By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Buck Brannaman, better known in equestrian circles as the horse whisperer, continued to work his magic over crowds.
“Buck,” Cindy Meehl’s documentary on Brannaman’s unique career, took home the Audience Award at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, months after it claimed the same prize at the Sundance Film Festival.
It’s hard to resist Brannaman’s charms. His gift isn’t with horses – though he knows how to soothe those sometimes-savage beasts. Instead, Buck clicks with owners, explaining how a horse acts as a mirror into its rider’s soul (and some cowboys sure don’t like what they see). “Buck” certainly is a crowd-pleaser, and I can see why audiences at Full Frame were wooed.
But “Buck” wasn’t the only winner of the weekend. We’ve got the complete list of winners, announced Sunday in Durham, N.C., below:
• The Anne Dellinger Grand Jury Award was presented to Scenes of a Crime, directed by Grover Babcock and Blue Hadaegh. The film captures the mystery of a controversial videotaped confession of a New York man who still claims he is innocent of killing his child. This award is sponsored by Physcient, Inc. and Alpha Cine Labs, Seattle.
• The Full Frame Jury Award for Best Short was given to One Night in Kernersville, directed by Rodrigo Dorfman. In this well-paced recording session documentary, the film captures Jazz bassist John Brown and his band. The Full Frame Jury Award for Best Short is provided by Drs. Andrew and Barbra Rothschild.
• Buck, directed by Cindy Meehl, received the Full Frame Audience Award. The film profiles famed horse whisperer Buck Brannaman who “helps horses with people problems” by invoking the healing magic of the human-animal bond. Sponsored by Merge Records, the Audience Award is determined by counting audience ballots filled out during the festival.
• The Center For Documentary Studies Filmmaker Award was given to How to Die in Oregon, directed by Peter D. Richardson. The profound and strangely reassuring film profiles people in Oregon who choose to end their own lives under the state’s Death with Dignity Act. Provided by the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, this award honors a documentary artist whose work is a potential catalyst for education and change.
• The Center for Documentary Studies Filmmaker Award Jury also presented a Special Jury Award to The Interrupters, directed by Steve James. The film profiles three brave […]
Tag Archives: Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
By Sean O’Connell
By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Los Angeles has Hollywood. Durham, N.C. has Realitywood.
Every spring, Durham plays host to the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, a four-day binge of the industries top documentary filmmakers who bring anticipated titles to a reality-craving audience.
This year’s lineup boasts the world premieres of Nancy Buirski’s “The Loving Story” and “A Good Man,” by Bob Hercules and Gordon Quinn. Full Frame also will host the U.S. premiere of “Guilty Pleasures,” the festival’s opening night film about romance novels and the folks who’ve grown obsessed by their flowery prose.
I, myself, am more excited about a few festival favorites that played Sundance or SXSW that I’ve yet to catch up with, from “Page One: Inside the New York Times” to “Buck” and “Being Elmo.” In addition, award-winning documentary filmmakers Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern are receiving this year’s Career Award, so Full Frame is programming a few of their best films, from “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work” to “The Devil Came On Horseback.”
All will be in Durham for what’s sure to be a fantastic fest.
The 2011 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival kicks off tonight and runs through Sunday. For details, visit www.fullframefest.org. And I’ll be sure to bring you some coverage of the major events, so stay tuned.
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BY SEAN O’CONNELL
The Kinks, to me, were a second-tier rock outfit. That’s not a slight against the band. Several of their hits, from “Lola,” “All Day and All of the Night” and “Tired of Waiting for You” to “You Really Got Me,” became part of pop culture’s conscience. They just never attained the same level of popularity and mainstream success as legendary first-tier rockers The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones or The Who.
Geoff Edgers would disagree. The Boston Globe reporter views The Kinks as one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time. And with his 40th birthday fast approaching — the milestone of the mid-life crisis — Edgers sets a personal and professional goal. He’s going to reunite the four original members of the band, including feuding brothers Ray and Dave Davies, who haven’t spoken in years.
Robert Patton-Spruill’s documentary “Do It Again,” which trails Edgers on his impossible quest, screened to a raucous crowd last night at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham, N.C. And while official awards won’t be handed out until Sunday, the lively and personable “Do It Again” earns a special achievement award as the best film I’ve seen so far at the fest.
