Full Frame Documentary Film Festival 2013

Arts and Entertainment

March 29, 2013

From: Full Frame Documentary Film Festival

Schedule Of Events:

Thursday April 4, 2013

10:30 - 11:50 - The Last Shepherd(76 min)

Director(s):Marco Bonfanti, Producer(s):Anna Godano, Franco Bocca Gelsi, Marco Bonfanti

Is there still a place for nomadic shepherds in twenty-first-century Europe, specifically the mountainous areas near the metropolis of Milan? The Last Shepherd provides an imaginative and surprisingly complex answer to this question. Defying historic prejudices and social clichés, shepherd Renato Zuchelli is on a mission to explain both the beauties and difficulties of the pastoral life. Marco Bonfanti’s whimsical and exquisitely composed film examines several contemporary issues, such as the way the recent economic crisis has affected European families, the disappearance of traditional farming, and the increasing disconnect between urban and rural environments. The shepherd’s assistant, who has an imaginary dog, and Renato’s practical and devoted wife, as well as his four children, number among the memorable characters. The climactic scene of the film, in which 700 sheep are herded into Milan’s Piazza del Duomo, is a beautiful, if unsanitary, depiction of the bucolic that resonates far beyond the city center.

01:00 - 03:05 - Outlawed in Pakistan(39 min)

Director(s):Habiba Nosheen, Hilke Schellmann, Producer(s): Habiba Nosheen, Hilke Schellmann

Thirteen-year-old Kainat accuses four men from her Pakistani village of kidnapping and raping her, which places her squarely in the public eye in a country where rape victims are routinely considered dishonorable. The film, which spans more than five years and follows Kainat as she negotiates a deeply flawed criminal justice system, is told through the perspective of both Kainat and the accused rapists. Kainat and her family’s decision to speak out puts them all in grave danger, forcing them to live under police protection, even as the police’s limited investigation in the case makes it nearly impossible for Kainat to prove her case. While Kainat vows to keep fighting until the alleged rapists are sentenced to death, the men launch a public campaign against her, calling the teenager a liar. Within a short time, the situation takes a deadly turn. Outlawed in Pakistan is a staggering document depicting one young woman’s persistent fight to address harrowing circumstances and demand remedy.

01:00 - 03:05 - Camera/Woman(59 min)

Director(s):Karima Zoubir,Producer(s):Karima Zoubir, Rachid Biyi

North American Premiere

In Morocco, Khadija supports her family by documenting wedding parties—as a woman, she’s permitted inside the celebrations where men are not allowed—yet she struggles with negative perceptions of her newfound occupation. After years of a bad marriage, Khadija and her eleven-year-old son moved in with her parents. Though her family depends on the money her job brings in, her mother and brother do not approve of the late nights that are required of Khadija as she attends the events of others. But if she were to quit, who would support the family? The self-assuredness and fulfillment Khadija finds in her work is met with painful isolation at home. We follow Khadija inside vivid celebrations and witness fragile moments of domestic frustration as she carefully navigates the needs of clients, friends’ desires, and obligations to her family. Camera/Woman offers a poignant and multilayered portrait of a woman who boldly pushes back against the oppressive expectations of those around her. 

04:00 - 06:50 - American Promise(138 min)

Director(s): Michèle Stephenson, Joe Brewster, Producer(s):Michèle Stephenson, Joe Brewster

American Promise follows two African American boys from their first days of kindergarten through their graduation from high school. For over fourteen years, filmmakers Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson filmed their son Idris and his best friend, Seun. Both children start at New York’s prestigious Dalton School, but circumstances set them on separate paths. This strikingly personal document teases out the complications of receiving a private education—the remarkably high stakes of investing thousands of dollars in primary school with the hope of attending a top-tier university. What does it mean to receive a good education, and how does being a minority student influence that education? We find ourselves both inside the classroom and at home with equal intimacy. The directors approach arguments, celebrations, and even grief with such candor that at times it’s hard to believe that it’s their lives we’re watching on the screen. The rigorous editing of their story allows this document to stand as a broader examination of what it means to fulfill one’s potential.

04:40 - 06:30 - The Record Breaker(25 min)

Director(s): Brian McGinn, Producer(s): Mette Heide

Ashrita (formerly Keith) Furman had a rather bookish childhood. His father, Bernie, hoped Ashrita would eventually join his law practice, while his mother dreamed that he would attend Harvard. Instead, Ashrita began a spiritual journey that led him from bar mitzvah to brahma muhurta to guru Sri Chinmoy to Guinessport.

Convinced that setting world records would honor his guru, Ashrita won his first Guiness Book World Record in 1979, performing 27,000 jumping jacks. He quickly found that these athletic, often quirky, feats fulfilled him. Now, bicycling underwater, slicing apples midair with a samurai sword, and climbing Mt. Fuji on a pogo stick are all in a day’s joy for Ashrita. Aided by longtime buddy Bipin and dog Champ, Ashrita meets each challenge with infectious enthusiasm and a charming lopsided grin. An undeniably comedic documentary, director Brian McGinn develops way more than easy laughs in this layered short. Ashrita’s dad poetically surmises, “He’s the happiest person I know. Isn’t that what every parent wants?” Indeed. 
04:40 - 06:30 - Battery Man(54 min)

Director(s):Dusan Cavic, Dusan Saponja, Producer(s): Snezana Penev

Biba Struja has no sweat or salivary glands. What this means, besides Biba having very dry skin, is that he can withstand large amounts of electricity. After discovering his powers, Biba began supporting himself and his family by performing on Serbian television and at fairs and other shows, where he turns on lightbulbs and cooks really big hot dogs with his hands, and two forks. After years of work (his fingernails have burned off), Biba wants to know what is going on with his body. But how to explain biology and physics to a man who says he doesn’t believe in science? It is lonely enough being a man who many people don’t want to shake hands with for fear of electric shock and who is viewed as a sideshow act, but it must be even lonelier when scientists explain that you aren’t that different from other humans. But can other humans withstand one million volts of electricity?


08:10 - 10:10 - Spinning Plates(94 min)

Director(s): Joseph Levy, Producer(s): Miranda Bailey, Matt Leutwyler, Jacquline Lesko; Executive Producers: Sim Sarna, Phil Rosenthal, Taz Goldstein

“Every restaurant exists to entertain people,” says Nick Kokonas, a partner in Chicago’s upscale Alinea. “No one needs to eat out. Why do you go to a restaurant? To be entertained. To enjoy yourself. To celebrate.” Director Joseph Levy explores three restaurants that offer dining experiences that resonate beyond the simple act of being fed. At Alinea, the experience is an artful performance by chef Grant Achatz and his staff. In Balltown, Iowa, Breitbach’s Country Dining regularly serves more people than live in the town; it’s a community center as well as a tourist destination. In Tucson, Arizona, Francisco Martinez opens La Cocina de Gabby so everyone can enjoy his wife’s cooking “because she cooks like an angel.” These three varied stories illuminate our associations with dining as family gathering, community expression, and performance art, or sometimes all three at once.

10:50 - 00:40 - Driving Me Crazy(85 min)

Director(s): Nick Broomfield, Producer(s):Andrew Braunsberg; Co-Producers: Ted Hope, Steve Menken

Filmmaker Nick Broomfield is hired to direct a film accompanying the 1988 German stage production of Body and Soul, a massive revival of African American music from the thirties and forties. He’s offered a $1.6 million budget and permitted all access. Choreographers’ rehearsals, casting calls, executive sessions—nothing’s off limits. But then, with little explanation, his budget is dashed. Cast members become less accommodating than anticipated. A producer of the film wants Broomfield to explore more esoteric ideas and suggests that the “documentary” feature a non-existent producer, going so far as to volunteer to play a scripted version of himself. If it sounds confusing, that’s because it is. Broomfield trains his lens on the messy arguments and chaotic interplay, shifting the subject from the production of the play to the production of the increasingly complicated film. Promises are broken, fuses blown, and cameras pushed out of the way, but Broomfield remains unwavering until the curtains finally close.

Location: Durham Convention Center

10:00 - 11:55 - Pandora's Promise(89 min)

Director(s): Robert Stone, Producer(s):Robert Stone, Jim Swartz, Susan Swarz

Prominent environmentalists and former anti-nuclear activists reflect on their change-of-heart regarding the safety and potential of nuclear energy in the latest film by Robert Stone (Earth Days). In the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear accident, new questions and old fears re-entered the cultural conversation. These debates are familiar to the film’s interview subjects, Stewart Brand and Richard Rhodes among them, who have come to have second thoughts about nuclear power. Uniquely qualified to argue the merits of nuclear energy as well as concerns about safety, these former detractors speak to commonly held myths, new innovations, climate change, and the allure of renewable resources, with surprising statistics and pointed candor. Provocative and timely, Pandora’s Promise urges one to reconsider power and persuasion.  TM

01:20 - 03:25 - Citizen Koch(88 min)

Director(s): Carl Deal, Tia Lessin, Producer(s): Carl Deal, Tia Lessin, Gillian Caldwell

After the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling unleashed the financial floodgates that allow individuals and corporations to make virtually unlimited contributions to political campaigns, Scott Walker rode into the Wisconsin governor’s office on a deluge of bloated donations and immediately set out to repay his chief benefactors, billionaires Charles and David Koch. Pursuing a combative legislative agenda drawn straight from the Koch brothers’ playbook, his most controversial move was designed not to shore up the state budget, as he claimed, but to amplify the volume of corporate speech by silencing the voice of public-sector unions. Citizen Koch surveys the resultant chorus of protests by focusing on opposition voices from two very different political perspectives: the union members who converge on Wisconsin’s state capital to stall Walker’s unapologetic power grab and Republican presidential candidate Buddy Roehmer of Louisiana, who refuses to accept any corporate donations and, as a result, finds himself denied a spot in his own party’s presidential debates.  TW

04:20 - 06:15 - Blood Brother(93 min)

Director(s): Steve Hoover,Producer(s): Danny Yourd

Like many postgraduates yearning to experience the world, Rocky Braat traveled to India and marveled at the sights, sounds, and culture. But his short jaunt evolved into something more lasting when he visited an orphanage for children living with HIV. Rocky sold all his possessions and decided to move there permanently. Blood Brother is the heartwarming story of Rocky's calling, seen through the eyes of his childhood best friend, director Steve Hoover. Hoover's doubts about the sustainability of Rocky's mission are answered the first time we walk through the orphanage doors; the love between the kids and Rocky is overwhelming. We see how hard Rocky works to make their childhoods as normal and carefree as possible, amid troubling and sometimes tragic conditions. This incredibly honest and moving film has as many moments of wonder and joy as it does wrenching sadness. The result is an unforgettable testament to selflessness and compassion.  RM

07:30 - 10:00 - Gideon's Army(96 min)

