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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

2010 Full Frame lineup announced: Alex Gibney's Abramoff film and more

Posted by on Wed, Mar 3, 2010 at 5:31 PM

The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival announced its new docs competition lineup for next month's festival, which runs April 8–11 in downtown Durham.

The full lineup is below, but our initial scan reveals a couple of names well known to festival fans, including Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side; Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) and Laura Poitras (Flag Wars; My Country, My Country). The former's film is on the notorious lobbyist Jack Abramoff, called Casino Jack and the United States of Money. Poitras' film looks to be equally timely and topical: It's called The Oath, and it focuses on two men—brothers-in-law—who worked for Osama bin Laden as a driver and a bodyguard.

There's a well-known name not usually associated with documentary making that is attached to another Afghanistan film: Sebastian Junger. The author of The Perfect Storm has a new book due out this summer called War, and his first foray into filmmaking, Restrepo, follows a group of American soldiers during a long, dangerous tour in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley. Tim Heatherington is his co-director.

Closer to home, we spot at least one local filmmaker: Durham's Rodrigo Dorfman, whose Generation Exile tells the stories of "five displaced characters, including the filmmaker" to evoke their "experience of alienation and moral dilemma."

We'll have much more in the coming weeks. The complete list of docs in competition follows.

Full Frame Announces 51 NEW DOCS Selections for 2010 Festival

Durham, N.C., - March 3, 2010 - The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, April 8 through 11, has announced film selections for the NEW DOCS program. After considering over 1,200 submissions, the festival has released 51 NEW DOCS titles.

In the coming weeks, Full Frame will announce additions to the NEW DOCS program, along with film listings for the festival's other sections; the 2010 Career Award honoring Liz Garbus and Rory Kennedy, the 2010 Thematic Program, and Invited Programming.

"We are proud to present so many great films as part of our NEW DOCS slate," commented director of programming, Sadie Tillery. "The work included in our 2010 program showcases the many innovative forms nonfiction storytelling can take. Through the power of personal, historical and global themes alike, these films encourage us to reflect on the world around us in a way uniquely tied to documentary. It's incredibly humbling that filmmakers allow us to exhibit their work and take part in sharing the stories of their films."

The 2010 Full Frame Documentary Festival will be held April 8 through 11 in Durham, NC, with Duke University as the presenting sponsor. Festival passes are currently on sale at www.fullframefest.org. Full Frame's film schedule will be announced March 18, and advanced tickets go on sale April 1.

2010 NEW DOCS

12th & Delaware (Directors: Rachel Grady, Heidi Ewing)

At a single intersection in Fort Prince, Florida, sits a microcosm of America's most intractable ideological battle: on one side of the street an abortion clinic, on the other the pro-life Pregnancy Care Center.


Albert's Winter (Director: Andreas Koefoed)

A young Danish boy spends the winter balancing the whimsy of childhood play, the demands of his education, and the omnipresence of his mother's cancer. North American Premiere


Ahead of Time (Director: Bob Richman)

Cinematographer Bob Richman, in his directing debut, celebrates Ruth Gruber, an intrepid scholar and journalist, now almost a hundred, who documented and participated in some of the pivotal events of the 20th century.


Ali Shan (Director: Yung Chang)

In this oddly suspenseful and ethereal short film, an early morning commute leads to a surprisingly transcendent destination.


La Belle Visite (Journey's End) (Director: Jean-François Caissy)

In this elegy filmed in a country retirement home-on a beautiful bluff in rural Quebec-two dozen seniors live out their final years to the slow rhythms of the changing seasons. US Premiere


Book of Miri (Director: Katrine Philp)

A tender meditation on identity and the search for belonging, this is a portrait of Miri, a Korean-Swedish librarian who finds refuge in her blog, where she diligently records her fashion adventures and intimate thoughts.  US Premiere

Born Sweet (Director: Cynthia Wade)

Vinh is a Cambodian boy sick from arsenic poisoning who knows he may not have long to live but dreams of falling in love and becoming a karaoke star.


Capital (Director: Maxim Pozdorovkin)

Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, sprouted almost overnight in the middle of the Central Asian steppe.  Now celebrating the city's tenth anniversary, its sanguine yet skeptical inhabitants offer glimpses of life in a modern utopia gone somewhat askew.  World Premiere


CASINO JACK and the United States of Money (Director: Alex Gibney)

An invigorating examination of the greed and corruption that led to lobbyist Jack Abramoff's arrest in 2007.


Countryside 35x45 (Director: Evgeny Solomin)

A slightly salacious Siberian photographer prone to chronic small talk meticulously ensures all the men are appropriately attired and the women properly coiffed for their photos-after all, it is their passport for life, yes?  North American Premiere


The Darkness of Day (Director: Jay Rosenblatt)

An artistic exploration of suicide presented with a paradoxically uplifting cinematic lyricism.


