Johnson and Brooke Barnett of the School of Communications faculty
and J. McMerty of the Elon staff led a student group to attend the
Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, which took place in Durham
April 7-10. The annual festival is staged in various locations in
the area, including the Carolina Theatre of Durham. This year's
festival drew a total of nearly 20,000 audience admissions.
The Elon students'
participation in the festival is supported by School of Communications
funding, so students gain access for free. They also enjoyed sessions
with filmmakers such as D.A. Pennebaker, Chris Hegedus, Ric Burns,
Albert Maysles and Barbara Kopple. "It was inspiring to hear
the words and thoughts of the directors themselves," said senior
Brett Tolley. "Getting to know those people will certainly
aid my journey as a future filmmaker."
board of directors is led by Martin Scorsese, and it includes Pennebaker,
Mary Lea Bandy, Ken Burns, Jonathan Demme, John Sayles and other
luminaries. The Elon group also took in a session led by Scorsese
and Vittorio de Seta.
This is the
festival's eighth year, and it included more than 100 films. One
of them was "The Beauty
Academy of Kabul." The story follows six hairstylists from
the United States (three of whom formerly lived in Afghanistan)
who are given support by the New York-based project Beauty Without
Borders to open a beauty school in Kabul. The film was co-produced
by Nigel Noble and Liz Mermin and directed by Mermin. The BBC and
the Discovery Channel financed the work.
Yelverton was impressed by the feeling of immersion in the film
community she came away with after the festival. "It was wonderful
to spend time in an environment full of filmmakers and film lovers,"
she explained. "The atmosphere was invigorating and inspiring."
Al-Majali came away with plenty of souvenir photos of himself posing
with famous directors. "The festival has enriched my experience
as an aspiring filmmaker by exposing me to a wide variety of work
and giving me the chance to interact with documentary legends such
as Pennebaker," he said.
The Grand Jury
Award at this year's festival was a split decision, with the honor
going to both "Murderball," directed by Henry Alex Rubin
and Jeffrey Mandel, and "Shape of the Moon," directed
by Leonard Retel Helmrich with production by Hetty Haaiijkens.
For more information
about the festival, go to http://www.fullframefest.org.