Full Frame 2019 Thematic Program Curated by RaMell Ross
Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker to attend 22nd annual festival, April 4– 7
photo by Maya Krinsky
Durham, N.C. – February 19, 2019 – The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival is pleased to announce that filmmaker, photographer, and writer RaMell Ross will curate its 2019 Thematic Program. Ross’s first film, Hale County This Morning, This Evening, has been described as the birth of “a new cinematic language” (Village Voice) and is nominated for the 2019 Academy Award® for Best Documentary Feature.
The 2019 Thematic Program, Some Other Lives of Time, explores poetic modes of storytelling by highlighting documentary films that offer idiosyncratic experiences—films that create space for viewers to wander their own imaginations to make connections and meaning. The series also examines how time works on screen by revealing, through a range of filmic forms, the way that passing minutes, hours, and days provide a cinematic structure and underscore deeper significance within the work.
“We are thrilled to work with RaMell Ross on this year’s Thematic Program. Hale County This Morning, This Evening is a stunning cinematic achievement, a film that establishes visual ways of communicating beyond words and pushes the boundaries of conventional storytelling,” said Full Frame Artistic Director Sadie Tillery. “In imagining this year’s series, I wanted to explore films that invite us on distinctive journeys and submerge us in the tides of time and place. It is immensely exciting to collaborate with RaMell on this idea. This year’s program allows us to reflect on the documentary form, and even the very experience of watching, through the lens of a visionary filmmaker.”
“I’m interested in the type of filmmaking where the film’s form is a unique body for the content’s life, where the work is of the filmmaker’s encrypted, personal language, where the poetic is inextricable from truth,” said Ross. “The opportunity to collaborate with Sadie to explore the contours of these ideas is a joy in itself and is no surprise coming from the Full Frame team, who have continually produced a festival that exemplifies the integrity and values of the documentary film community. They have great standards for us to try to live up to.”
Ross has a longstanding relationship with Full Frame. In 2014, he screened a work-in-progress of Hale County This Morning, This Evening as a Garrett Scott Documentary Development Grant recipient and the film later screened in competition at the 2018 festival, where it won The Reva and David Logan Grand Jury Award. He returned to Durham in summer 2018 as the visiting filmmaker for Full Frame’s School of Doc, a free filmmaking camp for public high school students that is supported by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Hale County This Morning, This Evening has won numerous prestigious prizes, including the Special Jury Prize for Creative Vision at its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2018. The film was nominated for two IDA awards, two Independent Spirit Awards, and five Cinema Eye Honors. It won the Gotham Award for Best Documentary and a Cinema Eye Award for Best Nonfiction Feature, and has secured international theatrical, broadcast, and streaming distribution as well as garnering multiple awards at top tier film festivals. The film had its broadcast premiere on PBS’ Independent Lens earlier this month.
Ross’s photographs have been exhibited internationally, most recently at a solo exhibition at the Aperture Foundation in New York and in the landmark exhibition New Southern Photography at the Ogden Museum in New Orleans. His writing has appeared in such outlets as the New York Times, Film Quarterly, and the Walker Art Center. In 2015, he was selected as one of Filmmaker Magazine‘s “25 New Faces of Independent Film” and as a New Frontier Artist in Residence at the MIT Media Lab. In 2016, he was a finalist for the Aperture Portfolio Prize, won an Aaron Siskind Individual Photographer’s Fellowship Grant, and was named a Sundance Art of Nonfiction Fellow. In 2017, he was selected for the Rhode Island Foundation’s Robert and Margaret MacColl Johnson Artist Fellowship.
Ross is currently on the faculty at Brown University’s Visual Arts Department and recently completed his first short film, Easter Snap, which premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.
Past curators of Full Frame’s Thematic Program include Amir Bar-Lev, Joe Berlinger, Steve James, Lucy Walker, Chris Hegedus, and D A Pennebaker. Specific titles for the Thematic Program, along with additional attending guests, will be announced in early March with the full lineup of titles, including films in competition and other selected work. Festival passes and ticket packages are available now.