Full Frame Announces Additional Programming for 20th Annual Documentary Film Festival

Durham, N.C.March 16, 2017 – The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, celebrating its 20th anniversary April 6–9 in Durham, N.C., has announced its Opening Night and Closing Night films, Center Frames, and additional programming and parties, including the recipients of the 2017 Garrett Scott Documentary Development Grant. An event schedule is included below.

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, directed by Steve James, will be the festival’s Opening Night Film on Thursday, April 6, at the Carolina Theatre’s Fletcher Hall. In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, the only U.S. bank accused of mortgage fraud was the family-owned Abacus Federal Savings in Manhattan’s Chinatown. This stunning film chronicles the Sungs’ legal battle as they fight to defend their business and their family name. James will be joined by members of the Sung family for a post-screening Q&A.

STEP, directed by Amanda Lipitz, will screen as the free Closing Night Film on Sunday, April 9, at Fletcher Hall. This uplifting film follows members of a step-dance team at the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women as they pursue their dreams of attending college. Lipitz and special guests will be in attendance for a conversation after the community screening.

Two films from the Invited Program will be presented as Center Frame screenings in Fletcher Hall: Purple Dreams by Joanne Hock on Friday and May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers by Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio on Saturday. Each film features dynamic stories and subjects from North Carolina, with Purple Dreams presenting its world premiere. Filmmakers and special guests will participate in moderated conversations following the screenings.

Friday and Saturday nights will also feature free outdoor screenings of titles from the 2016 festival: The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble and Presenting Princess Shaw will be shown at Durham Central Park beginning at 8:30 pm. Food truck roundups and music by local DJs will precede the films.

On Saturday afternoon, recipients of the 2017 Garrett Scott Documentary Development Grant will present excerpts of their works in programs prior to a screening of QUEST by 2016 grant recipient Jonathan Olshefski. The 2017 grant has been awarded to Bing Liu for Minding the Gap and to Kavita Pillay for Stalin, Lenin, and Other Tales from South India (working title). The annual grant is presented in honor of filmmaker Garrett Scott, and recognizes first-time filmmakers who bring a unique vision and style to their documentary films.

Full Frame will also hold two free parties for the community: the Late Night Birthday Bash on Thursday night and the Full Frame Closing Night Party on Sunday, both hosted at the 21c Museum Hotel. Each is free to attend and will feature a cash bar with local DJ entertainment.

EVENT SCHEDULE & DESCRIPTIONS

OPENING NIGHT FILM  Thursday, April 6 – 7:30 pm at Fletcher Hall, Carolina Theatre
Abacus: Small Enough to Jail  (Director: Steve James)
In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, the only U.S. bank accused of mortgage fraud was the family-owned Abacus Federal Savings in Manhattan’s Chinatown. This stunning film chronicles the Sungs’ legal battle as they fight to defend their business and their family name.

LATE NIGHT BIRTHDAY BASH Thursday, April 6 – 10:00 pm at 21c Museum Hotel
Free event featuring entertainment by local DJs is open to the public.

CENTER FRAME Friday, April 7 – 7:40 pm at Fletcher Hall, Carolina Theatre
Purple Dreams  (Director: Joanne Hock)
This film follows six students at the Northwest School of the Arts in Charlotte, N.C., who thrive as performers in the first-ever high school musical production of The Color Purple while grappling with difficult and stressful issues in their own lives.  World Premiere

FREE OUTDOOR SCREENING  Friday, April 7 – 8:30 pm  at Durham Central Park

The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble  (Director: Morgan Neville)
Traversing continents and cultures, the cellist and his international music group demonstrate the power of artistic collaboration through performances and personal stories.

Garrett Scott Documentary Development Grant Saturday, April 8 – 1:00 pm at Fletcher Hall, Carolina Theatre

Minding the Gap (Director: Bing Liu)
A group of skateboarders grapple with family violence as they come of age over the course of three years.

Stalin, Lenin, and Other Tales from South India (working title) (Director: Kavita Pillay)
Unbeknown to most people, Stalin and Lenin currently live in the most tropical corner of the world’s largest democracy.

CENTER FRAME  Saturday, April 8 – 7:30 pm at Fletcher Hall, Carolina Theatre
May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers  (Directors: Judd Apatow, Michael Bonfiglio)
Personal, rich, and from the soul, this film follows the equally soulful Avett Brothers as they record a new album, reflect on the creative process, and navigate strong ties while managing lives spent on the road.

FREE OUTDOOR SCREENING  Saturday, April 8 – 8:30 pm at Durham Central Park

Presenting Princess Shaw  (Director: Ido Haar)
Video blogger and aspiring singer Samantha Montgomery is unaware she has a follower and fan in the form of an enigmatic Israeli composer, whose unforgettable YouTube mashups might just help Samantha achieve her dreams.

FREE CLOSING NIGHT FILM  Sunday, April 9 – 7:30 pm at Fletcher Hall, Carolina Theatre (ticket required)
STEP  (Director: Amanda Lipitz)
This inspiring film follows three members of the Lethal Ladies step-dance team at the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women. With the support of their intrepid coach and an uncompromising counselor, they are determined to attend college.

FREE CLOSING NIGHT PARTY  Sunday, April 9 – 6:00 pm at 21c Museum Hotel
Free event featuring entertainment by local DJs is open to the public.

The 2017 Full Frame film slate, including NEW DOCS, Invited Program and Thematic Program lineups, were previously announced. The complete schedule of films is now available online. Individual tickets go on sale March 30, and can be purchased online at fullframefest.org.