2019 Lineup

    Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert’s American Factory selected as Opening Night Film. 

    Amazing Grace selected as Closing Night Film.


    Full Frame is proud to announce the lineup for the 22nd annual festival, to be held April 4 – 7 in Durham.

    The 2019 lineup presents 83 documentary films. Of these, 67 are new works from 28 countries, selected from nearly 1,700 submissions to screen in the NEW DOCS and Invited Programs.

    Acclaimed filmmaker, photographer, and writer RaMell Ross will curate the 2019 Thematic Program, Some Other Lives of Time. The festival will honor distinguished filmmakers Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert with its 2019 Tribute


    Read the lineup announcement on Indiewire


    All Inclusive (Director: Corina Schwingruber Ilić) 
    2018, 10 minutes
    This surreal short takes us on board a massive cruise ship where guests partake in waterslides and ziplines, competitions and organized dances, moving through the attractions of this floating carnival in prescribed succession.

    Always in Season (Director: Jacqueline Olive) 
    2018, 89 minutes
    In 2014, teenager Lennon Lacy was found hanging from a swing set in Bladenboro, N.C. The circumstances of his death echo the long horror of lynching in the American South and intersect with the stories of two other communities seeking justice and reconciliation.

    The Ambassador’s Wife (Director: Theresa Traore Dahlberg) 
    2018, 20 minutes
    In this graceful observation, a restless French ambassador’s wife in Burkina Faso dreams of being an opera star, oblivious to her immense privilege.

    Caballerango (Director: Juan Pablo González) 
    2018, 60 minutes
    As family members describe their memories of the events surrounding a young man’s death, long takes quietly observe, through scenes and sounds, a Mexican village experiencing the gradual loss of its traditional ways of life.

    The Changing Same (Directors: Michèle Stephenson, Joe Brewster) 
    2018, 22 minutes
    To publicly confront the horrific history of his hometown, Marianna, Florida, Lamar Wilson runs the same 13-mile trek that ended in the 1934 lynching of Claude Neal.

    Crannog (Director: Isa Rao) 
    2018, 15 minutes
    Believing no being should have to die alone, a young woman creates a hospice for animals, where chickens, sheep, and pigs spend their final days in the embrace of her warmth and compassion.

    Decade of Fire (Directors: Vivian Vázquez Irizarry, Gretchen Hildebran) 
    2018, 76 minutes
    Set against the backdrop of contemporary gentrification protests in the South Bronx, this arresting and invigorating film goes deep into the history of this neighborhood depleted by racist political decisions and left to burn.

    Easter Snap (Director: RaMell Ross) 
    2019, 14 minutes
    In this expressive short film, a group of men in Alabama prepare a hog for butchering. The tender care and ritual nature of this series of steps is captured through textured images and personal conversations.

    Edgecombe (Director: Crystal Kayiza) 
    2018, 15 minutes
    The stories of Shaka Jackson, Doris Stith, and Deacon Joyner, residents of the agricultural community of Edgecombe County, N.C., highlight the spirit of the place they call home, while exploring the lasting legacy of slavery in the American South. 

    Exit Music (Director: Cameron Mullenneaux) 
    2018, 72 minutes
    A tender but unflinching look at a young man with cystic fibrosis preparing himself, and his parents, for the end, this chronicle of the last year of Ethan Rice’s life includes home movies and his original music and stop-motion videos.

    Giants and the Morning After (Directors: Malla Grapengiesser, Per Bifrost, Alexander Rynéus) U.S. Premiere
    2018, 88 minutes
    Lush imagery takes us inside one of Sweden’s smallest municipalities. Set in a deep forest in the mountains, the few thousand people in this remote community hold on to the fabric of their physical and spiritual existence.

    GIVE (Director: David de Rozas) 
    2018, 17 minutes
    With a singular sound design, this film documents retiring Reverend Roland Gordon as he creates an archive on the walls of his church—a new visual history for the African American community in San Francisco.

    Grit (Directors: Cynthia Wade, Sasha Friedlander) 
    2018, 80 minutes
    This sweeping, lyrical look at the lives of residents of East Java, Indonesia, explores the ongoing ramifications of a mudflow disaster, caused by natural gas drilling, that wiped out 16 villages in 2006.

