The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival invites audiences into the world of documentaries

Celebrating its 25th year, the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival highlights the works of non-fiction filmmakers. This year, the festival will take place virtually from April 7 until tomorrow April 10.

The festival’s acting deputy director and chief marketing officer, Emily Foster, spoke to The Chronicle to outline what the festival has in store for audiences around the world. The interview has been edited for clarity and length.

Each year, the candidates submit their films to the committee. For the 2022 Full Frame Festival, they received 1,000 submissions in fall 2021 and narrowed down the films to 37 films: 22 feature films and 15 short films. Six of these films are premieres and eight have ties to North Carolina.

Outlining the application process, Foster said: “[Each film] goes through several rounds. We have a selection committee [with] about a dozen people who help screen those 1,000 films. Then from that group it goes to the programming group which is about eight people who really get into those final selections. They’re so thoughtful in how they choose movies, making sure there’s a wide variety of films from a wide variety of filmmakers, both new… and established.

With the program online, Foster and his colleagues are committed to maintaining an engaging event. To do this, the Full Frame Festival team has created a virtual forum and associated in-depth Q&A.

“It feels a lot like a Full Frame version of Netflix when people log into the virtual platform,” Foster said.

The festival is a milestone in awards season for many filmmakers. In fact, last year, “Three Songs of Benazir,” a film that had its world premiere and received its Oscar-qualifying status at the Full Frame Festival last year, was nominated for an Oscar in 2022.

“We were so excited to play a small role in the story of this film,” Foster said. “That’s what makes this festival so exciting. Our audience is truly among the first to see some of the best new movies of the year. It’s part of the draw – for people to try their luck with movies they wouldn’t otherwise see.

Foster recommended a few of the movies to The Chronicle audience:

“Stay Prayed Up” follows the leader of Les Branchettes… a gospel group in the Triangle. It was filmed for three years here in Raleigh and Durham as well as a few other locations in North Carolina. “It’s definitely a feel-good movie,” Foster said.

“Gabor”: Having its North American premiere at the festival this year, Gabor follows an aging but fun and witty photographer, a very famous French-Canadian photographer. “[For] anyone interested in art or really creative character portrayals,” Foster said, “’Gabor’ is really awesome to check out.

Later this year, communities can expect a return to in-person programming.

“At the moment we have a summer series scheduled for Mondays in August which will take place at Durham Central Park,” Foster said. “These are usually the festival audience’s favorite films or they will be films that we think will win in next year’s awards season.”

Full Frame Film Festival offers virtual streaming of films to TVs, computers or mobile devices. Movies can be viewed for 24 hours after clicking “play” or until 11:59 p.m. ET on April 10. Tickets can be purchased on the Full frame film festival website. You can find out more about the festival by checking out their FAQs page.

Gerald R. Schneider