“Again” dives into the volatile history of the British rock outfit, who admit to sabotaging their career every time fame came knocking. Most of the battles are attributed to lead singer and chief songwriter Ray Davies’ pride and ego, which struck sour notes with brother Dave.
But the film, as all good docs do, draws us into Edgers’ personal mission, and we suffer as this journalist deals with salary cuts at his unstable job and wince as Ray (and his publicity associates) plays hard-to-get with Edgers’ dream.
Others play along, however. Edgers’ status as a journalist buys him face time with rockers who happen to be big fans of The Kinks and want to see the brothers reunited. Sting, R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck, actress/musician Zooey Deschanel, Robyn Hitchcock, Paul Weller, and, eventually, Dave Davies, open up for Patton-Spruill’s cameras, recollecting their favorite Kinks songs and contemplating on the emotional forces that eventually drive bands apart. In an entertaining Q-and-A following the screening, Edgers revealed that $15,000 of his film’s $125,000 went to film an interview with former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney, a member of rock royalty, who eventually blocked his involvement in the project.
“Do It Again” doesn’t […]
BY SEAN O’CONNELL
HollywoodNews.com’s interview feature, “Hollywood In Ten,” showcases the creative individuals responsible for the movies we love, and corners them for 10 quality minutes.
The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham, N.C., gets underway Thursday with a handful of screenings throughout the morning and afternoon. Music lovers might want to check out “Thunder Soul,” a SXSW hit about the renowned Kashmere Stage Band, arguably the nation’s best high-school jazz and funk band. “Diary of a Times Square Thief,” by Klaas Bense, sounds intriguing as it recreates life in Manhattan’s famed intersection during the pre-clean-up days of debauchery.
But the fest truly launches Thursday evening when patrons file into the spacious Fletcher Hall for D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus’ “Kings of Pastry,” selected to be this year’s Opening Night film. “Kings” follows three chefs who have put their lives on hold to compete in the prestigious Meilleur Ouvrier de France, or MOF, competition. During the three-day event, the world’s top pastry chefs must craft more than 40 handmade concoctions, baking everything from delicate chocolates adorned with gold foil to towering sculptures of blown sugar encircled with colorful candied ribbon. Only a select few will emerge from the contest as MOFs, earning them the right to wear The Collar, a mark of culinary excellence in the baking community.
As they prepared to open the fest, Pennebaker and Hegedus sat down with us to discuss the importance of Full Frame and the terrors they experienced working on “Kings of Pastry.”
Click below to listen to our Hollywood In Ten interview with D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus, co-directors of the tremendous documentary “Kings of Pastry.”
The term “prolific” isn’t busy or broad enough to describe director Steven Soderbergh, who apparently never stops working. As the director’s latest documentary, “And Everything Is Going Fine,” prepares to screen at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham, N.C. this coming weekend, news breaks that Soderbergh has wrapped another small project, this one about a couple who runs a Sydney theater troupe (which may or may not have been inspired by Cate Blanchett and her husband, Andrew Upton).
The AFP reports that Soderbergh started the film last year while directing a play at the Sydney Theatre Company, where Blanchett and Upton serve as artistic directors.
With so much talent at his fingertips, Soderbergh recruited the cast of his STC play, “Tot Mom,” to star in the improvised comedic film, “The Last Time I Saw Michael Gregg.” The story follows members of a company as they mount a production of Chekov’s “Three Sisters.”
It seems the “Tot Mom” cast got a double dose of Soderbergh’s boundless work ethic while playing along with his comedy. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Soderbergh’s side project would fill many of the gaps in “Tot Mom” rehearsals. They even shot a few scenes during the “Tot Mom” opening night, as well as at the after-party and at Sydney Airport as the Oscar-winning director prepared to leave the country.
“How great that the actors got a taste of working on a film with one of the true masters,” Blanchett told the Australian newspaper. “You can tell everyone had a good time with it, and it was the perfect way to balance the intensity of working on the play.”
Whether or not “Michael Gregg” receives actual distribution remains to be seen. More than likely, it was, as an STC spokeman said, “just a bit of fun between the cast and Steven.”
But the SMH goes on to say that as word of the film’s existence spreads, public interest could lead to the film being entered into film festivals, like the one in Sydney.
To read more on Soderbergh’s latest lark, check out the article in the Sydney Morning Herald.