While the fifth annual DoubleTake Documentary Film Festival in Durham, North Carolina (April 4 to 7) had its biggest turnout yet, even bigger news was that the event will no longer be known as DoubleTake, but rather the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. Festival founder and executive director Nancy Buirski says the reason for the change, announced on the festival’s opening day, was primarily to give the festival a broader reach, beyond Durham. ‘The film festival has grown so much and has expanded so quickly over the last five years that if we couldn’t do things outside of the Durham area, it would have limited us in a way we didn’t feel was healthy for the growth of the festival,’ says Buirski.
DoubleTake magazine owns the trademark to the name DoubleTake, but the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, with which the festival had been affiliated, obtained the right to use the name DoubleTake for a film festival in Durham. The Center licensed the name to Buirski and her team and though the DoubleTake festival was independent of the Center, Buirski says the Center’s deep ties in Durham limited the festival’s scope. The newly named Full Frame doc festival won’t be affiliated with the Center.
Beyond the name change, talk centered on films and the healthy turnout for the festival, which attracted 13,000 attendees. One hundred films screened over four days and 67 films competed for awards. Seven awards were handed out: the Jury Award went to Davis Guggenheim and Julia Schachter’s The First Year; The Last Just Man, by Steven Silver and Alan Mendelsohn, scooped up the Audience Award; the Shorts Award went to A Love Supreme by Ringo Tang and A. Chester Ong; Hannah Weyer’s Escuela took the MTV News Docs Prize; and Two Towns of Jasper, by Whitney Dow and Marco Williams, won The Center for Documentary Studies’ Filmmaker Award.
Next year’s Full Frame Documentary Film Festival will be held April 10 to 13, 2003 in Durham, North Carolina.