Full Frame Documentary Film Festival Announces 2015 Tribute and Thematic Program

    Durham, N.C. – February 10, 2015 – The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival will honor Marshall Curry with the 2015 Tribute Award, presenting a retrospective of his work. This year’s Thematic Program will look at the ethics of representation in documentary film through a series curated by filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal.

    “Full Frame is where I had the first showing of my first film, Street Fight,” Curry said. “I have a fond memory of pacing around outside the theater, nervously trying to keep from throwing up. For a couple of years before that, I had been going down to the festival from New York just to watch films and try to learn how they were made. After screenings I would stumble out into the North Carolina springtime and see my documentary heroes having BBQ in the courtyard. It’s a magical festival, well curated, with a warm and generous spirit.”

    “Marshall’s films have been a highlight of this festival over the years, and we’re excited to revisit his work, the people he’s introduced us to, and his profound approach to capturing their stories on screen,” said director of programming Sadie Tillery.

    Curry is a two-time Academy Award®–nominated documentary director, producer, cinematographer, and editor. His first film, Street Fight, won the Audience Award at the Tribeca Film Festival, AFI/Discovery SilverDocs Festival, and Hot Docs Film Festival. It also received the Jury Prize at Hot Docs and was nominated for a Writer’s Guild of America Award, an Oscar®, and an Emmy. Curry’s next film, Racing Dreams, won the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival Jury Prize for Best Documentary. His film If a Tree Falls: The Story of the Earth Liberation Front won the Sundance Film Festival award for Best Documentary Editing and was nominated for an Academy Award®. Curry’s most recent film, Point and Shoot,won Best Documentary at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival and was nominated for a Gotham Independent Film Award, an IDA Award, and a Cinema Eye Honors Award. Curry’s films have been broadcast nationally on PBS, and have played around the world on the BBC, HBO Latin America, and others. Curry also served as executive producer of Mistaken for Strangers, which opened the Tribeca Film Festival in 2013.

    For this year’s Thematic Program, Full Frame will focus on the complex moral questions around documentation, tapping filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal to curate.

    “The ethics and politics of representation have preoccupied me since I started making films two decades ago,” said Baichwal. “It came to a head in 2003 with The True Meaning of Pictures. I realized that by showing the photographs of Shelby Lee Adams in our film, we were subject to exactly the same criticism leveled against him for taking them. And I knew we had to address this in some way beyond having people argue about whether the representation was ethical or not. I also realized that there is no overall rule for tackling these issues: each context, each situation, demands its own complex, delicate, honest, ethical approach.”

    Tillery added, “I was drawn to the idea that documentary imagery can be at once intensely beautiful and deeply distressing. Working in a moving, visual medium, the undertaking of representation is even more layered with decisions around what is shown, how it’s framed, and in what way it’s discussed. I admire these intersections in Jennifer’s films and am excited about her program.”

    “Full Frame’s Thematic Program allows a unique and deeply thoughtful kind of curation, and I am both pleased and honored to participate this year,” said Baichwal.

    Jennifer Baichwal has been directing and producing documentaries for 20 years. Her films include Let It Come Down: The Life of Paul Bowles, about enigmatic expatriate novelist Paul Bowles; The True Meaning of Pictures, about the work of Appalachian photographer Shelby Lee Adams; Manufactured Landscapes, about the work of artist Edward Burtynsky; Act of God, about the metaphysical effects of being struck by lightning; Payback, a documentary adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth; and Watermark (co-directed by Edward Burtynsky), about human interaction with water around the world. Her films have screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, Hot Docs Film Festival, and Sundance Film Festival, and have won an International Emmy Award for Best Arts Documentary, the Toronto Film Critic’s Association prize for Best Canadian Film, the Canadian Media Awards prize for Best Documentary, and numerous other awards.

    Both Baichwal and Curry will attend the festival. Specific titles for the Thematic Program and Full Frame Tribute, along with additional attending guests, will be announced in March.

    The 18th Annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival will be held April 9-12, 2015, in Durham, N.C., with Duke University as the presenting sponsor. The complete schedule of films will be announced March 19. Festival passes go on sale February 11, and can be purchased online at http://www.fullframefest.org. Individual tickets go on sale April 2.


    Lindsay Gordon-Faranda / Full Frame / lindsay.gordon@fullframefest.org / (919) 613.0961 / @fullframe