Director(s): Dawn Porter, Producer(s): Julie Goldman, Dawn Porter

In 1963, the Supreme Court ruled that all defendants have a right to counsel, effectively establishing court-appointed public defenders. Fifty years later, a single public defender can expect to manage hundreds of cases simultaneously, each with life-altering consequences for the accused and, as the film reveals, the lawyers. Three young public defenders—Brandy Alexander, Travis Williams, and June Hardwick—are straining to cope with the administrative challenges heaped upon them by the criminal justice system, and the cumulative toll their jobs are taking on their personal lives. As the film’s subjects navigate and negotiate their endless caseloads, they seek help from the Southern Public Defender Training Center, which aims to ensure that public defenders do not succumb to the pressures that cause so many of them to abandon the calling. The motivation and mentorship the lawyers find in this community provides a measure of temporary relief, but is it enough to keep the soldiers of Gideon’s Army fighting the good fight?  TM

Moderated conversation following screening with filmmakers and special guests Brandy Alexander and Travis Williams

11:00 - 00:35 - The Expedition to the End of the World(90 min)

Director(s): Daniel Dencik, Producer(s): Michael Haslund-Christensen

In the treacherous, freezing waters of northern Greenland, a motley collection of scientists and artists aboard a restored schooner set out for parts unknown, engaging in equal measures of exploration and whimsy. Along the journey, their encounters run the full spectrum from dramatic to banal, alarming to serene, and are accompanied by an equally wide-ranging soundtrack. An arctic study in contrasts emerges: the physical tension of the ship as it strains against unforgiving ice floes is juxtaposed with freewheeling banter and improvisation. Despite the isolation of the vast and barren surroundings, quarters are close and methodologies clash. Throughout the otherworldly adventure, viewers see images and hear musings that challenge and astound, not least of which are the discovery of a new species and the exploits of a snack-seeking polar bear.  TM

ORIGINAL TITLE: Ekspeditionen til verdens ende

01:10 - 03:20 - Free Angela & All Political Prisoners(101 min)

Director(s): Shola Lynch, Producer(s): Shola Lynch, Carine Ruszniewski, Carole Lambert, Sidra Smith

This remarkable film by Shola Lynch focuses on the life of revolutionary icon and champion of free speech Angela Davis. Davis was a professor at UCLA, an open member of the Communist Party, and an associate of the Black Panthers whose activism led to controversy and provocation. A pivotal moment in Davis’s life came in 1970 when she was charged with conspiracy in kidnapping and murder after Jonathan Jackson’s abduction of a judge from his Marin County courtroom, which resulted in a police shoot-out that left four people dead, including Jackson. Fearing an unfair trial, Davis went underground before her arrest. While Davis was eventually acquitted by an all-white jury, the story of this highly publicized and divisive case conjures up very current issues around race, gun control, and political bias. Since the conclusion of the trial, Davis has toured the world lecturing about her experiences. Through Davis’s own words, archival footage, and innovative recreations, this exceptional film cements these important accounts into an enduring record.  ST

04:10 - 06:15 - Sour Death Balls(5 min)

Director(s): Jessica Yu, Producer(s): Jessica Yu

A series of children and adults each attempt to consume a Sour Death Ball candy. With napkins at the ready, Yu trains her camera on prepared but perhaps still unsuspecting targets. In vivid black-and-white, we’re exposed time after time to the moment of impact—the puckers, winces, and twists that accompany the intense sensation. For anyone who’s ever had a bite of something too extreme, this collage of cringes is at once familiar and utterly entertaining. ST

04:10 - 06:15 - Protagonist(90 min)

Director(s): Jessica Yu, Producer(s): Elise Pearlstein, Susan West, Jessica Yu,Editor(s): Jessica Yu, Cinematographer(s): Karl Hahn, Russell Harper

A reformed gay Christian, a bank robber, a left-wing German terrorist, and a martial artist tell us their stories. On the surface, these four people lead very different lives, but through the lens of Greek tragedy, Jessica Yu finds a way to reveal their deep-rooted similarities. As the film progresses, the motivations behind each man’s unique trajectory become profoundly intertwined. With its beautiful crosscutting among scenes from Euripides, ingenious re-enactments, and starkly focused interviews, this innovative film provides a rich tapestry that challenges us to reflect on the relationship of individual lives to the archetypal human experience. AT

07:10 - 09:25 - Stories We Tell(109 min)

Director(s): Sarah Polley, Producer(s): Anita Lee, Editor(s): Mike Munn, Cinematographer(s): Iris Ng

The youngest of five children, actress and director Sarah Polley (Away from Her, Take This Waltz) was only eleven years old when her mother died of cancer. In her absence, questions lingered, memories and stories continued to stir. Polley delicately peels back the layers of a subtle family mystery, buried beneath years of softly whispered speculations. Making a film about one’s own family is particularly tricky territory, but it is made even more unwieldy when those closest to the filmmaker have different conceptions of past events. With tenderness, Polley gathers together the fractured perspectives of her father, her siblings, and many close family friends. Along with their poignant recollections, incredible 8mm footage breathes life into this shifting portrait of the luminous woman Polley lost when she was just a girl. As interpretations and contradictions are brought to light, we can’t help but ponder just how accurately we ever really know those whom we love the most. 

Location: Carolina Theatre

04:30 - 06:40 - Forbidden Lie$(104 min)

Director(s): Anna Broinowski, Producer(s): Sally Regan, Anna Broinowski

Why are movies about outrageous con artists so fun to watch? Forbidden Lie$ combines caper and exposé and teems with so many self-serving characters that the camera itself seems to be the only one that isn’t lying. The film revisits Norma Khouri’s bestselling book Forbidden Love, a personal narrative of the events leading up to the “honor killing” of her Jordanian best friend, Dalia, because of her love for a Christian soldier. Upon closer look, it becomes apparent that Khouri may have taken extreme artistic license in her autobiographical account. Lit by the spark of contention, the film delves into characters and motives that are usually the province of fiction. The conventions of the thriller genre complement the film’s nonfiction commentary, especially when it comes to the West’s eagerness to believe the worst about the treatment of women in Muslim families. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

01:00 - 03:00 - F for Fake(87 min)

Director(s): Orson Welles, Producer(s): François Reichenbach, Editor(s): Marie-Sophie Dubus, Dominique Engerer , Cinematographer(s): Gary Graver

Orson Welles achieved instant celebrity with one of the greatest tricks in radio history, the notorious “The War of the Worlds.” In his hat and cape Welles pulls back the curtain in F for Fake to reveal to the audience how easy it is to blur the lines between fact and fiction as he splices film in the editing room. Welles then takes the viewer on a whiplash-filled cinematic journey through the life of famed art forger Elmyr de Hory and his biographer Clifford Irving, no stranger to fakery himself. It’s fitting that Welles’s last directorial effort is an examination of the relationship between art and truth, but beware, the self-proclaimed charlatan does not leave you without having played a few of his own tricks.

04:00 - 06:00 - Fighter(86 min)

Director(s): Amir Bar-Lev, Producer(s): Amir Bar-Lev, Jonathan Crosby, Alex Mamlet, Editor(s): Amir Bar-Lev, Cinematographer(s): Gary Griffin

On the surface Fighter is about two old friends in their seventies, Jan Wiener and Arnost Lustig, Czech immigrants who decide to take a trip back to Europe after having lived in the United States for many years. As they retrace Wiener’s escape from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia, however, the film becomes an enthralling story about memory and friendship. Wiener’s story of his father’s suicide, laying flat under a train on an eighteen-hour trip to Italy, joining the Royal Air Force, being accused of being a British spy, and returning to Czechoslovakia only to be put in a communist labor camp is enough to capture the audience’s attention. But conflict arises, and keeps arising, when Lustig, a Holocaust survivor and former member of the Czech Communist Party, who wants to write a book about the journey and his own past (his father died in a camp), constantly analyzes every decision and action of the past (something Wiener has no patience for). With scenes that in matters of minutes take you from tears to laughter and then to anger, Fighter demonstrates how reliving memories can bring old friends closer than ever and take them to the brink of collapse.

10:30 - 12:40 - Yucca Mtn Tally(21 min)

Director(s): Phoebe Brush, Producer(s): Phoebe Brush, Editor(s): Phoebe Brush, Cinematographer(s): Renato Velarde, Phoebe Brush

In the early 1980s, the U.S. government began building a nuclear waste burial vault within Yucca Mountain in the Nevada desert. This twenty-minute meditative portrait stretches to embrace laboratory reports, archival recordings and notions of deep time, end days, and rapture as viewed against the backdrop of this expansive landscape. Johnnie Bobb, chief of the Western Shoshone National Council, recounts how his people were pushed out of the land they once called home. Fred McMillen, a master mechanic at Yucca Mountain, talks about the toxic machinery used in the colossal attempts to entomb radioactivity deep in the land. The poisons are not only hidden within the mountain, they exist in those touched by the land and its past.

10:30 - 12:40 - Pablo’s Winter(76 min)

Director(s): Chico Pereira, Producer(s): Opa Films in association with Scottish Documentary Institute and Screen Academy Scotland, Editor(s): Nick Gibbon,
Cinematographer(s): Julian Schwanitz

For centuries, Almadén was home to one of Spain’s major mercury mines. Since the closing of the mine fifteen years ago, the town and its former miners, like Pablo, continue to struggle. Director Chico Pereira’s gorgeous black, white, and mercury-gray documentary debut exudes a lush vigor and richness that belies the economic state of Almadén and the advancing years of many of its residents. Dry-witted dramas unfold over not-so-quiet conversations, and many a Marlboro, in this laconic character study of a protagonist, who at first, second, and third glance remains singularly off-putting. But more time with Pablo yields a larger tale of hero and town—the beauty of both become increasingly more certain, and begrudgingly endearing. Ultimately, this alluring visual narrative cleverly combines the striking vistas of the village with the musings and ministrations of a grumpy old man to such excellent effect, you’ll be glad to pull up a chair and join him. 

01:30 - 03:00 - Reborning(8 min)

Director(s): Yael Bridge, Helen Hood Scheer, Producer(s): Yael Bridge, Helen Hood Scheer, Editor(s): Yael Bridge, Helen Hood Scheer,Cinematographer(s):
Yael Bridge, Helen Hood Scheer

Reborn dolls provoke an uncanny and instinctive response. Jean Campbell’s realistic creations look like newborn babies, and that is precisely why they are baffling objects—the exactitude of the dolls’ features and expressions is arresting. These figures fulfill a purpose for Campbell that speaks to the power of objects in our lives. In Reborning, we follow Campbell as she crafts, dresses, and lovingly ships the babies to their new homes.

04:30 - 06:35 - Taxidermists(21 min)

Director(s): Nicole Triche, Producer(s): Nicole Triche, Editor(s): Nicole Triche, Cinematographer(s): Nicole Triche

Wildlife meets still life. Furry creatures, though frozen in space and time, are rendered in states of dynamic (re-)animation by skillful artists who practice their appreciation for nature through taxidermy. Director Nicole Triche’s keen eye for color, light, texture, shadow, and motion grants the spectator sensational opportunities to take in the visual majesty of animal “sculptures” that range from the quiet and quaint to the hyperbolically acrobatic. Amid this array of striking images, the taxidermists share their stories of participating in a competition considered the “Olympics of taxidermy.” Despite the film’s brief duration, Taxidermists’ still-life safari will not only leave a lasting, rich impression, it will also expand the viewer’s sense of appreciation for this age-old art form.