Diary of a Times Square Thief (Director: Klaas Bense)

This intriguing film documents the search for the author of a diary whose account of life at a dive hotel in pre-Giuliani Times Square includes many memorable characters, some of whom are tracked down and interviewed here.


Dirty Business (Director: Peter Bull)

Rolling Stone reporter Jeff Goodell exposes the real cost of coal in this enlightening and very timely feature. World Premiere


The Edge of Dreaming (Director: Amy Harding)

When one of filmmaker Amy Harding's disturbing dreams manifests in real life, she is left to wonder if her most recent premonition - that she will die in the upcoming year - will also come true. North American Premiere


Enemies of the People (Directors: Rob Lemkin, Thet Sambath)

A Cambodian reporter investigates who gave the order to kill millions during the Khmer Rouge regime. After ten years, he gains the trust of the only person who knows the truth.


Family Affair (Director: Chico Colvard)

Chico David Colvard untangles a deep and disturbing family mystery in this profound, unflinching tale of sexual abuse and forgiveness.


Garbo: The Spy (Director: Edmon Roch)

Did a Catalonian double agent almost single-handedly divert Nazi troops from Normandy on D-Day to secure Allied victory? Decide for yourself if the man whom the British code-named Garbo was truly the greatest actor in the world.


Generation Exile (Director: Rodrigo Dorfman)

The tales of five displaced characters, including the filmmaker, intermingle in this boldly paced film to evoke, both through narrative and poetic technique, the exile's experience of alienation and moral dilemma. World Premiere


Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould (Directors: Michèle Hozer, Peter Raymont)

This beautifully crafted portrait of the extraordinary pianist Glenn Gould delves deep into his work and beyond his public persona through never-before-seen footage and interviews with those who knew him best.  US Premiere

Google Baby (Director: Zippi Brand Frank)

In a global economic chain linking the United States to India to Israel, the incredibly intimate act of baby making has been outsourced.


Hanasaari A (Directors: Hannes Vartiainen, Pekka Veikkolainen)

In this experimental short, time-lapse photography transforms the demolition of a coal-fired power plant into a stunning work of art.  US Premiere


Hranica (The Border) (Director: Jaroslav Vojtek)

The residents of Slemence wake up one morning to find half their village in Slovakia and the other half in the Ukraine, the random new border dividing family members and friends for the next 60 years. North American Premiere


I am Secretly an Important Man (Director: Peter Sillen)

Through the assembly of brilliant 16mm streetscapes, performance footage, and illuminating interviews with those closest to the subject, Peter Sillen offers a portrait of Steven J. Bernstein (aka Jesse Bernstein) as strikingly lyrical as the writings and spoken-word theatrics of the late artist himself. World Premiere

In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee (Director: Deann Borshay Liem)

Filmmaker Deann Borshay Liem arrived in the U.S. at the age of eight under another girl's name, and so began a tale of deception and amnesia that led her back to South Korea forty years later in search of the "real" Cha Jung Hee.

The Invention of Dr. Nakamats (Director: Kaspar Astrup Schröder)

A character sketch of Yoshiro Nakamatsu, Japanese inventor extraordinaire, this film takes us on a rollicking exploration of the human capacity for creativity and invention.


La isla - Archives of a Tragedy (Director: Uli Stelzner)

A sudden explosion in a police training barrack uncovers a secret archive housing thousands of records amassed by the Guatemalan police and army from the 1930s through the end of the civil war in 1996. US Premiere


Ito - A Diary of an Urban Priest (Director: Pirjo Honkasalo)

Follow Fujioka, boxing-champion-turned-Buddhist-monk, as he takes a hypnotic journey through Tokyo's underbelly, hearing confession from all quarters. North American Premiere


Jaffa, The Orange's Clockwork (Director: Eyal Sivan)

This layered examination of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict unfolds through the history of the Jaffa orange. A small fruit with sizeable significance, the orange originated in Palestine and later became an Israeli brand name. US Premiere


Last Train Home (Director: Lixin Fan)

Every year Yang and Suquin Zhang take part in the world's largest human migration, traveling alongside another 130 million Chinese migrant workers to return home to their family for the New Year's Holiday.


Life Extended (Director: Bigert & Bergström)

Can we really live forever? And would we want to?  Through interviews with monks, physicists and everyone in between, this film explores the human need to control life and death.


Maria's Way (Director: Anne Milne)

Along a famed pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, one woman's calling is to sit by the narrow thoroughfare greeting and counting the travelers as they pass by.


The Mirror (Director: David Christensen)

This beautifully shot film blends the absurdism of Fellini and the generosity of DeSantis as it closely observes a remote village in the Italian Alps whose mayor lights upon an ingenious solution to a seemingly insurmountable dilemma: for three months of the year, the village is plunged into the shadow of a nearby mountain.


