The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival is an annual international event dedicated to the exhibition of nonfiction cinema. Based in Durham, North Carolina, the festival gathers thousands of enthusiastic fans from around the globe to celebrate the documentary art form, engage in meaningful conversation, and experience the impact of exceptional nonfiction films hand.
In light of the global pandemic, Full Frame has adjusted the dates for its upcoming edition to June 2021. Full Frame will present an online showcase of documentary films to take place Wednesday, June 2, through Sunday, June 6. Full Frame is also exploring the possibility of physical events in Durham and will provide updates as more information is available.
The festival is a program of the Center for Documentary Studies, a nonprofit 501(c)(3), and serves as a qualifying festival for the Producers Guild of America Award for Best Documentary and the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject. The Presenting Sponsor of the festival is Duke University.
Along with offering more than $50,000 in cash prizes, Full Frame collaborates with Duke University to archive the festival's award-winning films. Each award-winning filmmaker will have the opportunity to preserve an exhibition copy of his or her film in the Full Frame Archive in the Archive of Documentary Arts in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University.
A list of prizes awarded at the 2020 festival is included below. Award categories and cash prizes for the 2021 festival are subject to change.
THE REVA AND DAVID LOGAN GRAND JURY AWARD
Sponsored by The Reva and David Logan Foundation
FULL FRAME JURY AWARD FOR BEST SHORT
Provided by Drs. Barbra and Andrew Rothschild
CENTER FOR DOCUMENTARY STUDIES FILMMAKER AWARD
Provided by the Center for Documentary Studies
The CDS Filmmaker Award recognizes documentary films that combine originality and creativity with firsthand experience in examining central issues of contemporary life and culture. In keeping with the Center's mission, the award was created to honor and support documentary artists whose works are potential catalysts for education and change.
CHARLES E. GUGGENHEIM EMERGING ARTIST AWARD
Provided by the Charles E. Guggenheim Family
This prize is awarded to a first-time documentary feature filmmaker as a way to foster the work of new directors, young and old. It recognizes the extraordinary care that Charles Guggenheim took with the filmmakers whom he mentored and counseled throughout the filmmaking process.
THE FRANKLIN HUMANITIES INSTITUTE AWARD
Sponsored by the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke University
This award is presented to a short film that highlights documentary as a formally inventive artistic medium. The prize recognizes significant innovation and excellence in areas including cinematography, sound design, style, structure, and other aesthetic dimensions.
FULL FRAME PRESIDENT'S AWARD
Sponsored by Duke University
The President's Award recognizes up-and-coming filmmakers; the prize is awarded to the best student film.
KATHLEEN BRYAN EDWARDS AWARD FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
Sponsored by the Julian Price Family Foundation
This award is presented to a film that addresses a significant human rights issue in the United States. By inspiring advocacy, increasing awareness, and promoting equity and justice, the winning film will honor the legacy of Kathleen Bryan Edwards's passion and activism for human rights.
Full Frame’s 2021 program will feature a smaller lineup of new titles, approximately 15-20 features and 10-15 shorts. The festival will also present a variety of awards with cash prizes for the 2021 edition. More information will be available at the time of acceptance.
Full Frame’s programming features a range of filmmaking styles and themes, and in its curation the festival aims to showcase work from a broad spectrum of artists. To support and further refine the endeavor, Full Frame is seeking demographic information of the director and producer of each submitted film. Full Frame is particularly interested in projects where the senior filmmaking team reflects the community represented on screen.
Short and feature documentary films completed after January 1, 2020, are eligible for Full Frame 2021. Films 40 minutes or less are considered shorts. Films 41 minutes or longer are considered features. Full Frame does not accept entries with total running times over 180 minutes.
To take part in the online festival, films should be available for a minimum of 500 online views. Films will be presented to audiences on demand and are expected to be available for the duration of the festival or until the number of agreed upon screenings has been reached. The screenings will not be geotargeted.
Films screening in the online festival will receive a rental fee for their participation. Each filmmaking team will also receive passes to view other titles showing as part of the online festival. Full Frame is also planning a variety of interactive components, such as filmmaker Q&As and panel conversations. More information will be available at the time of acceptance.
We strongly encourage filmmakers to submit the most complete version of their films possible. We cannot guarantee that replacement cuts will be viewed. If submitting a rough cut, please indicate in the application what elements are still incomplete: temporary sound, temporary graphics, missing scenes, etc. To discuss the timing of submitting a rough cut, please email email@example.com.
SCREENERS & UPDATED CUTS
Full Frame accepts FilmFreeway Secure Online Screeners or Vimeo links. Vimeo links are preferred. Screening links must be received at the time of submission, and our programming team will review the original screener received. Full Frame cannot guarantee that updated versions of films will be reviewed, but links to new cuts can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the 2021 submission season, Full Frame is not accepting resubmissions. Please email email@example.com with any questions.
Full Frame does not have a formal premiere requirement. When making final decisions, programmers do take a film’s exposure into consideration, especially prior screenings in North Carolina, wide play on the festival circuit, national television broadcast, or theatrical release.
Full Frame reviews every film submitted to the festival in its entirety. Vimeo’s tracking of loads and views is limited when views do not occur within the Vimeo player. When films are viewed via a third-party player, such as the FilmFreeway interface or on another streaming device, like Apple TV or Roku, Vimeo captures limited data. More information is available on the Vimeo Help Center.
NOTIFICATIONS & FEEDBACK
Notifications regarding acceptance will be sent no later than April 16, 2021. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide individualized feedback to filmmakers.
2021 FULL FRAME DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL TERMS OF ENTRY
If selected for Full Frame, exhibiting filmmaker (“Exhibitor”) represents and warrants that:
1. All persons who are featured in the film have given unrestricted permission for use of their images, words, and performances, waiving or assigning to Exhibitor all rights including but not limited to copyrights and moral rights.
2. To the extent any pre-existing material is used in the film that is not original to Exhibitor, except brief clips of video and/or audio material used only to the extent reasonably necessary for purposes of public criticism, commentary and documentary reporting relevant to the thesis of the film, Exhibitor has obtained unrestricted permission from all rights holders for use of the material in the film and for display and performance of the film.
3. To the extent any remaining rights relating to the film are owned by third parties, Exhibitor warrants that Exhibitor has all rights and permissions necessary to permit the showing of the film at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival (a program of The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University referred to hereinafter, collectively, as “Full Frame”) and any other events sponsored by Full Frame at which Exhibitor agrees or has agreed the film may be exhibited.
4. All materials submitted to Full Frame are otherwise the original work of Exhibitor (and its employees, if any), and not of any third party.
5. Exhibitor has good and marketable title to the entire submitted work. Exhibitor shall indemnify, defend, and hold harmless Full Frame from any and all liability, loss, costs, damage, judgment, or expense (including reasonable attorney’s fees) resulting from or arising in any way out of any such claims by any third parties that are based upon, or are the result of any breach of the warranties in this Exhibition Agreement.
6. The exhibited work may be used by Full Frame to promote the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. Exhibitor grants Full Frame the right to use stills and/or titles, and information from the film for such promotional purposes.
Exhibitor’s submission of the online entry form constitutes full and complete acceptance of the terms hereof and that Exhibitor has read and complies with the 2021 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival Terms of Entry.