04:30 - 06:35 - Dance for Me(79 min)

Director(s): Katrine Philp, Producer(s): Lisa Saxtrup, Editor(s): Signe Rebekka Kaufmann, Cinematographer(s): Sophia Olsson, Niels Thastum

North American Premiere

Adolescence brings its own natural pressures—fitting in and finding confidence—but those forces are compounded when one is exceptionally talented. Fifteen-year-old Russian ballroom dancer Egor leaves his family behind to work in Denmark and live with his new partner, Mie, and her family. Working through language barriers and opposing customs, the young dancers pursue the European Ballroom Championship, where they aspire to international recognition. But unlike ballet, winning a ballroom competition depends on synergy with one’s partner. At home, Mie and Egor develop a sibling-like compatibility, but on the floor their relationship must transform itself into a compelling love affair. If Egor underperforms he will likely be sent home, a consequence that underscores the already tense sequences of preparation and competition. Like the extravagant makeup and grown-up silk and sequins that adorn their small frames, heavy adult expectations cloak the actions of these two young talents—but their conviction may just endure its weight. 
ORIGINAL TITLE: Dans for mig

07:30 - 09:25 - Irish Folk Furniture(9 min)

Director(s): Tony Donoghue, Producer(s): Cathal Black, Editor(s): Ed Smith, Cinematographer(s): Tony Donoghue

Well-worn cupboards, dressers, and flour bins get a second life in this gentle and lighthearted take on contemporary Irish culture. Neglected pieces of furniture manifest the animated will to drag themselves out of storage and back into repaired and useful states. Freshly and somewhat magically painted, they make their way back into the homes and lives of families. As the old is made new again, ancestors appear and family stories are kept alive in the retelling. It’s a simple thing—the sheep stand by and watch, the crockery comes and goes. The furniture is not fancy, but the film is a refreshingly fanciful treat.

07:30 - 09:25 - Cutie and the Boxer(82 min)

Director(s): Zachary Heinzerling,Producer(s): Lydia Dean Pilcher, Patrick Burns, Sierra Pettengill, Editor(s): David Teague, Cinematographer(s): Zachary Heinzerling

Noriko met artist Ushio Shinohara in New York when she was nineteen years old. She was captivated by the struggling artist, even though he was twenty years her senior, and has been by his side ever since (over forty years), helping him to produce and navigate the sale of his art, mainly large-scale “boxing” paintings in which he literally punches paint from one edge of the canvas to the other. While Ushio’s work has garnered acclaim, it is still hard for the couple to make ends meet. Despite living in the shadows of her husband’s grand ideas and his demanding approach, Noriko has continued to make her own artwork. She develops a series of drawings entitled Cutie that reveal aspects of her challenging life with Ushio. When a curator expresses interest in the drawings, the attention intensifies the strain on Noriko and Ushio’s relationship. Through animations of her drawings and an intimate vantage on their lives, this exceptional film reveals the delicate intricacies of dreams, love, and true partnership—in art and in marriage.

10:30 - 00:35 - A Story for the Modlins(26 min)

Director(s): Sergio Oksman, Producer(s): Sergio Oksman, Editor(s): Fernando Franco, Sergio Oksman, Cinematographer(s): Migue Amoedo

Director Sergio Oksman happened upon a box of personal effects on a sidewalk. Inside, he found a remarkable puzzle: decades worth of personal photographs, journal entries, and videos documenting the Modlins’ peculiar family dynamic. Investigating the father, mother, and son beyond the boundaries of the box, Oksman constructs a narrative on which to hang these bizarre images and excerpts. Elmer Modlin had a small role in a pivotal scene of the film Rosemary’s Baby. Margaret Modlin was an extravagant painter who kept her home and artwork shielded from the light of day. This trip through their lives, with a stranger as the tour guide, shows how the pictures we leave behind can dictate our histories.

10:30 - 00:35 - Suitcase of Love and Shame(70 min)

Director(s): Jane Gillooly, Producer(s): Jane Gillooly, Editor(s): Jane Gillooly, Pam Larson, Cinematographer(s): Beth Cloutier

This provocative and atmospheric film reminds us that the obsession with recording intimate moments (and the voyeuristic impulse to watch them) didn’t originate with Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee’s 1995 sex tape. In the 1960s, Midwesterners Tom and Jeanie corresponded with each other and recorded their extramarital affair on reel-to-reel tapes, amassing sixty hours of sonic confessions and sexual encounters. These testaments to a desire assumed to be eternal were forgotten and decades later dispassionately auctioned off on eBay. From the tapes, filmmaker Jane Gillooly constructs a narrative arc of mediated romance, where eroticism and technological novelty have the same shelf life. Her film invites us to listen in on a relationship with the critical distance five decades can provide and to contemplate how our own confessions—so willingly offered up in emails and on social media—might read fifty years from now.

Location - Carolina Theatre

10:10 - 12:00 - God Loves Uganda(83 min)

Director(s): Roger Ross Williams, Producer(s): Roger Ross Williams, Julie Goldman, Editor(s): Richard Hankin, Benjamin Gray, Cinematographer(s): Derek Wiesehahn

With a burgeoning youth-heavy population and an aspirational middle class looking to acquire the habits and comforts of wealthy nations, Uganda has become a prime recruiting ground for evangelists. And many modern missionaries bring along with them an appalling strain of anti-gay prejudice. Gay Ugandans not only fear terrorizing mobs and vigilantes but also their own government, which has threatened to make homosexuality a capital offense. This film traces scenes of creepy neocolonial proselytizing back to America’s megachurches, which are sending waves of their most earnest young followers to Africa, and follows the courageous efforts of Ugandan religious leader Bishop Christopher Senyonjo as he takes a stand against bigotry and fights for the rights of LGBT people. “Religion is being used to demonize, and, in fact, to kill,” he says. “The Americans, when they preach hate here, they forget that they are preaching to people who will just take the law into their hands.”

01:10 - 03:00 - Medora(82 min)

Director(s): Andrew Cohn, Davy Rothbart, Producer(s): Davy Rothbart, Andrew Cohn, Rachel Dengiz, Rachael Counce. Executive Producers: Steve Buscemi, Stanley Tucci, Wren Arthur, Michael Clark, Tim Foley, Alex Turtletaub, Editor(s): Vanessa Roworth, Andrew Cohn, Mary Manhardt, Cinematographer(s): Rachael Counce

In the state of Indiana where life revolves around high school basketball, what happens to a community when their beloved team, The Medora Hornets, can no longer win a single game? The team’s lack of success is really a metaphor for the bad luck this rural community has endured, and that all small towns are facing in the United States. Medora latches onto your heart without ever letting go as the individual stories of the players unfold, as they try to figure out how to survive in a town so small—there are only thirty-three boys in the school—there’s little chance of employment or advancement. You’ll be so involved in every boy’s story that you will groan out loud every time they miss a lay-up and cheer when they make a basket. You’ll be happy when they break the cycle of failure and get angry when they fall into the traps of delinquency and alcohol. You want these young men to succeed because you want the town to succeed—because as you watch the film you come to understand that “once we lose these small towns, we can’t get them back.”

04:10 - 06:10 - You Can’t Always Get What You Want(9 min)

Director(s): Scott Calonico, Producer(s): Jeff Radice, Editor(s):Scott Calonico

“Posting the Daily Diary [online] is part of the LBJ Library’s ongoing mission to provide an intimate, unvarnished look at the inner workings of the Johnson White House.” At some point, the most private of public lives can become very public. President Johnson’s secretaries started keeping typed and handwritten daily diaries in 1959 when he was Senate majority leader and continued doing so through his presidency. Meetings, social events, and telephone calls were noted, as were descriptions of the president’s reactions to people and events, including his mood and, occasionally, events he directed be “off the record.” The library has made 630 hours of phone conversations available, though as of 2012, ten hours are still classified for national security or personal reasons. You Can’t Always Get What You Want is a bright romp through episodes of international diplomacy, homeland arm-twisting, and personal gastronomy, as lifted from the pages of the diaries and recorded phone conversations and animated by archival photographs. 

04:10 - 06:10 - Our Nixon(85 min)

Director(s): Penny Lane, Producer(s):Brian L. Frye, Penny Lane, Editor(s): Francisco Bello, Cinematographer(s): H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, Dwight Chapin

President Richard Nixon placed a phone call to the moon and led the way in establishing a closer relationship with China, but he is best remembered for Watergate and the ill-advised installation of a voice-activated tape recorder in the Oval Office. In Our Nixon, audio recordings are presented along with Super 8 movie footage shot by White House Chief of Staff Bob Haldeman, Domestic Affairs Adviser John Ehrlichman, and Deputy Assistant Dwight Chapin. These three young men, running the daily affairs of a doomed ship, made the films while on the job, both in the White House and on official trips. The footage is intimate and sometimes downright goofy (on a trip to Rome, the first angle on the Pope is sideways) and is cut together with contemporary television reports by Walter Cronkite, Barbara Walters, Mike Wallace, Dan Rather, and others. This rich documentary gives a fresh and fascinating look at this tumultuous time in the American presidency.

07:10 - 08:55 - Wrong Time Wrong Place(80 min)

Director(s): John Appel,Producer(s): Carmen Cobos,Editor(s): Mario Steenbergen, Cinematographer(s): Erik Van Emple

North American Premiere

On July 22, 2011, Anders Breivik bombed the city center of Oslo and went on a shooting spree on the Norwegian island of Utøya, taking the lives of seventy-seven people within the span of a few hours. Director John Appel delicately captures the accounts of five survivors of that day’s events. Through their individual testaments, Appel teases out the circumstances that led each survivor to be where he or she was that day. As a result, this poignant document is far more than a chronicle of events. A young man thought hard about not attending the camp on Utøya, and a business man nearly didn’t go to his Oslo office. A young woman pleaded for her friend to join her on the island, even though her friend’s parents had a bad feeling all along. Tenderly tracing ideas about chance occurrences in our lives and the significant role “almost” can play in events, this film is an inspirational, interconnected, and intensely human tribute to lives lost, and those saved, by mere seconds and the seemingly smallest of choices.

10:10 - 00:25 - Downloaded(107 min)

Director(s): Alex Winter, Producer(s): Alex Winter, Maggie Malina, Devorah Devries, Editor(s):Jacob Craycroft, Cinematographer(s): Anghel Decca

At its height, Napster had over 25 million users creating and sharing the largest catalog of recorded music ever available to the public. Downloaded retraces the history of one of the most disruptive technologies of the Internet Age, from its humble chatroom beginnings to its takedown at the hands of a music industry that didn’t know what hit it. Napster’s popularity was a shot across the bow at major music labels that had been dismissive of the Internet’s potential. The ensuing digital rights debate is still being waged today—even if Napster only exists as a shadow of its former self. With a cache of archival footage and illuminating interviews with people on both sides of the debate, Downloaded provides a fast-paced and highly entertaining account of the meteoric rise and fall of this revolutionary application. Napster may have been beaten, but it remains a foundational brick on the road to the networked world we inhabit today.