    Harvest Season (Director: Bernardo Ruiz) 
    2018, 83 minutes
    Amid great shifts in climate, technology, and immigration policy, three people navigate the changing tides of the winemaking business in California’s Sonoma and Napa Valleys.

    Histories of Wolves (Director: Agnes Meng) U.S. Premiere
    2018, 23 minutes
    From the village of Pitões das Júnias in northern Portugal comes a collection of chilling tales about encounters with wolves, the tellers’ eccentricities blurring fact and fiction.

    Human Nature (Director: Adam Bolt) 
    2019, 107 minutes
    The development of the gene-editing technology CRISPR sets off an explosive discussion about opportunity versus ethics within the scientific community and beyond.

    Irene’s Ghost (Director: Iain Cunningham) North American Premiere
    2018, 81 minutes
    Iain was young when he lost his mother, Irene. Decades later, in the absence of his own memories, he seeks to unravel the mystery surrounding her death. Animation and poignant interviews propel this compelling story toward unexpected discoveries.   

    It’s Going To Be Beautiful (Directors: Luis Gutiérrez Arias, John Henry Theisen)
    Mexico, U.S.
    2018, 9 minutes
    On the U.S.-Mexico border, military officers and border agents do everything they can to test the strength of eight border wall prototypes in order to select a winning design.

    Jay Myself (Director: Stephen Wilkes) 
    2018, 78 minutes
    The life and art of photographer Jay Maisel radiates from this intimate character piece that follows Maisel as he moves out of his longtime Manhattan studio and home, the graffitied Germania Bank building on the Bowery.

    Kifaru (Director: David Hambridge) 
    2019, 81 minutes
    In Kenya, a dedicated team of rangers watches over Sudan, the world’s last male northern white rhino. Rampant poaching has decimated his subspecies, yet hope remains thanks to his incredible caregivers who are set on both preventing and recovering loss.

    Kolmas Punkt (The Third Point) (Director: Alina Taalman) World Premiere
    Estonia, U.S.
    2019, 23 minutes
    In this experimental short film, dark landscapes provide a mysterious counterpoint to words torn from letters as the filmmaker traces the movements of her grandfather, a sailor from Estonia, in her journey to connect with the past.

    Life Overtakes Me (Directors: John Haptas, Kristine Samuelson) 
    2019, 40 minutes
    Facing deportation, three refugee children sink into an unresponsive sleep state. This Resignation Syndrome, triggered by a decidedly non-childish existential despair, affects a disproportionate number of refugee children in Sweden.

    Los Reyes (Directors: Bettina Perut, Iván Osnovikoff)
    Chile, Germany
    2018, 78 minutes 
    This artful and measured vérité dives into the daily lives of two stray dogs in a Chilean skatepark.

    The Magic Life of V (Director: Tonislav Hristov) 
    Finland, Denmark, Bulgaria
    2019, 87 minutes
    In the wake of a traumatic childhood, Veera turns to live action role-playing as a method of empowerment and escape. This luminous Nordic film accompanies her into wondrous worlds, the most uncanny of which may ultimately be her own.

    Midnight Family (Director: Luke Lorentzen)
    Mexico, U.S.
    2018, 81 minutes 
    Midnight Family follows one family’s high-speed nights as they earn a living driving their privately owned ambulance in Mexico City, combating rival for-profit EMTs in a city where the government provides 45 public ambulances for a population of 9 million.

    Moment to Moment (Director: Mike Attie) World Premiere
    2019, 14 minutes
    After he is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Carl finds purpose in removing the copper wiring from televisions. His wife, Susan, lovingly creates sculptures with the delicate coils, holding on to the profound connection that remains in their lives.

    Mossville: When Great Trees Fall (Director: Alexander John Glustrom) U.S. Premiere
    2019, 75 minutes
    Striking and urgent, this harrowing account of environmental racism follows Stacey Ryan, one of the last remaining residents of a historically African American community, as he fights an influx of petrochemical plants into his town.

