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Full Frame Documentary Film Festival Reveals 2013 Slate

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood March 7, 2013 at 2:56PM

At a time when doc production is exploding and ways of telling real-life stories have never been more innovative and varied, it's a great moment to check out the eclectic selection at the 16th annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, which is becoming a major doc showcase. Running April 4-7 in Durham, North Carolina, Full Frame has revealed its 2013 slate.

At a time when doc production is exploding and ways of telling real-life stories have never been more innovative and varied, it's a great moment to check out the eclectic selection at the 16th annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, which is becoming a major doc showcase. Running April 4-7 in Durham, North Carolina, Full Frame has revealed its 2013 slate.

Included in this year's voluminous program of new films are Sundance hits "After Tiller," a portrait of doctors who perform third-trimester abortions, Lucy Walker's portrait of an intrepid snowboarder, "The Crash Reel," and HBO's CIA vs. Bin Laden doc "Manhunt," as well as SXSW entries "Maidentrip" and "Downloaded"; the former following teen Laura Dekker's record-breaking sail around the world, and the latter an in-depth look at Napster.

The invited program includes two TIFF debuts, Williams' sisters portrait "Venus and Serena," and "Free Angela and All Political Prisoners" as well as arty fishing industry close-up "Leviathan."

HBO's "Gideon's Army," following three young public defenders in the Deep South, is set for opening night.

Invited Program


Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me (Directors: Drew DeNicola, Olivia Mori)

Myth and music collide in this story of the influence and impact of revered power-pop band Big Star, featuring never-before-seen footage, photos, and interviews.


Citizen Koch (Directors: Carl Deal, Tia Lessin)

A multilayered dissection of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United campaign finance decision as seen through the lens of Wisconsin’s 2011 election standoff.


The Crash Reel (Director: Lucy Walker)

After a training accident leaves Kevin Pearce with a traumatic brain injury, the intrepid snowboarder undertakes a remarkable recovery.


DaVinci (Director: Yuri Ancarani)

This surreal portrait of a fantastic voyage features visuals from a camera-based surgical computer controlled by a single joystick.


The Editor and the Dragon: Horace Carter Fights the Klan (Directors: Martin M. Clark, Walter E. Campbell)

A smalltown newspaper editor in North Carolina stands up to the KKK and is awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1953 for his courageous and tireless dissent.


Fight Like Soldiers, Die Like Children (Director: Patrick Reed)

If you’ve been to hell and back, how do you exorcise the memories? Former U.N. commander Roméo Dallaire’s new mission: end the use of child soldiers. North American Premiere


First Cousin Once Removed (Director: Alan Berliner)

In this stirring tribute, Alan Berliner traces the tenacious lines of connection between him and his cousin Edwin Honig as Edwin slowly succumbs to Alzheimer’s disease.


Free Angela & All Political Prisoners (Director: Shola Lynch)

Activist Angela Davis recounts her 1970 arrest and trial, which helped define her life as a revolutionary icon and champion of free speech.


The Fruit Hunters (Director: Yung Chang)

Extremely dedicated connoisseurs seek to devour, yet also sustain, the world’s most intoxicating and elusive produce.


Gideon’s Army (Director: Dawn Porter)

This remarkable film—a powerful testament to what it means to dedicate one’s life to the service of others—follows three young public defenders as they wrestle with massive caseloads and overwhelming student loans in order to ensure the rights of the accused.


If You Build It (Director: Patrick Creadon)             

Innovative teachers, striving students, and a radical curriculum in Bertie County, N.C., are chronicled over the course of one transformative year. World Premiere


In So Many Words (Director: Elisabeth Haviland James) 

This intensely revealing biography of writer Lucy Daniels expands the documentary form with its imaginative visualization of the stresses of her early life. World Premiere


The Last Shepherd (L’ultimo pastore) (Director: Marco Bonfanti)

This beautifully shot story of the last travelling shepherd shows that pastoral bliss may be sustained even in industrial northern Italy.


Leviathan (Directors: Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Verena Paravel)

This gripping multi-perspective account takes us deep within the shadows of a commercial fishing vessel.


Manhunt (Director: Greg Barker)

This spellbinding film dissects the painstaking search for Osama bin Laden, which originated with the “Sisterhood,” a remarkable team of CIA analysts.


Mussels in Love (L’Amour des Moules) (Director: Willemiek Kluijfhout)

In this magnificently photographed and playful ode, a variety of characters profess their devotion to the briny mollusk. US Premiere


Open Heart (Director: Kief Davidson)

Rwandan six-year-old Angelique must have heart surgery, but her dad isn’t allowed to go with her to the hospital in Sudan, or to recover her body if she dies.


Pandora's Promise (Director: Robert Stone)

Environmentalists and former anti-nuclear activists on three continents reflect upon their changes-of-heart about the safety and tremendous potential of nuclear energy.


Running from Crazy (Director: Barbara Kopple)

In light of her family’s history of suicide, Mariel Hemingway refuses to let mental illness overwhelm her own life: “control is everything.”


Sofia’s Last Ambulance (Director: Ilian Metev)

Krassi, Mila, and Plamen staunchly navigate the potholes that pepper Bulgaria’s capital, Sofia, in one of the city’s few remaining ambulances.


Venus and Serena (Directors: Maiken Baird, Michelle Major)

This unprecedented look at the tennis legends’ lives on and off the court is accentuated by the testaments of family, friends, and some of their more famous fans.


We Always Lie to Strangers (Directors: AJ Schnack, David Wilson)

This touching portrayal takes us into the lives of four families who perform for tourists in the “live music capital of the world,” Branson, Missouri.


Which Way Is the Front Line from Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington (Director: Sebastian Junger)

A warm and candid portrait of the extraordinarily brave, empathic photographer, who died in Libya in 2011, by his partner on the film Restrepo.


The World According to Dick Cheney (Directors: R.J. Cutler, Greg Finton)

A wealth of archival material and interviews shape this comprehensive, even-handed portrait of one of America’s most divisive politicians.


This article is related to: Festivals, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, Documentary, Documentaries, After Tiller, Leviathan, Free Angela & All Political Prisoners

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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.