10:20 - 12:30 - First Comes Love(105 min)

Director(s):Nina Davenport, Producer(s): Nina Davenport, Editor(s): Nina Davenport, Cinematographer(s): Nina Davenpor

Nina Davenport always wanted a family. She was especially close to her mother and knew that being one to a child of her own would bring her ultimate fulfillment. But there was one hang-up: the right man. So, still single at the age of forty-one, she decides not only to become a mother on her own but also to capture the entire process on film. A New York modern family emerges as she asks her gay friend, Eric, to be the sperm donor, and her best friend, Amy, to be her birthing partner. With humor and heart she moves through the triumphs and devastations of this transformative road to parenthood. The highs and lows, joys and challenges, are met with equal candor. Along the way she embarks on a new relationship and, devastatingly, loses her mother. First Comes Love, peppered with thoughts and advice from family members and friends, is a thoughtful meditation on love, loss, and baby making.

01:20 - 03:20 - Magnetic Reconnection(13 min)

Director(s): Kyle Armstrong, Producer(s): Kyle Armstrong, Trond Trondsen, Editor(s):Kyle Armstrong, Cinematographer(s): Kyle Armstrong, Trond Trondsen

The Canadian Arctic is the terrestrial and extraterrestrial setting for a meditative survey of transience, from generations-old decay to fleeting particles of light. In Kyle Armstrong’s Magnetic Reconnection, the skies above Churchill, Manitoba, are alive with the fiery and dynamic aurora borealis, while the frozen earth below hosts a forgotten world of detritus in the form of decrepit machines and rusting scrap heaps. The vivid and stirring imagery is accompanied by halcyon audio in the form of a lyrical recitation from Will Oldham (Bonnie “Prince” Billy) and a score by Jim O’Rourke (Sonic Youth).

04:20 - 06:15 - The Pleasures of Being Out of Step(87 min)

Director(s): David L. Lewis, Producer(s): David L. Lewis, Editor(s): Sam Pollard, David L. Lewis, Cinematographer(s): Tom Hurwitz

The pleasure of being out of step, according to Nat Hentoff, is not having to worry about being in step. Hentoff has spent his career letting words dance to their own beat in his columns for Downbeat and the Village Voice. One of jazz music’s groundbreaking critics, Hentoff made his name as an early champion of bebop’s urgent, modernist impulses. But his passion for music has always been inseparable from his unflagging commitment to free speech and journalistic activism. Over the years, he hasn’t just insisted that we listen to Charlie Parker and Miles Davis, he has ardently defended Lenny Bruce’s right to command a microphone and neo-Nazis’ right to march. In Hentoff’s mind, music and our Constitution-guaranteed rights to free speech are harmonious counterpoints. For him, spontaneous expression of any kind, even if it’s out of step with the mainstream beat, is the most vital instrument in the performance of the American experience.

07:20 - 09:05 - First Cousin Once Removed(78 min)

Director(s): Alan Berliner, Producer(s): Alan Berliner, Editor(s): Alan Berliner, Cinematographer(s): Ian Vollmer

Alan Berliner always felt a particular affinity to his cousin Edwin Honig. Edwin was a professor, translator, and poet who had a celebrated career. His artistic sensibilities inspired Alan: They discussed art and life with a synchronicity all their own. So when Edwin began to succumb to Alzheimer’s disease, Alan was naturally devastated. But instead of closing the book on their exchanges, Alan chooses to embrace his friend and mentor on film. What emerges through these fragmented conversations, repeated introductions, and asides about the progression of their relationship is a personal document of a rare connection between two men. Even as memory fades, there is a dynamic between the cousins that refuses to lapse along with it. The film pays tribute to the man Edwin was, and the man he becomes through his trials with the illness. This cinematic keepsake reminds us how vital it can be to find connection and with what grace one can choose to approach letting go.

10:20 - 00:25 - Far Out Isn’t Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story(99 min)

Director(s): Brad Bernstein, Producer(s): Brad Bernstein. Co-Producer: Rick Cikowski , Editor(s): Rick Cikowski, Brandon Dumlao, Jason Schmidt, Cinematographer(s): Jimmy O’Donnell

Tomi Ungerer’s career defies easy description as his artistic life crossed diverse boundaries. Ungerer arrived in New York in the mid 1950s after a childhood spent in war-torn, Nazi-occupied Alsace. He worked as a graphic artist before exploding on to the children’s literature scene as the creator of unconventional characters like Crictor, the Mellops, the Three Robbers, and Moon Man. In the 1960s he designed iconic political protest posters, and authored and illustrated unrestrained erotica. When Ungerer’s erotic works came to the attention of the American Library Association in the early 1970s, his award-winning children’s books were effectively blacklisted and many of them went out of print. After this rejection, the artist left the United States for Nova Scotia, then Ireland, where he found a permanent home. Director Brad Bernstein, using animation to truly bring Ungerer’s work to life, delivers an extraordinary portrait of a man, who haunted by his childhood, transformed his life experiences into creative and fantastic expressions of art.

Location - Durham Convention Center

11:00 - 01:00 - The Kinda Sutra(8 min)

Director(s): Jessica Yu, Producer(s): Patrick Degan, Anne Clements. Executive Producers: Michael Degan, Loretta Jeneski, Editor(s): Kim Bica, Cinematographer(s): David Gil

Jessica Yu brings a whimsical yet thoughtful look at the gap between childhood imagination and grown-up facts regarding the birds and the bees. A series of interviews with people of all ages conveys youthful cluelessness (seemingly universal) about the body and sexuality. The film uses animation to demonstrate the wealth of images and ideas stemming from childhood misinformation and extrapolation. The recognizable style of illustrations from the Kama Sutra serve as a jumping-off point for a warm and humorous set of animations.

11:00 - 01:00: In the Realms of the Unreal(81 min)

Director(s): Jessica Yu, Producer(s): Jessica Yu, Susan West. Co-Producer: Joan Huang, Editor(s): Jessica Yu, Cinematographer(s): Russell Harper, Michael Barrow

Henry Darger lived an introverted life. By day he was a custodian at a hospital; by night he retreated into his own fantastic world, “The Realm of the Unreal.” When he died, neighbors discovered six decades worth of illustrations and writings about this made-up sphere in which a band of girls—the Vivian Girls—stand up against the evil powers of warring men. In this film, Yu untangles the mysteries of Darger’s creations. We hear from the few people who knew him but mostly we hear from those who knew him best, the characters in his exhaustive narrative. The spellbinding artwork and writings, meticulously animated and poignantly narrated by a young child, take center stage. Yu brings Darger’s bizarre and magical fantasy to life in an almost autobiographical testament.

02:00 - 03:55: Good Ol’ Freda(86 min)

Director(s): Ryan White, Producer(s): Kathy McCabe, Ryan White, Jessica Lawson, Editor(s): Helen Kearns, Cinematographer(s): Austin Hargrave

Seventeen-year-old Liverpudlian Freda Kelly was an ordinary girl who worked in an office typing pool and spent her off-hours hanging out at the Cavern—which she describes as smelling like disinfectant (the toilets overflowed), rotten fruit (it was near a wholesaler), and sweat—and listening to bands. She especially loved the Beatles. In 1963, Brian Epstein, the Beatles’ manager, chose her to work as the Beatles’ personal secretary and to run their fan club because she took the fans seriously and kept the band’s secrets with absolute integrity. Freda never wrote a book or did interviews after the Fab Four broke up, and she has lived a modest life with the same down-to-earth sincerity with which she performed the world’s greatest job. In Good Ol’ Freda she tells “one of the last true stories of the Beatles you’ll ever hear.” (The film’s soundtrack includes four vintage Beatles recordings.)

05:00 - 07:00 - Fight Like Soldiers, Die Like Children(83 min)

Director(s): Patrick Reed, Producer(s):Patrick Reed, Peter Raymont, Editor(s): Michèle Hozer, Cinematographer(s): John Westheuser

As commander of the U.N. Assistance Mission for Rwanda during the 1994 genocide, Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire watched helplessly as slaughter continued unabated. After combating post-traumatic stress disorder, he found a new call to action: “The ultimate focus of the rest of my life is to eradicate the use of children as instruments of war.” Director Patrick Reed follows Dallaire across his new battlegrounds in the Congo, Rwanda, and South Sudan, where he meets with local groups and learns how they indoctrinate child fighters. Animated scenes, based on accounts from Dallaire’s recently published book They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children, are interwoven throughout the film, which depicts a child’s journey through abduction, indoctrination, and death. Narrated by a former child soldier, the vignettes lend insight into the players and the politics and scale of these atrocities. Will Dallaire succeed where others have failed, or will he once again be forced to look on as the world turns away?

08:00 - 10:10 - Muscle Shoals(111 min)

Director(s): Greg 'Freddy' Camalier, Producer(s): Greg ‘Freddy’ Camalier, Stephen Badger, Editor(s): Richard Lowe, Cinematographer(s): Anthony Arendt

There is more than meets the ear in these memorable and colorful accounts of performance and perseverance in the legendary Muscle Shoals, Alabama, music scene. Muscle Shoals is the home of FAME Studios and its indefatigable founder, Rick Hall, as well as an endless list of classic recordings by artists ranging from Otis Redding to Bob Dylan to the Black Keys. How and why history was made here is illuminated by the hit-making producers, the remarkable and unpredictable session musicians known as the Swampers, and an array of musical luminaries such as Bono, Keith Richards, and Aretha Franklin. Ambitious in scope and style, the film traces the myriad obstacles and prejudices facing Hall and artists alike as the label evolves from striving to thriving and back again.

Location - Carolina Theatre

10:40 - 12:40 - Slomo(7 min)

Director(s): Josh Izenberg, Producer(s): Amanda Micheli, Josh Izenberg, Editor(s): Traci Loth, Cinematographer(s): Wynn Padula

North Carolina native John Kitchin was a successful, ambitious neurologist living the life in San Diego, until he made the big change—giving it up, all of it, to devote his days to skating on one foot down at the boardwalk. Because of some plainspoken but powerful advice he received from an elderly patient, he now follows his unique slow-motion muse as he gracefully balances on one foot, working with gravity to propel his way to happiness. He can even give a neurological explanation of why it feels so good. Although we don’t know everything about his earlier days, we get a clear picture of this extraordinary man in a late and happy chapter of his life.

10:40 - 12:40 - Sofia's Last Ambulance(76 min)

Director(s): Ilian Metev,Producer(s): Ingmar Trost, Siniša Juricic, Dimitar Gotchev, Editor(s): Ilian Metev, Bettina Ip, Cinematographer(s): Ilian Metev

Director Ilian Metev attaches three cameras to the dashboard of one of Sofia’s few remaining ambulances (1.2 million people live in the Bulgarian capital), In doing so, he commands a precise view of the medic team: Dr. Krassimir Yordanov, paramedic Mila Mikhailova, and driver Plamen Slavkov. What we see is human, increasingly stressful, and immensely absorbing. What could be claustrophobic is instead spectacularly intimate, undoubtedly benefited by Krassimir, Mila, and Plamen’s natural ease in front of the cameras. Not an overly voluble group, their keenly expressive faces tell most of the story, that of a city’s crumbling healthcare system. Sporadic radio dispatches and a steady stream of cases (some absurdly comical, others expectedly tragic) fill in any gaps. As we ride with the ambulance team into the sunrise, we feel a melancholy comfort in the stoic fortitude of these public servants and a sense that everything will be okay.