    Motherland (Directors: Emily Mkrtichian, Jesse Soursourian)
    2018, 19 minutes 
    In this eloquently crafted film, women in Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory between Azerbaijan and Armenia, courageously work to clear land mines in the wake of a brutal war, combating traditional gender roles and forming close bonds in the process.

    Obon (Directors: André Hörmann, Anna Samo)
    2018, 15 minutes
    Akiko, one of the last living survivors of the Hiroshima atomic bombing, recounts her devastating story through intricate and searing animation.

    One Child Nation (Directors: Nanfu Wang, Jialing Zhang) 
    China, U.S.
    2019, 85 minutes
    In this brave and sensitive film, Nanfu Wang examines the traumatic history of China’s One Child Policy. With the birth of her first baby, she begins to question her family’s own experiences under the program, which gives way to a broader exploration of its lasting imprint. 

    One Thing in Nothing (Director: Whitney Legge) 
    2018, 4 minutes
    A brief meditation on loss and resilience that unfolds through the recollections of children whose homes were destroyed when the Tubbs Fire tore through California’s Santa Rosa County in 2017.

    Only The Moon (Director: Maya Cueva) World Premiere
    2018, 9 minutes
    A Peruvian man’s tale of immigration to the United States and the way his life unfolds afterward is conveyed through lovely animation, connecting his experience to current political rhetoric.

    Our Song to War (Director: Juanita Onzaga) 
    Belgium, Colombia
    2018, 15 minutes
    In honor of the Bojayá massacre, Colombian villagers employ a poetic death ritual that evokes a transformative connection between souls both living and dead.

    Ressaca (Directors: Vincent Rimbaux, Patrizia Landi) North American Premiere
    France, Brazil
    2018, 84 minutes
    In this film, which mimics the arc of a three-act play, art and protest unite for dancers and workers at the Municipal Theatre in Rio de Janeiro.

    Santuario (Directors: Christine Delp, Pilar Timpane) 
    2018, 26 minutes
    Juana Luz Tobar Ortega, a quiet grandmother from Guatemala, took refuge in a Greensboro, N.C., church in the summer of 2017. Nearly two years later, she’s still there.

    Scared of Revolution (Director: Daniel Krikke) U.S. Premiere
    The Netherlands
    2018, 72 minutes
    This raw examination of The Last Poets member Umar Bin Hassan explores both the triumphs and demons of this visionary artist.

    Scenes from a Dry City (Directors: Simon Wood, François Verster) 
    U.S., South Africa
    2018, 13 minutes
    Visually enthralling, this short film surveys the drastic water shortage in Cape Town in the foreboding countdown to Day Zero, when all taps are turned off.

    Stretch (Director: Jay Bedwani) 
    2018, 13 minutes
    In intimate conversations with his parents, and through glorious photography of his routines, an aging acrobat considers the end of his beloved career—his body may let go of the ability to perform before his mind is ready.

    A Thousand Girls Like Me (Director: Sahra Mani) 
    2018, 80 minutes
    Counter to cultural tradition, a resilient Afghan woman in her early 20s publicly speaks out against years of sexual abuse suffered at the hands of her father.

    Titixe (Director: Tania Hernández Velasco) U.S. Premiere
    2018, 62 minutes
    Brimming with symbolic imagery, Titixe is a beautiful and patient montage of a family’s last harvest in Mexico.

    The Watson’s Hotel (Directors: Ragunath Vasudevan, Nathaniel Knop, Peter Rippl) World Premiere
    Germany, India
    2018, 82 minutes
    The Watson’s Hotel is a dawn-to-dusk Mumbai city symphony contained within a single building, the oldest surviving cast-iron structure in India; this once majestic relic of the Empire is now falling to ruin near the civil and high courts.

    Welcome to Harmondsworth (Directors: Felix Bazalgette, Toby Bull) 
    2018, 15 minutes
    A naive group of tourists stroll through a quaint town, but the idyllic surroundings cannot erase what looms at the village’s edge.

