Durham film festival offers something for everyone

They are stories ripped from the headlines -- efforts to curtail voting rights, an avalanche on Mount Everest claims the lives of 16 Sherpas, a community grapples with the murders of 20 first-graders and six educators. These are just three of the nearly 100 documentary films that make up the 19th Annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.

Full Frame runs from Thursday, April 7 through Sunday, April 10 at several venues in downtown Durham, including the Carolina Theatre.

The Black Belt

Voter identification laws have sprung up in states across the country in the past six years, with North Carolina being among them. Alabama is also one of those states and last year, the DMV closed 31 locations in predominantly black counties because of budget cuts. The Black Belt shows how this action has made it harder for residents to get the necessary ID they need to vote.

Sherpa

They are the locals hired to help climbers reach the peak of Mount Everest, and their job as guides and supply providers is dangerous. Sherpa tells the story of those guides who refuse to continue their ascent after 16 Sherpas are killed when an avalanche sweeps through their base camp. It gives viewers an inside look at the conflicts and interactions between the guides and the climbers.

Newtown

More than three years after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, grief still lingers in Newtown, Conn. The film Newtown explores the impact of the mass shooting on the town with survivor and family interviews. As the film's description says, "Newtown wrings illumination from a dark day, seeking and finding solace in the memories from the time preceding the tragedy."



These three films are just a small example of the variety of subjects tackled in the films at this year's Full Frame. There is something for everyone, with political history, sports, music and art all represented in this year's entries.

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Though a ticket is required for most movies, that's not always the case. This year Full Frame offers several free films. Friday, April 8 (Dis) Honesty - The Truth About Lies will have a free showing in Durham Central Park. The screening begins at 8:30 pm. The documentary profiles a Duke University professor who shares his research into what compels people to lie and make unethical decisions.



There's another free movie in Durham Central Park on Saturday at 8:30 pm. That's when Iris, a film about fashion icon Iris Apfel will be screened. To close the festival, Full Frame is offering a free showing of Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You at 8 p.m. in the Carolina Theatre's Fletcher Hall. The movie profiles the sitcom writer, creator and producer who revolutionized television in the 1970s. Though the film is free, it requires a ticket that can be picked up at the Full Frame box office inside the Durham Convention Center.

The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival is a unique opportunity for people to see documentary films in a theatrical setting, and gives viewers a chance to hear from the filmmakers and subjects. It's an opportunity you should not pass up if you love documentaries.

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