01:40 - 03:35 - By Her Side(25 min)

Director(s): Niels van Koevorden, Producer(s): Hasse van Nunen, Miga Bär, Editor(s): Daan Wijdeveld, Cinematographer(s): Niels van Koevorden

North American Premiere
In this intimate and moving portrait, Marc, Ernest, and Bart reflect on their impending fatherhood. They share their feelings about first seeing the “magic stripes” of the pregnancy test and their thoughts about what their children may be like. In the second half of the film, we watch their faces as their babies are born. 
ORIGINAL TITLE: Ik stond erbij

01:40 - 03:35 - Menstrual Man(63 min)

Director(s): Amit Virmani,Producer(s): Amit Virmani, Seah Kui Luan, Editor(s):Anand Kundra, Cinematographer(s): Amit Virmani

World Premiere

Periods can be a troublesome business. Self-educated microenterpreneur A. Muruganantham had a dream: to reduce gynecological diseases among rural Indian women by having women make and sell affordable maxi pads in their own villages. Muruganantham had observed his wife’s monthly rituals and how finances forced her to choose between buying pads for herself or milk for their children. He decided to find a way to improve this situation, and overall sanitary conditions, by changing the habits of women who still used traditional methods—cloth, sand, husks, or ashes—to handle their sanitary needs. Through meticulous research of pad fabrication and factory processes, he created a pad that requires only four simple machines to make, all of which can be operated and repaired by village women. Muruganantham’s Rags to Pads program seeks to strip away superstitions and embarrassment while improving the lives of millions of women.

04:40 - 06:25 - The Living Museum(78 min)

Director(s): Jessica Yu, Producer(s): Dawn Parouse. Executive Producer: Sheila Nevins, Editor(s): Jessica Yu, Cinematographer(s): Shana Hagan, Ed Marritz

At the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens, New York, Dr. Janos Martin helps treat patients with severe mental illness by encouraging them to express themselves through art, whether in paint, sculpture, or collage. As part of this effort, Martin oversees the Living Museum, an annex at the hospital where art is not only made but also displayed for others to see. In vivid imagery, brilliant close-ups, and delicate conversations, director Jessica Yu presents the intricate, often visionary, work of these nontraditional artists, allowing the patients to describe their approaches and processes in their own, sometimes tangled, words. With patience and calm resilience, Dr. Martin offers feedback and ideas for best methods to the individual artists, who sometimes scream or are in tears, as he helps them displace their frustrations, and demons, onto canvas. Seen as a collective, these works illustrate the fine line between creativity and distress and illuminate the healing power of expression.

07:40 - 09:40 - Theater of War(95 min)

Director(s): John Walter,Producer(s): Nina Santisi,Editor(s): John Walter, Cinematographer(s): Felix Andrew, John Walter

John Walter’s film takes us behind the scenes of the Public Theater’s timely 2006 production of Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children in New York’s Central Park. Walter chronicles the intricate decision making around this particular staging, which features adapted text by Tony Kushner and stars the indomitable Meryl Streep. With unprecedented access to all aspects of production—not just rehearsals but costuming, composing, and set design—Walter takes us inside the artistic process of living legends as he also reveals the history of Brecht’s original text. As Hitler came to power, Brecht was stripped of his German citizenship and exiled, only to find himself facing the House Un-American Activities Committee. The play was first performed in 1949 after Brecht’s forced return to Germany. This layered approach reveals a story within a story within a story by allowing the viewer to make profound connections between the events on stage, the circumstances of the playwright’s remarkable life, and the ways in which timeless themes of war and capitalism resonate today.

Location - Durham Arts Council

12:30 - 01:30 - Based on a True Story(60 min)

Narrative films built on real-life stories have been fertile ground for filmmakers for almost as long as movies have existed, but increasingly documentaries have become good source material for feature filmmakers. What is the process to take your own documentary into the world of fiction, and what should a documentarian look for should someone wish to option their material?

Panelists include: Nancy Buirski, filmmaker (THE LOVING STORY); Marshall Curry, filmmaker (STREET FIGHT, RACING DREAMS, IF A TREE FALLS); Mark Landsman, filmmaker (THUNDER SOUL); and Stephen Nemeth, producer (THE SESSIONS).

03:30 - 04:30 - Pay the Filmmakers(60 min)

In February Sean Farnel, former programmer for Hot Docs, wrote a series of provocative web-articles about film festivals, culminating in a piece stating that film festivals should pay filmmakers to screen their work. Setting off comments on both sides, filmmakers urged Full Frame to bring this topic to the Speakeasy for further examination.

Panelists include: Sean Farnel, columnist and programmer; Caroline Libresco, senior programmer, Sundance; and David Wilson, filmmaker and co-director, True/False.

Location - Durham Convention Center

Saturday, April 6, 2013

01:00 - 03:00 - F for Fake(87 min)

Director(s): Orson Welles,Producer(s): François Reichenbach, Editor(s): Marie-Sophie Dubus, Dominique Engerer, Cinematographer(s): Gary Graver

Orson Welles achieved instant celebrity with one of the greatest tricks in radio history, the notorious “The War of the Worlds.” In his hat and cape Welles pulls back the curtain in F for Fake to reveal to the audience how easy it is to blur the lines between fact and fiction as he splices film in the editing room. Welles then takes the viewer on a whiplash-filled cinematic journey through the life of famed art forger Elmyr de Hory and his biographer Clifford Irving, no stranger to fakery himself. It’s fitting that Welles’s last directorial effort is an examination of the relationship between art and truth, but beware, the self-proclaimed charlatan does not leave you without having played a few of his own tricks.

04:00 - 06:00 - Fighter(86 min)

Director(s): Amir Bar-Lev, Producer(s): Amir Bar-Lev, Jonathan Crosby, Alex Mamlet, Editor(s): Amir Bar-Lev, Cinematographer(s): Gary Griffin

On the surface Fighter is about two old friends in their seventies, Jan Wiener and Arnost Lustig, Czech immigrants who decide to take a trip back to Europe after having lived in the United States for many years. As they retrace Wiener’s escape from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia, however, the film becomes an enthralling story about memory and friendship. Wiener’s story of his father’s suicide, laying flat under a train on an eighteen-hour trip to Italy, joining the Royal Air Force, being accused of being a British spy, and returning to Czechoslovakia only to be put in a communist labor camp is enough to capture the audience’s attention. But conflict arises, and keeps arising, when Lustig, a Holocaust survivor and former member of the Czech Communist Party, who wants to write a book about the journey and his own past (his father died in a camp), constantly analyzes every decision and action of the past (something Wiener has no patience for). With scenes that in matters of minutes take you from tears to laughter and then to anger, Fighter demonstrates how reliving memories can bring old friends closer than ever and take them to the brink of collapse.

Location - Carolina Theatre

10:00 - 12:05 - Wolf Mountain(7 min)

Director(s): Dan Duran, Brendan Nahmias, Sam Price-Waldman, Producer(s): Dan Duran, Brendan Nahmias, Sam Price-Waldman, Editor(s): Dan Duran, Sam Price-Waldman, Cinematographer(s): Dan Duran, Sam Price-Waldman

Tonya Littlewolf literally runs with the wolves. Twenty-six years ago she founded Wolf Mountain Sanctuary, a refugee camp for wolves born in captivity that are unsuited to living as pets and unable to survive in the wild. This poetic short explores Littlewolf’s abiding love for her spirit brothers against the backdrop of the Mojave Desert’s Lucerne Valley, capturing the rhythm of daily life and culminating in an extraordinary demonstration of canine communion.

10:00 - 12:05 - Buzkashi(82 min)

Director(s): Najeeb Mirza, Producer(s): Micheline Shoebridge, Najeeb Mirza, Editor(s): Omar Majeed, Cameron Esler, Cinematographer(s): Najeeb Mirza, Randy Kelly, Jimmy Bustos Najeeb Mirza

This visually stunning film set in Tajikistan is about the centuries-old sport of Buzkashi. Like polo, the game is played on horseback; unlike polo, hundreds of sheepherders crush and slam each other while trying to snatch a sheep’s carcass off the ground and race it across a goal line. Azam, a poor shepherd and Buzkashi champion, is a traditionalist who believes his children and his beloved sport should walk a time-honored path. Enter Khurshed, an intense upstart with fancy horses and Mafia-esque alliances on the field, who wants to modernize Buzkashi and bring it international credibility. Soon Azam’s own son challenges tradition by questioning his future as a shepherd. As Azam trains in his barn for a confrontation on the field, his son prepares for his own turning point at home. Buzkashi! is a film to be seen on the big screen. The cinematography is lush and purposeful—even the mud clipping off the back of galloping horses looks crisp and exciting.

01:00 - 03:10 - Garrett Scott Grant(30 min)

Director(s): Mike Attie, Meghan O'Hara, Lyric R. Cabral

Now in its seventh year, the 2013 grant has been awarded to Lyric R. Cabral for (T)ERROR and to Mike Attie and Meghan O’Hara for In Country. In (T)ERROR, an active FBI counterterrorism sting operation unravels when a terror suspect realizes an informant is setting him up. Blurring the boundaries between reality and fantasy, In Country follows a “platoon” of dedicated Vietnam War reenactors. The grant’s organizers will join the filmmakers in presenting short excerpts from their works-in-progress, which will be shown prior to the screening of 2011 recipient Lotfy Nathan’s film, 12 O’Clock Boys.

01:00 - 03:10 - 12 O'Clock Boys

Director(s): Lotfy Nathan, Producer(s): Taylor Gillespie, Lotfy Nathan, John Kassab, Eric Blair, Editor(s): Thomas Niles, Cinematographer(s): Lotfy Nathan

A ring of extreme dirt bike and ATV riders roam the urban streets. Many residents feel they terrorize the community, performing unsafe tricks and compromising traffic. The police have even come up with tactics to trap them, as attempting to chase the riders down could result in perilous high-speed antics. But meanwhile, Pug, a thirteen-year-old boy living on a dangerous Westside block with his single mother and brother, practices on his own small ATV and enthusiastically follows the riders. All he dreams of is a place with the group. This gloriously photographed film sets up a fascinating dichotomy between the ring’s internal experiences—given ample voice through director Lotfy Nathan’s familiarity with the riders—and external perspectives on its dangerous habits. Even in the face of conflict and danger, the desire to belong can be immensely powerful; perhaps all the more so in those pivotal years when one is coming of age.

04:10 - 06:20 - Ash(10 min)

Director(s): Nathan S. Duncan, Producer(s): Nathan S. Duncan, Editor(s): Nathan S. Duncan, Cinematographer(s): Nathan Efstation

World Premiere

Ash (noun): the residue that remains after disintegration, or the acronym for Texas’s Austin State Hospital, once known as the State Lunatic Asylum. In this moody, experimental film, perfectly composed images of graffiti-riddled stairwells, rippled windowpanes, and crumbling plaster walls make the hospital’s abandoned wing seem frozen in time. However, subtle movements suggest that vestiges of life linger in the building’s decaying spaces: shadows dance across the peeling paint and dusty ceiling fans turn in the breeze. These rooms, now vacant, are haunted by the memories of the patients who once inhabited them. Their stories materialize via an eerily impersonal recitation of doctors’ logs. In conjuring up the remnants of lives burned by illness and clinical indifference, this arresting film transforms the nineteenth-century building into a ghostly memorial to the souls once locked, lost, and forgotten within its walls.