    When All Is Ruin Once Again (Director: Keith Walsh) North American Premiere
    2018, 82 minutes
    Shot over eight years, this poetic, black-and-white ode to close-knit rural Irish communities follows the nearby motorway from one end to the other, documenting life’s comings and goings.

    Where the Pavement Ends (Director: Jane Gillooly) 
    2018, 86 minutes
    This meditative piece of living history unwinds the racist relationship between the Missouri towns of Ferguson (once predominantly white) and Kinloch (once predominantly black) and traces a path to the 2014 murder of Michael Brown.

    Where We Belong (Director: Jacqueline Zünd) North American Premiere
    2019, 78 minutes
    Five children divulge their feelings about their parents’ divorces in thoughtful, poetic, and humorous prose.

    The Winter Garden’s Tale (Director: Simon Mozgovyi) North American Premiere
    Ukraine, Czech Republic
    2018, 75 minutes
    Valentina Voronina has devoted her life to a floriculture pavilion where she tends plants and manages repairs to the greenhouse to keep it alive and standing. This heartrending film follows her transition when she’s asked to retire.

    Invited Program

    3 Days 2 Nights (Director: John Breen, Co-Director: Jojo Pennebaker) U.S. Premiere
    2018, 80 minutes
    In 1974, on a family ski vacation, the plane in which Mark and Andy Godfrey were traveling crashed in the Colorado mountains. The brothers, ages 11 and 8, were the only survivors. Years later, they come together to finally talk about the tragedy and reconcile their losses.

    Amazing Grace
    2018, 87 minutes
    Resurrected footage from 1972 captures Aretha Franklin’s electrifying performance with the Southern California Community Choir for the live recording of the late singer’s Amazing Grace, one of the bestselling gospel records of all time.

    The Apollo of Gaza (Director: Nicolas Wadimoff) 
    Switzerland, Canada
    2018, 78 minutes
    Blurring the lines of truth and speculation, reality and myth, this investigative journey seeks to unravel the mysteries around an amazing archaeological find by a Gaza fisherman in 2013—a seemingly ancient bronze statue of Apollo—and its puzzling disappearance. 

    Ask Dr. Ruth (Director: Ryan White) 
    2018, 100 minutes
    Famed sex therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer changed the conversation around intimacy with her frank and exuberant advice. Ask Dr. Ruth charts her meteoric rise, and the 90-year-old Holocaust survivor reveals how her incredible life shaped a profound desire to help people find pleasure.

    Breakthrough (Director: Bill Haney) 
    2019, 90 minutes
    Immunologist James P. Allison, recipient of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Medicine, and medical colleagues reflect on his remarkable career, including the discovery that is revolutionizing cancer treatment.

    Buddy (Director: Heddy Honigmann) 
    The Netherlands
    2018, 86 minutes
    The stories of six people and their guide dogs explore the powerful bond between human and canine.

    Crafting an Echo (Director: Marco Williams) 
    2018, 63 minutes
    This window into the creative process captures the tense interplay between famed choreographer Andonis Foniadakis and members of the Martha Graham Dance Company as they struggle to prepare a new piece in time for its world premiere.

    The Edge of Democracy (Director: Petra Costa) 
    2019, 120 minutes
    Filmmaker Petra Costa intimately follows the rise and fall of Brazilian presidents Dilma Rousseff and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to capture a nation in political crisis, one whose contemporary history mirrors threats to democracy around the world. 

    F/11 and Be There (Director: Jethro Waters) 
    2018, 84 minutes
    An electrifying fusion of music, image, and dialogue, this film captures the 60-plus-year career of photojournalist Burk Uzzle, including his current portrait work with the African American community in Eastern North Carolina.

    Hail Satan? (Director: Penny Lane) 
    2018, 95 minutes
    With humor and searing insight, Penny Lane’s examination of The Satanic Temple reveals the controversial religious movement’s aim to shine a light on the hypocrisy around America’s separation of church and state.

    The Infiltrators (Directors: Alex Rivera, Cristina Ibarra) 
    2019, 95 minutes
    In this seamless blend of reenactment and reality, members of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance enter the Broward Transitional Center in Florida to stop the unjust deportations of detainees.

