The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival is an annual international event dedicated to the theatrical exhibition of nonfiction cinema. Each spring, Full Frame welcomes filmmakers and film lovers from around the world to historic downtown Durham, North Carolina, for a four-day, morning-to-midnight array of nearly 100 films, as well as discussions, panels, and Southern hospitality. Set within a few city blocks, the intimate festival landscape fosters community and conversation among filmmakers, film professionals, and the public.
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 2019 festival is included below. Award categories and cash prizes for the 2020 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
FULL FRAME AUDIENCE AWARDS
Audience Award Feature
Audience Award Short
Sponsored by Thunder Mountain Media
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.
FULL FRAME ENVIRONMENTAL AWARD
Sponsored by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)
This award honors the film that best depicts the conflict between the drive to improve living standards through development and modernization and the imperative to preserve natural environments and cultural heritages.
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.
The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival exhibits nearly 100 documentary films in a variety of programs. Submitted films will be considered for both the NEW DOCS and Invited Program categories. Filmmakers whose films are selected for Full Frame will be notified at the time of acceptance whether their films will be screening in the NEW DOCS or Invited Program categories. Films screening in the Invited Program are not eligible for awards.
Short and feature documentary films completed after January 1, 2019, are eligible for Full Frame 2020. 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.
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.
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.
Unless a film has been completely reworked, we discourage filmmakers from resubmitting films that were previously considered.
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.
NOTIFICATIONS & FEEDBACK
Notifications regarding acceptance will be sent no later than March 6, 2020. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide individualized feedback to filmmakers.
2020 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.
7. Full Frame, upon gaining possession of the film reels, videos or drives, will only accept limited financial responsibility for damage to the film reels, videos and/or drives. This limited responsibility extends until the time that Full Frame ships the film reels, videos or drives to the return address provided by Exhibitor or its partners. The definition of this limited financial responsibility includes only a refund of laboratory expenses for making a new print of the reel(s) of film damaged, or the duplication of the videotape or drive. This refund will be calculated according to current US laboratory prices. The limited financial responsibility does not extend to costs concerning damages to negatives, positives, or masters.
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 2020 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival Terms of Entry.