04:10 - 06:20 - The Undocumented(91 min)

Director(s): Marco Williams, Producer(s): Marco Williams,Editor(s): Kris Liem, Dave Meneses, Cinematographer(s): Marco Williams, Hector Mata, Thomas Peyton, Claudio Rocha

The Undocumented is an unblinking, visceral tribute to immigrants who have lost their lives crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona. The film shows them—abandoned and lifeless—as evidence of a broken system. Many individuals are left to pick up the pieces. Some of them search for, rescue, and provide water and medical care for people who managed to survive under an unforgiving sun. For the unlucky, medical examiners painstakingly try to identify their remains in a morgue crowded with other victims of the Sonoran Desert. The audience shares in both the revelation and also the finality of a match between a dead migrant and his photograph. Empathetic advocates share the sad news with families in Mexico and help reunite the remains with their loved ones. With sensitivity to the humanity of the anonymous dead, Marco Williams explores the reasons for attempting a border crossing, documents the search for a name, and reveals the impact of a death on the families left behind.

07:10 - 09:20 - Twenty Feet from Stardom(90 min)

Director(s): Morgan Neville, Producer(s): Gil Friesen ,Editor(s): Jason Zeldes, Kevin Klauber, Cinematographer(s): Nicola B. Marsh, Graham Willoughby

For decades, backup singers, largely women and largely African American, have labored in the shadows of the music industry. Their sound has been an essential ingredient in the hit-making recipe. The singers profiled here, despite their undeniable talent, never broke through to the front of the stage, whether by fate or by choice (the latter more common than one would suppose). This film finally gives these singers their due. The low points and the triumphs of these women’s journeys force us to recalibrate our preconceived notions of art, fame, and success. While their stories reveal the shady machinations of a predatory industry, the film also shows the backup role as an art in its own right, requiring precision, nuance, and deep rootedness in the groove. And when they’re placed front and center and given a chance to solo, they flat-out crush it by out-cooing, out-melisma-ing, and out-belting any number of the divas they normally stand behind. 

10:10 - 00:30 - DaVinci()

Director(s): Yuri Ancarani, Producer(s): Maurizio Cattelan, Antonella Rodriguez Boccanelli, Ivan Frioni, Giorgio Gallenzi, Warly Tomei, Museo Marino Marini in Firenze, Editor(s): Yuri Ancarani, Cinematographer(s): Yuri Ancarani

Through amazing cinematography, this arresting film takes us inside the cavity of a human chest and transforms it into a strange and supernatural land. A new camera-based computer allows doctors to perform heart surgery by controlling a single joystick, and we are along for the ride. In vibrant blues and purples, veins shimmer and a steady muscle pulsates, while a tiny metal probe attempts to repair damaged vessels. What might have been a straightforward medical document is instead a transcendent, fantastic journey into the depths of the human core.

Location - Durham Convention Center

10:20 - 12:15 - Open Heart

Director(s): Kief Davidson, Producer(s): Kief Davidson, Cori Shepherd Stern, Editor(s): Flavia de Souza, Kief Davidson, Cinematographer(s): Zak Mulligan

In Open Heart, seven Rwandan children, including six-year-old Angelique, have been approved for life-saving heart surgery at Sudan’s Salam Centre, the one hospital on the African continent that provides free cardiac care. However, the children’s parents aren’t allowed to take the 2,500-mile trip with them, and if the children die, their bodies must remain there. Rwandan cardiologist Dr. Emmanuel Rusingiza works with Dr. Gino Strada to save children who suffer from severe cardiac complications stemming from untreated strep throat and rheumatic fever (an epidemic affecting more than 13 million Africans). Director Kief Davidson forges a new path in health-advocacy documentaries by exchanging sanctimony and didacticism for emotional, visceral, and pulse-quickening drama. His cinematic eye and narrative mind craft a much larger story than one would imagine possible in the space of forty minutes. Much like the cardiac surgeons he presents, Davidson’s documentary is one of precision and compelling detail. Surgery scenes, while graphic, work to underscore the amazing resiliency of the heart and the child to which it belongs.

10:20 - 12:15 - Black Out(47 min)

Director(s): Eva Weber,Producer(s): Claire Neate James, Kat Mansoor, Editor(s): Emiliano Battista, Eva Weber, Cinematographer(s): Mattias Nyberg

School children in Guinea are willing to make enormous sacrifices for their education in hopes of escaping the circumstances of their parents. Determined to do well on their exams, but lacking electricity at home, many young students walk miles to study beneath the glow of parking lot, airport, and gas station lights. Eva Weber’s incredibly photographed film explores these surreal images of students who hit the books not in the quiet and comfort of a library but on the cold pavement of bizarre and makeshift urban study halls. More personally, Weber documents the hopes and circumstances of several individual children and the teacher who does his best to support their efforts. These accounts also reveal the danger of this nightly pilgrimage, which may or may not ultimately lead to a better life.

01:20 - 03:30 - A Will for the Woods(93 min)

Director(s): Amy Browne, Jeremy Kaplan, Tony Hale, Brian Wilson, Producer(s): Amy Browne, Editor(s): Tony Hale, Brian Wilson, Cinematographer(s): Jeremy Kaplan

If living green is sometimes difficult, what about dying green? Is our collective legacy to be buried in such a way that we flood the environment with toxic chemicals and encroach on fragile woodlands, harming the ecosystem for generations to come? This intimate and thought-provoking film takes a personal approach to green burial, focusing on psychiatrist Clark Wang—a Duke alumnus, accomplished cellist, and passionate folk dancer—as he battles lymphoma while simultaneously challenging the traditional death-care industry. Supported by his partner and a loving community, Wang courageously fulfills his spiritual duty to protect green land even after his death. The film situates Wang’s crusade within the context of the widening green burial movement, shedding light on the work of the Green Burial Council. This rewarding film shows us how our difficult choices around the rituals of death impact the world we leave behind.

04:20 - 06:05 - True-Life Adventure

Director(s): Erin Espelie,Producer(s): Erin Espelie, Editor(s): Erin Espelie, Cinematographer(s): Erin Espelie

A bee, a water strider, and a roly poly are just a few of the characters in this four-minute, real-life drama shot in a 3.25-square-foot area of a stream in the Rocky Mountains on a lovely June afternoon. An old-fashioned nature documentary audio track adds charm and makes the bugs’ efforts seem downright heroic.

04:20 - 06:05 - Mussels in Love

Director(s): Willemiek Kluijfhout, Producer(s): Reinette van de Stadt, Editor(s): Dieter Diependaele, Govert Janse, Cinematographer(s): Remko Schnorr

If you’ve ever partaken of that first steamy bite from a bowl of broth and briny mollusks, this glorious film is that moment’s cinematic equivalent. Over the course of seventy-three minutes, we meet an array of men and women who devote their lives, and livelihoods, to the Zeeland mussel. A breeder prepares an intricate system for efficient procreation. A fisherman harvests beds of mussels to sell at market. A chef delicately demonstrates his specialized preparation. A pair of friends shuck the shellfish in the surf. There’s even a mussel princess, not to mention a doctor who uses mussels’ natural glue to save the lives of unborn babies. Along with these often surprising professions of admiration, the film delivers magnificent underwater close-ups of the shellfish in their element. Whether one leaves this love letter to the Zeeland mussel with outsized cravings or a vow to never devour such magnificent creatures again will ultimately be a matter of personal taste. Regardless, the mussel's seductive allure, as evident here, is undeniable.

Location - Durham Convention Center

10:50 - 01:05 - The Crash Reel(108 min)

Director(s): Lucy Walker,Producer(s):Julian Cautherly, Lucy Walker,Editor(s): Pedro Kos,Cinematographer(s):Nick Higgins

When it came to snowboarding, Kevin Pearce was an indisputable phenom. By his twenties, he had a rivalry with legendary boarder Shaun White, a growing team of sponsors, several championships, and a network of talented friends who loved the sport as much as he did. But in 2010, just months before the Winter Olympics, Kevin suffered a training accident that brought everything to a halt. After days of uncertainty, Kevin emerged from a coma with traumatic brain injury and, with the astounding support of his family, began an unbelievable process of recovery. With as much energy and heart as Kevin brought to snowboarding, Lucy Walker brilliantly documents the physical, mental, and emotional challenges he and his family face. Though Kevin’s journey is the center of the film, it does not shy away from examining the dangers of extreme sports (there is footage from his horrific crash and others). While Kevin’s life will never be the same, he has a new one to build and profound choices to make about what it means to truly recover and how to go on loving the sport he once gave everything to. 

01:50 - 04:10 - Manhunt(102 min)

Director(s): Greg Barker,Producer(s):John Battsek, Julie Goldman, Greg Barker, Editor(s):Joe Bini, Cinematographer(s): Frank-Peter Lehmann, Erich Roland

A chronicle of the CIA’s twenty-year search for Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda operatives, code-named “Alec Station,” Manhunt introduces the dedicated team of research analysts within the mission known as the “Sisterhood.” This intrepid and obsessed group provides in-depth and personal accounts of their methods and the fascinating investigative procedures that ultimately led to the Seal Team Six raid on bin Laden’s compound in May 2011, which was reenacted in Kathryn Bigelow’s film Zero Dark Thirty. Other members of the mission recount their efforts in startling and polarizing detail, from managing informants, working with the FBI, and acquiring information from detainees using “enhanced interrogation techniques.” With remarkable access and suspenseful pacing, Manhunt takes the viewer down the decades-long and labyrinthine road to Abbottabad.

05:00 - 07:00 - If You Build It(84 min)

Director(s): Patrick Creadon, Producer(s): Christine O'Malley, Neal Baer, Editor(s): Nick Andert, Daniel Clark, Doug Blush, Cinematographer(s): George DeSort

Designers Emily Pilloton and Matthew Miller bring their radical and innovative educational program to Bertie County, North Carolina, transforming people and place over the course of a turbulent and inspiring year. Each season brings a new set of challenges, both prescribed and unexpected, and the resourceful instructors (and their industrious students) must apply the principles of their curriculum—design, build, transform—to their lives as well as to their projects. Earnest, determined, and rousing, the film and its subjects, raise questions of self-reliance, citizenship, and community-building in its most literal interpretation.

10:40 - 00:35 - ***** Riot – A Punk Prayer(88 min)

Director(s): Mike Lerner, Maxim Pozdorovkin, Producer(s): Mike Lerner, Maxim Pozdorovkin, Editor(s): Esteban Uyarra, Simon Barker, Cinematographer(s): Antony Butts

Three of the members were arrested and eventually convicted and sentenced to prison for hooliganism. With surprising access, the film chronicles the sensational trial, the groundswell movements in support of the incarcerated, and the complicated intersection of state and church in Russia. Interviews with family members, undetained ***** Riot members, and detractors all provide context and commentary on the controversial proceedings, while courtroom footage and daily news suspensefully unfolds on camera. Simultaneously heartrending and inspiring, ***** Riot—A Punk Prayer is a cautionary tale about freedom of speech and public dissent that turns a deep-focus lens on the meaning of performance and persecution half a world away.