    Knock Down the House (Director: Rachel Lears) 
    2019, 86 minutes
    Following the campaigns of four political newcomers, all women, Knock Down the House charts their course in the runup to the 2018 congressional midterms as the neophytes challenge powerful incumbents in the Democratic primary.

    Meeting Gorbachev (Directors: Werner Herzog, Andre Singer) 
    2018, 92 minutes
    In this reflection on the legacy of Mikhail Gorbachev, archival footage and interviews with his contemporaries enhance an intimate conversation between the politician who transformed the Soviet Union, thus the world, and director Werner Herzog.

    Mike Wallace Is Here (Director: Avi Belkin) 
    2018, 94 minutes
    Composed entirely of archival footage, with no narration, this penetrating portrait of the storied 60 Minutes journalist—a man for whom interviewing was an aggressive artform and an enduring search for truth—charts Wallace’s highs and lows both on and off the air.

    Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (Director: Stanley Nelson) 
    2019, 115 minutes
    Navigating his professional and personal lives, this remarkable study of the jazz musician unfolds through reflections from musicians, scholars, lovers, and friends. Davis’s own reflections—and the music itself—narrate his extraordinary genius and sometimes turbulent life. 

    The Raft (Director: Marcus Lindeen) 
    Sweden, Denmark, Germany, U.S.
    2018, 97 minutes
    An infamous 1973 social experiment exploring violence and sex put 11 volunteers to sea on a small boat—for three months. The Raft incorporates pristine archival footage and new footage of the surviving participants, who reunite to analyze how the voyage changed their lives.

    RAISE HELL: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins (Director: Janice Engel) 
    2019, 93 minutes
    This dynamic biography captures late political columnist Molly Ivins, the funny, fiery, whip-smart journalist who was unafraid to challenge the political and media establishments, no matter the cost.

    Running with Beto (Director: David Modigliani) 
    2019, 93 minutes
    In 2018, Democrat Beto O’Rourke ran a remarkable grassroots campaign, traversing red-state Texas in a quest to unseat Republican Senator Ted Cruz. This intimate document details the candidate’s innovative approach as it reveals the toll his run for office takes on his family.

    Sea of Shadows (Director: Richard Ladkani) 
    2018, 105 minutes
    A skilled cohort of experts embark on separate, but equally thrilling, rescue missions in the Sea of Cortez to save the vaquita porpoise from extinction.

    Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am (Director: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders) 
    2018, 119 minutes
    In this deft and stirring portrait, candid interviews with the legendary author, as well as colleagues and contemporaries, celebrate Morrison’s inimitable writing career and its profound impact on American literature.

    You Gave Me A Song: The Life and Music of Alice Gerrard (Director: Kenny Dalsheimer) World Premiere
    2019, 80 minutes
    A colorful and vibrant portrait of iconic bluegrass singer Alice Gerrard and her contributions to cultural change, including paving the way for female participation in her craft and challenging segregation on an interracial tour across the Jim Crow South.

    Full Frame Tribute Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert

    American Factory 美国工厂 (Directors: Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert)
    2019, 115 minutes
    More than 2,500 people lost their jobs in 2008 when General Motors closed its plant in Dayton, Ohio, but hopes were raised six years later when a Chinese manufacturer bought the facility with plans to employ American and Chinese workers. With stunning access and cinematography, this film documents the new plant’s opening and the profound cultural collisions and connections that follow. 

    Last Reel (Director: Steven Bognar)
    2014, 8 minutes
    The Little Art Theatre in Yellow Springs, Ohio, faces a fundamental shift. Grappling with changes in technology and film distribution, the theater, to survive, must convert to a digital projection system and relinquish its beloved 35mm projectors.

    The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant (Directors: Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert)
    2009, 40 minutes
    In 2008, General Motors closed their doors in Dayton, Ohio, leaving 2,500 stunned and saddened workers.  The Last Truck chronicles the plant’s final months, until the very last day, from the point of view of the women and men on the assembly line. How does a good job impart dignity and build community?

