Full Frame festival weighs possible federal budget cuts to the arts

DURHAM, North Carolina (WTVD) -- An international documentary film festival, based out of Durham, is preparing to kick off next week.

The Full Frame festival is something that could be impacted by President Donald Trump's proposed budget, with cuts to arts and public broadcasting.

Full Frame is getting ready for its 20th festival, and while it depends partially on funds from taxes, organizers said it's the community that stands to gain from it.

"We drive in, those four days, more tax revenue into our region than we are given," festival director Deirdre Haj said. "So that's something to keep in mind, is that for every dollar you spend on the arts you get five dollars back into your community."

She said over 10 percent of the festival's budget comes from federal, state, and local taxes, and they feel that's come under fire with President Donald Trump's proposed budget. It's a budget which cuts funding for the arts and public broadcasting in favor of national defense spending.

The festival received 1700 entries for about 70 spots this year, and they're concerned about how a lack of funding might silence some of those points of view.

"I worry with budget constraints that some of that storytelling will fall away, that there won't be as many voices involved in the field," festival artistic director, Sadie Tillery said.

One example is "A Chef's Life," an Emmy award-winning PBS documentary series that follows a Kinston chef. Show creator, Cynthia Hill said the possible cuts are upsetting.

"I think what I was most frustrated by is the representation of the South in films and on television, and for me it was important to tell stories that showed what I knew of the South," Hill said.

"That kind of funding gives the opportunity to tell stories that would no other way be able to be told," she added.

Check out more information about Full Frame here.

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