Location - Carolina Theatre

10:40 - 12:40 - Operation Filmmaker(92 min)

Director(s): Nina Davenport, Producer(s): Nina Davenport, Editor(s): Nina Davenport, Aaron Kuhn, Cinematographer(s): Nina Davenport

Iraqi Muthana Mohmed longs to become a prominent filmmaker. In the wake of Operation Iraqi Freedom, MTV airs a story about Mohmed, and filmmaker Liev Schreiber decides to help make his dreams come true. Schreiber and his team invite Mohmed to intern on the set of their movie Everything Is Illuminated. Mohmed is met with open arms and boundless enthusiasm, but the reality of this cultural exchange is far different from the idealized visions of its architects. Frustrations rapidly mount. Mohmed is appalled by what’s asked of him, while his supervisors find it difficult to fathom his lack of interest. Filmmaker Nina Davenport, recruited to document a few days on the set, quickly realizes the fairytale is developing into a far knottier narrative. As she follows Mohmed’s journey toward his dream, doing her best to support his actions and iron out the misunderstandings, the distinctions between collaboration and manipulation continue to blur. Davenport navigates good intentions gone awry, including her own, in this candid examination of influence and filmmaking.

01:40 - 03:30 - Maidentrip(82 min)

Director(s): Jillian Schlesinger, Producer(s): Jillian Schlesinger, Emily McAllister, Editor(s): Penelope Falk, Cinematographer(s): Hillary Spera

Laura Dekker was born on a boat, could sail alone at the age of six, and for as long as she could remember, dreamed of sailing around the world. After a prolonged court battle with Dutch authorities, and exposure in the global media, fourteen-year-old Dekker finally gets her chance to be the youngest person to complete a solo circumnavigation of the globe. Jillian Schlesinger's debut feature film follows Dekker on her quest to sail the world, and discover her place in it. Spanning two years, three oceans, and five continents, the adventure unfolds as an intimately framed affirmation of independence and identity. Shot in large part by Dekker on board the Guppy and driven by her unscripted narration, the odyssey is infused with the teen’s humor, candor, and surprising strength. More at ease in a storm than in the boredom of a windless sea, Laura Dekker is a captivating subject. Maidentrip masterfully navigates this remarkable coming-of-age journey.

04:40 - 06:45 - AKA Doc Pomus(99 min)

Director(s): Peter Miller, Will Hechter, Producer(s): Will Hechter, Peter Miller, Sharyn Felder, Editor(s): Amy Linton, Cinematographer(s): Antonio Rossi

Stricken with polio at the age of six, Brooklyn-born Jerome Felder knew something about the misery that spawns the blues. Inspired by Big Joe Turner, Jerome reinvented himself as blues singer Doc Pomus and made music history, penning dozens of hit songs with partner Mort Shuman for Ray Charles, the Drifters, and Elvis Presley. When singer-songwriters displaced hired guns like Pomus, Doc recast himself yet again, this time as a card sharp who presided over a never-ending poker party on the Upper West Side. An essential piece of mid-century Americana, this poignant and celebratory biopic pays homage to songs that transform pain into beauty, and to the man who didn’t just write “Lonely Avenue” but who lived on it. Interviews with musicians range from Jimmy Scott to John Lennon and Shawn Colvin to Dr. John. Still, the highest praise comes from would-be rival Bob Dylan, who says, “Everything you need to know is in ‘A Teenager in Love.’”

07:30 - 10:05 - A Man Vanishes(130 min)

Director(s): Shôhei Imamura, Producer(s): Shôhei Imamura, Editor(s): Kenji Ishiguro, Cinematographer(s): Matsuo Tanji

In the 1960s, Tadishi Oshima, a Japanese businessman, goes missing. Or did he choose to disappear? Either way, his fiancée, Yoshie, who is desperate to find him, leads a filmmaking team on a trail to his whereabouts. Together, they set off interviewing his associates, neighbors, and even past loves. An odd set of circumstances slowly comes into focus: Had Tadishi embezzled funds? Could it be that his relationship with Yoshie’s sister was not what it seemed? As the testimonies deepen, Yoshie’s role in constructing the narrative of Tadishi’s disappearance comes into question. Even the filmmaker’s role is subject to speculation. Shot in black-and-white, with purposefully out-of-sync sound, this examination of truth and fiction may have taken over forty-five years to be released in the United States, but the questions at its core are remarkably current.

Location - Durham Arts Council

10:30 - 12:35 - Nile Perch

Director(s): Josh Gibson, Producer(s): Josh Gibson, Editor(s): Josh Gibson, Cinematographer(s): Josh Gibson

Economic in style and subject, Nile Perch is an austere, contemplative observation of Lake Victoria fishermen. Rendered in arresting black-and-white and hand-processed by Durham filmmaker Josh Gibson, the film reveals the practice and process of fishing in Africa’s largest lake, from morning catch to afternoon market to evening repast, all with intimate access yet respectful remove. “High contrast” may well describe the cinematography, but as the film evolves it seems that it also characterizes the results of a day’s work: what the fishermen must sell from their yield, and what remains for themselves. 

10:30 - 12:35 - A River Changes Course(83 min)

Director(s): Kalyanee Mam, Producer(s): Kalyanee Mam, Ratanak Leng, Youk Chhang, Editor(s): Chris Brown, Cinematographer(s): Kalyanee Mam

How is land most valuable, as a renewable or commoditized resource? How is ownership determined? Who decides? Is convenience progress? Families scavenge for wild potatoes in a deforested landscape, fishing farther and farther from home as the river seems empty, bringing in a back-breaking rice harvest that doesn’t cover their debts. Musing on what comes next, and how to get there, it seems that there are only questions. Is an eldest child’s service to the family sacrifice, or an opportunity for autonomy? How important is education and how is its value quantified? The Tonle Sap River changes course twice a year, but when a family leaves its traditional path, will it still know how to be a family? A beautiful and heartbreaking vérité look at three families subsisting in (what may be the end of) rural Cambodia.

01:30 - 03:20 - The Baby(85 min)

Director(s): Deborah van Dam, Producer(s): Hello Films B.V., Deborah van DAm Filmprodukties, Editor(s): Elja de Lange, Cinematographer(s): Joost van Herwijnen

To hear Anneke Thompson-Kohnke tell it, she has led a fairly ordinary life. Perhaps now, but in the beginning it was quite the contrary. Anneke’s earliest memories do not really exist prior to a boat ride from the Netherlands to the United States in 1946 when she was almost six years old. Now sixty-five years later, this mystery begins to unravel. Through a series of interviews, childhood photos, and archival materials, we learn about Anneke’s early life: She was born in Hilversum on Christmas day 1940 to a young Jewish musician and his wife; Anne Frank babysat her in Amsterdam (their mothers were friends back in Germany); and her parents hired a courier to secret her away to safety with a Christian family in Voorburg when she was less than two years old. But how did she come to live in New York three years later? Revelatory and heartbreaking, we watch as all of Anneke’s past unfolds before her.

04:30 - 06:15 - Remote Area Medical(79 min)

Director(s): Jeff Reichert, Farihah Zaman,Producer(s): Dan O’Meara, Jeff Reichert, Farihah Zaman, Editor(s): Sam Pollard, Cinematographer(s): Jarred Alterman, Steven Bognar, Gary Griffin, Nadia Hallgren, Jeff Reichert, Erick Stoll, Errol Webber

During the U.S. debate about healthcare reform, the media—reporters and news crews and filmmakers—failed to put a human face on what it means to not have access to healthcare.  Remote Area Medical fills that gap. Remote Area Medical (RAM) is a program that started out giving medical attention to people in rural areas of poorer countries, but they have found it necessary to shift resources from countries like Guatemala to help people in the U.S. The film covers the span of a long weekend in which RAM sets up a clinic on a NASCAR speedway and helps almost two thousand people receive medical, dental, and vision care. While we watch with amazement at what these volunteers accomplish in three short days, and how truly grateful people are for their assistance, we know in the back of our minds that RAM shouldn’t have to exist. While every tooth pulled feels like a kick to the stomach, Remote Area Medical vividly reveals how crucial these services are, and how they lead to a chance at better lives for the patients in need.

07:40 - 09:40 - The Guide(40 min)

Director(s): Jessica Yu, Producer(s): Elise Pearlstein, Jessica Yu, Editor(s): Jessica Yu, Cinematographer(s): Bob Poole

Nineteen-year-old Tonga Torcida has lived near Mount Gorongosa in Mozambique since birth and has one lifelong dream: to be a tour guide for the Gorongosa National Park. The park became famous in the 1960s, before a war of indepence with Portugal and civil war killed almost a million people and devastated much of the park’s wildlife. Today, Greg Carr is committed to the park’s restoration and conservation and plans to engage the local community in the effort by providing jobs to over four hundred individuals and ensuring that the resources yielded by the park are then spread to the surrounding villages. He and his colleagues are taken by Tonga, whose passion for the landscape embodies its future. When renowned biologist E. O. Wilson visits, Tonga is offered the remarkable opportunity to translate for him. The realization of his dream may just inspire Tonga to envision a more significant role for himself in sustaining this remarkable place. Exquisite imagery of lush scenery and majestic animals embellish this powerful portrayal of mutualism between both man and nature and man and fellow man. 

07:40 - 09:40 - Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O’Brien(35 min)

Director(s): Jessica Yu,Producer(s): Jessica Yu, Editor(s): Jessica Yu, Cinematographer(s): Shana Hagan

In his own words and writings, poet and journalist Mark O’Brien articulates the details of a life spent confined to an iron lung. Stricken with polio as a child, O’Brien’s body may depend on the pressurized intake and release of air, but he refuses to let this define his existence—despite the obvious challenges, he graduated from Berkeley and has a career as a writer. He is matter-of-factly forthcoming about his relationships to his work, his caregivers and friends, his body and sex, and even to the misperceptions of disabled people in general. This quietly triumphant portrait of one individual’s ability to transcend the physical confines of his life invites us to question what is and is not impossible.

10:30 - 00:20 - Borat(84 min)

Director(s): Larry Charles, Producer(s): Sacha Baron Cohen, Jay Roach. Executive Producers: Monica Levinson, Dan Mazer. Co-Producer: Peter Baynham, Editor(s): Craig Alpert, Peter Teschner, James Thomas, Cinematographer(s): Luke Geissbuhler, Anthony Hardwick

"Sacha Baron Cohen, star of HBO's hit comedy Da Ali G Show, takes his outrageous Kazakhstani reporter character Borat to the big screen. In this hilariously offensive movie, Borat travels from his primitive home in Kazakhstan to the United States to make a documentary. On his cross-country road-trip, Borat meets real people in real situations with hysterical consequences." Criterion Pictures

Location - Carolina Theatre

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Schedule Of Events:

03:00 - 04:00 - School of Doc Presentation(60 min)

Director(s): Jahmon Allen, Arnold Chanakira, Rodnei Crutchfield, Ymani Davis, Mishel Gomez, Simon Krzywy, Maven Mayfield, Ciara Strong, Emmanuel Tabb, Producer(s): Nic Beery, Matthew Krieg, Todd Tinkham

The story of Pelican's SnoBalls - a family owned business and culinary destination in Durham, North Carolina. The film, the final project of the 2012 School of Doc, was produced, edited, and shot by Durham high school students.