My Enschede (Director: Astrid Bussink)

In May 2000, a fireworks storage room exploded in the east Netherlands city of Enschede. The tragic accident killed twenty-three people and injured another thousand. Filmmaker Astrid Bussink, who was living there at the time, returns to the city, gauging the many ways the explosion continues to resonate within the community. North American Premiere

My Perestroika (Director: Robin Hessman)

Following five classmates who came of age during the collapse of the Soviet Union, this film offers a personal and nuanced look at Russia, from the Iron Curtain to today.


Notes on the Other (Director: Sergio Oksman)

Every summer a surprising number of bearded men flock to Key West to take part in the annual Ernest Hemingway look-alike contest, imitating a famous author who himself donned the persona of fearless adventurer.


The Oath (Director: Laura Poitras)

The stories of brothers-in-law Abu Jandal and Hamdan-Osama bin Laden's bodyguard and driver respectively-converge and diverge in ways that shed light on a part of the world too few understand.


Photo and Copyright by G.P. Fieret (Director: Frank van den Engel)

Friends and former models fondly recall Gerard Petrus Fieret, the eccentric Dutch photographer whose life's work is now hotly desired by the art market. North American Premiere


Photograph of Jesus (Director: Laurie Hill)

Stop-motion animation whisks viewers through card catalogs and filing cabinets to reveal the bizarre and impossible photo requests that cross an archivist's desk.

The Player (Director: John Appel)

Spurred by his own father's gambling, filmmaker John Appel deftly traces the overlapping psychology and compulsions of three characters: a bookie, a poker player, and an incarcerated swindler. North American Premiere


The Poodle Trainer (Director: Vance Malone)

Irina Markova loves training poodles, large and small, under the circus big top, creating a glittery symbiosis between herself and her fluffy cream and caramel colored dogs.


The Poot (Director: Elham Asadi)

A pure visual treat, The Poot traces the production of beautiful, handmade Persian rugs from sheep to market.  North American Premiere


Regretters (Director: Marcus Lindeen)

Born men, once women, and now men again, Orlando and Mikael dig deep into the psychology behind the one regret they share, offering a thoughtful exploration of identity and expectations. North American Premiere

Restrepo (Directors: Sebastian Junger, Tim Hetherington)

An unblinking look at American soldiers on a long deployment in the dangerous Korengal Valley of Afghanistan, where they exchange fire with the Taliban almost every day.


Seltzer Works (Director: Jessica Edwards)

With its thirst-inducing series of images and sounds, this charming, nostalgic short takes us into the last seltzer factory in New York.

The Space You Leave (Director: James Newton)

A somber look into the lives of three parents whose children have gone missing, this short film strikes a strong emotional chord.

Summer Pasture (Directors: Lynn True, Nelson Walker, Tsering Perlo)

At once exotic and oddly familiar, this is a deeply satisfying, visually compelling story of a young nomadic Tibetan family struggling to survive on the revenues of caterpillar fungus and yak herding.  World Premiere


Surviving Hitler: A Love Story (Director: John-Keith Wasson)

This riveting love story, anchored in a plot to kill Hitler during the height of his power, offers an eye-opening look at life under the Third Reich. World Premiere


Thunder Soul (Director: Mark Landsman)

Former members of Houston's renowned Kashmere Stage Band, arguably the nation's best high-school jazz and funk band in the 1970s, get together for a reunion concert in honor of beloved band director Conrad Johnson in this fast-paced, toe-tapping funk celebration.


Today Is Better Than Two Tomorrows (Director: Anna Rodgers)

Inseparable eleven-year-old cousins and best friends, Leh and Bo, face a harsh reality: one will go to a monastery and one will go to school, sequestered from each other and their families. Filmmaker Anna Rodgers spent four years in Laos with the boys as they grew up and apart.


War Don Don (Director: Rebecca Richman Cohen)

A riveting war crimes trial in Sierra Leone is closely watched by a healing nation.

Weapon of War (Directors: Ilse van Velzen, Femke van Velzen)

Over years of civil war, it's estimated that over 150,000 women have been raped in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This harrowing document includes direct interviews with current and former soldiers, many speaking for the first time, involved in the policy of systematic sexual terrorism.  North American Premiere

About Full Frame

The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival is an annual international event dedicated to the theatrical exhibition of non-fiction cinema. Each spring Full Frame welcomes filmmakers and film lovers from around the world to historic downtown Durham, N.C., for a four-day, morning to midnight array of over 100 films as well as discussions, panels, and southern hospitality. Set within a four-block radius, the intimate festival landscape fosters community and conversation between filmmakers, film professionals and the general public.

The festival is produced by Doc Arts, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and receives support from corporate sponsors, private foundations and individual donors whose generosity provides the foundation that makes the event possible. To learn more on the mission of Full Frame or for information on membership or sponsorship opportunities, scheduled films or festival passes visit www.fullframefest.org.

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