special Jury Award for creative vision at Sundance and the Grand Jury Award at this year’s Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. It has been acquired by Cinema Guild for distribution. The film is scheduled for theatrical release this fall.


    Check out the photo gallery.

    Watch the final School of Doc film Renaissance of Reuse: The Scrap Exchange.