Full Frame offers the School of Doc, a free camp, to teens who are interested in learning the art of documentary filmmaking. A select group of Durham high school students attend the five-week workshop, complete their own short documentary film, and learn real-world applications of the skills they have acquired. Our 2012 class of young filmmakers will attend Full Frame 2013 to learn more about the documentary medium. In this presentation, they will screen the short works they created for the public.

Location - Carolina Theatre   

10:10 - 12:20 - Running from Crazy(101 min)

Director(s): Barbara Kopple,Producer(s): Barbara Kopple, David Cassidy, Editor(s): Michael Culyba, Mona Davis, Cinematographer(s): Andrew Young, Boone Speed, Michael Call, Phil Parmet

Rather than hide from her past, Mariel Hemingway has chosen to face her family history of mental illness with focus and deliberation. Tracing the family’s struggles back to her grandfather Ernest’s suicide, Mariel engages in a remarkable dialogue with esteemed filmmaker Barbara Kopple and is refreshingly forthcoming and reflective about her approach to mental health and her life. Through extended interviews and a magnificent array of family archival material, Mariel recounts her experiences and the bold steps she has taken to escape the fate of her genes. There is no approach she will not explore—diet, exercise, meditation, therapy. She speaks candidly about her own career as a model and actress, and perhaps most poignantly, about the tragic loss of her older sister, supermodel Margaux, who took her own life. The film sheds light on the personal side of a public story and shines a beacon on the dark subject of suicide and mental illness with which so many individuals and families struggle.

Location - Durham Convention Center

10:20 - 12:00 - The Fruit Hunters

Director(s): Yung Chang, Producer(s): Mila Aung-Thwin, Kat Baulu, Bob Moore, Editor(s): Mila Aung-Thwin, Hannele Halm, Omar Majeed, Cinematographer(s): Mark Ó Fearghail

“Do you feel the weight of fallen dynasties when you devour a lychee?” We barely take a moment to feel a piece of fruit’s firmness and to enjoy its scent. What’s happened to our passion? We’ve been in wars over fruit! The Fruit Hunters revives the passion, recklessness, and spontaneity of humanity’s long involvement with these gifts of nature. A fruit detective searches for vintage figs in European monasteries using clues from Renaissance paintings. In Asia, a pair of adventurers search for an exotic mango before loggers have their way with the land. Actor Bill Pullman works to create a community orchard in Hollywood and speaks about the effort with the same kind of fervor he brought to the role of president in the blockbuster Independence Day. A scientist attempts to breed a hardier strain of the delicate Cavendish banana. The passion of these hunters, as well as the film’s erotic, sensual cinematography, will light the spark we’ve all been missing. 

05:10 - 06:55 - In So Many Words(77 min)

Director(s): Elisabeth Haviland James, Producer(s): Elisabeth Haviland James, Revere La Noue, Editor(s): Elisabeth Haviland James. Writers: Lindsay Deviln, Elisabeth Haviland James, Cinematographer(s): Andreas Burgess

This intensely revealing biography of writer and clinical psychologist Lucy Daniels expands the documentary form in its freely evocative visualization of Daniels’s early life. Recreated scenes bring a dreamy visual texture to a story told in dark, powerful interviews. Daniels’s access to her earliest memories, in vivid detail, suggests the redemptive possibilities of years of therapy. Raised in a wealthy newspaper family in North Carolina, Daniels lived in a bubble of privilege and family dysfunction, which led to an intractable case of anorexia. During her teens, she was confined to various institutions to treat her illness and, along with other methods, was given electroshock treatments. Surprisingly, her highly acclaimed novels Caleb, My Son and High on a Hill followed the medieval horrors of these years and were written and published when she was still her twenties. Psychoanalysis meets cinematography in this formally creative and emotionally compelling film.

Location - Durham Convention Center

11:00 - 01:05 - Venus and Serena(99 min)

Director(s): Maiken Baird, Michelle Major, Producer(s): Maiken Baird, Michelle Major, Editor(s): Sam Pollard, Cinematographer(s): Cliff Charles, Rashidi Harper, Stephanie Jones

Venus and Serena Williams redefined the sport of tennis when they burst on the scene in the mid 1990s. Over the course of their careers they have won countless titles and, as witnessed in the film, amassed quite a sideline of famous fans. Everyone from Anna Wintour to Spike Lee, even President Bill Clinton, has strong opinions about their influence. Between fashion magazine shoots and sports broadcasts, they seem to have taken over the media, but we’ve never seen them quite like this. With unprecedented access, Michelle Major and Maiken Baird followed the Williams sisters over the course of their most difficult season yet. In 2011, Venus struggled with exhaustion caused by an autoimmune deficiency while Serena navigated the fallout of a pulmonary embolism. The stars are remarkably candid about both their success and the adversity fame has brought them and talk about the significant role that family has played in their careers. This vibrant portrait offers a rare glimpse into the intense days and nights of living icons.

08:00 - 10:15 - Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me(113 min)

Director(s): Drew DeNicola, Olivia Mori, Producer(s): Danielle McCarthy, Drew DeNicola, Olivia Mori, Editor(s): Christopher Branca, Drew DeNicola, Cinematographer(s): Drew DeNicola

Formed in 1971, Big Star recorded a mere three albums before disbanding in 1974. However, their legendary influence and the impact of their style belies their lack of commercial success and has elevated the band to mythic status. Tracing the history of the band, and the power-pop branches of Big Star’s family tree, the documentary revels in spirited interviews, scarcely seen archival footage, and appearances by Michael Stipe, Tift Merritt, Robyn Hitchcock, Matthew Sweet, and Django Haskins, among others. A reverent celebration of music and memory, the film affirms that the light from Big Star has traveled many years and is still reaching us.

Location - Fletcher Hall

10:40 - 12:15 - The Editor and the Dragon: Horace Carter Fights the Klan(58 min)

Director(s): Martin M. Clark, Walter E. Campbell, Producer(s): Martin M. Clark, Walter E. Campbell, Editor(s): Tom Vickers, Cinematographer(s): Warren Gentry

In 1953, Ernest Hemingway received a Pulitzer Prize for his monumental work The Old Man and the Sea. That same year, the Pulitzer committee also awarded the prize to thirty-two-year-old Horace Carter, editor of the Tabor City Tribune in North Carolina, who was in the middle of a real-life struggle with the Ku Klux Klan in his small town. Carter, a graduate of the University of North Carolina and a protégé of Frank Porter Graham, wrote fearless editorials that blasted the Klan and its attention-seeking leader, Grand Dragon Thomas Hamilton, and aggravated many town leaders, including his own parents. At one point, Hamilton marched into Carter’s office and confronted him directly. The era comes back to life through rich archival footage and extensive interviews with Carter, who talks about his experiences as a target and his commitment to being a voice of dissent in an otherwise frightened and intimidated town.

Location - Durham Arts Council

10:00 - 11:50 - My Kid Could Paint That(83 min)

Director(s): Amir Bar-Lev, Producer(s): Amir Bar-Lev, Editor(s): Michael Levine, John Walter, Cinematographer(s): Matt Boyd, Nelson Hume, Bill Turnley

At the age of three, Marla Olmstead was a rising art sensation: She had her own solo gallery show, sold her paintings for thousands of dollars, and received the kind of attention many artists only dream of. Despite some reservations, the Olmsteads embrace their daughter’s burgeoning career, traveling with her to promote her work and entertaining requests from a fervent media. But when a story gets this big, it has to change. A shocking 60 Minutes special calls into question whether or not Marla’s father may be the real artist of the acclaimed works. The revelation not only blindsides the Olmsteads, it shatters the story that director Amir Bar-Lev thinks he is telling. Bar-Lev thoughtfully attempts to untangle the contradictions, boldly owning his personal role in events while acknowledging the media’s power to build a person up only to tear her back down. In doing so, this poignant documentary expands beyond the world of art to examine our tendency to manufacture convenient truths and the stories that we, in turn, choose to believe.

01:30 - 03:45 - Meet Mr. Toilet(4 min)

Director(s): Jessica Yu, Producer(s): Elise Pearlstein, Editor(s): Adam Parker, Cinematographer(s): David Gil, Siew Yaw Hoong

Forty percent of the world population does not have access to a toilet. Enter businessman Jack Sim, who aims to break the taboos around talking about basic sanitation. His argument is simple: 1.5 million children die unnecessarily each year due to water contamination. If toilets can become a desirable status symbol, worldwide sanitation will improve, and one of human beings’ most basic functions will no longer have drastic health effects on those downstream. In its brief three minutes, this film reminds us that “what you don’t talk about, you cannot improve.”

01:30 - 03:45 - Last Call at the Oasis(100 min)

Director(s): Jessica Yu,Producer(s): Elise Pearlstein, Jessica Yu. Executive Producers: Jeff Skoll, Diane Weyermann, Carol Baum, David Helpern, Editor(s):
Kim Roberts, Cinematographer(s): Jon Else

Every four days a farmer in Australia commits suicide. Las Vegas is fifty feet of water away from ceasing to function. Fetuses are being exposed to birth control pills. All of this is happening due to the scarcity and contamination of the world’s water supply. Jessica Yu’s arresting documentary highlights the fact that even though water is a renewable source, humans are quickly emptying aquifers that took thousands of years to fill. What water we do have is being polluted. We experience déjà vu with Erin Brockovich, who visits Hinkley, California, and discovers that its inhabitants are being exposed to the same chemical from the same company as featured in the Oscar®-nominated film that bears her name. Yu presents the information as beautiful aerial shots remind us of the majesty of our environment. Through interviews with scientists, farmers, water authority officials, and everyday citizens turned activists, Last Call at the Oasis alerts viewers to the possibility of change: The global water crisis is no longer solvable but it is manageable.

04:30 - 06:45 - We Always Lie to Strangers

Director(s): AJ Schnack, David Wilson,Producer(s): AJ Schnack, David Wilson, Nathan Truesdell, Editor(s): AJ Schnack, Cinematographer(s): AJ Schnack, David Wilson, Nathan Truesdell

Branson, Missouri, population 10,520, might be considered a sleepy little Ozark town if it weren’t for the 7.5 million tourists a year who make the trip to this self-described buckle of the Bible Belt for family-friendly entertainment. Ozark hospitality, God, and family define the entertainment, and tourism defines the local economy. Branson, “the live music capital of the universe” has fifty music theaters offering over a hundred shows, which along with other attractions, bring in an estimated $2.9 billion each year.

Directors Schnack and Wilson cleverly borrow their title from the work of famous folklorist Vance Randolph, and as the title implies, the film works to uncover the divide between what’s in front of the curtain and what’s behind it, focusing on four performing families deeply rooted in the community. What we witness are compelling testimonies of the American Dream, both realized and unmet, and stories of lives that are not always entirely in sync with the conservative values promoted on stage.

Location - Carolina Theatre

Date: April 4-7, 2013


Durham Convention Center, 201 Foster Street, Durham, NC 27701

Carolina Theatre, 309 West Morgan Street, Durham, NC 27701

Durham Arts Council,120 Morris Street  Durham, NC 27701