    A Lion in the House (Directors: Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert)
    2006, 225 minutes
    Filmed over six years, this unflinching film lays bare the experiences of five young people who are battling pediatric cancer. We witness the toll of weeks spent in the hospital and the wrenching side effects of treatment, but also how the children, their families, and caregivers are living with humor and grace. 

    Personal Belongings (Director: Steven Bognar)
    1996, 63 minutes
    Steven Bognar’s first feature tells the story of his immigrant dad. When former freedom fighter Bela Bognar announces he’s returning to his homeland to commemorate the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, a series of unexpected events complicate the filmmaker’s efforts to document the trip and understand his father.

    Picture Day (Director: Steven Bognar)
    2000, 7 minutes
    One school, 601 kids, 12 frames per kid. This playful parade of images contrasts poignantly with audio of the kids interviewing each other about the connections between photographs and losing loved ones.

    Raises Not Roses – The Story of the 9 to 5 Movement (Work-In-Progress Screening) (Directors: Julia Reichert, Steven Bognar)
    2019, 88 minutes
    This film tells the stories of the millions of low-wage, virtually invisible women who populated the clerical pool, served coffee, and suffered sexual harassment before it was recognized as such. In the 1970s, they gathered their courage and rose up against their bosses, large corporations, and institutions. 

    Seeing Red: Stories of American Communists (Directors: Julia Reichert, James Klein)
    1983, 100 minutes
    Seeing Red reveals the untold story of rank-and-file Americans who joined the American Communist Party to fight for social change in the 1930s and the price they paid for it during the McCarthy era of the 1950s. These so-called Reds fought for labor rights, tenants’ rights, food security, and racial equality, and in many cases won victories. 

    Union Maids (Directors: Julia Reichert, James Klein, Miles Mogulescu)
    1976, 50 minutes
    Union Maids weaves together rare archival footage with the personal stories of three remarkable women, embattled workers who rose up to organize and empower their class during the rank-and-file labor movement of the 1930s, with each woman powerfully recounting the pivotal moments when she could no longer remain silent. 

    Thematic Program Some Other Lives of Time

    Araya (Director: Margot Benacerraf)
    Venezuela, France
    1959, 82 minutes
    On the coast of the Araya Peninsula in Venezuela, the sun beats down on the sea, sand, and men below. Salt is the central resource of this land where nothing grows, and a community exists by extracting it manually day and night.

    La Jetée (Director: Chris Marker)
    1962, 28 minutes
    This work of science fiction unspools the mysterious story of a man haunted by an image from his childhood. Composed of black-and-white still photographs, La Jetée presents a dystopian future where scientists conduct time-travel experiments on prisoners.

    Koyaanisqatsi (Director: Godfrey Reggio)
    1982, 87 minutes
    Koyaanisqatsi is a ravishing visual symphony that explores the reaches of modern decay. Glorious cinematography that captures the beauty of uninhabited landscapes before plunging into the frenetic constructions of contemporary life is set to an original score by Philip Glass.

    Mysterious Object at Noon (Director: Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
    2000, 89 minutes
    The filmmaker embarks on a collective storytelling process, asking participants to embellish a narrative from the point where the last person stopped. The construction of the story becomes a catalyst for revealing deeper truths as details about the tellers’ own lives emerge.

    Le Quattro Volte (The Four Times) (Director: Michelangelo Frammartino)
    2011, 88 minutes
    This beautiful work of fiction begins with an aging shepherd in a medieval Calabrian village who tends his herd of goats. A lush visual portrait, Le Quattro Volte offers four meditations on the soul of a man journeying through his natural habitat.

    Twilight City (Director: Reece Auguiste)
    1989, 52 minutes
    In this poetic essay about race, class, and gentrification in London, a fictional letter from a woman to her mother is interwoven with interviews with journalists and historians to reveal a city where people live alongside one another but in very different worlds.

    El Velador (The Night Watchman) (Director: Natalia Almada)
    Mexico, U.S.
    2011, 72 minutes
    At dusk, the sun’s golden light casts an eerie glow on a vast collection of extravagant mausoleums where some of Mexico’s notorious drug lords have been laid to rest. Through the confines of the cemetery, El Velador reflects on a community besieged by violence.