Friday at Full Frame

The Op-Ed Panel discussion with folks from the New York Times, filmmaker Stefan Forbes ( Order Boogie Man), and one of our very favorite filmmakers, Laura Poitras Buy ( My Country, My Country) proved to be an interesting session. There was talk about how to incorporate footage from feature-length docs into clips to use on, for example, the NYT Op-Ed page, accompanying written commentary on related subjects. Also interesting was the debate about creating emotional involvement on the internet and whether the viewer is still held to the small-screen theory that says that the size of the screen directly determines the impact of the film piece. The consensus seemed to be that most of us are so used to viewing content on computers these days that we no longer need larger images to foster the same involvement. As a sidenote, the NYT seems to have a fairly open proposal system for op-ed video pieces. The panel members encouraged everyone to submit ideas and sample footage to the video editor, so feel free to do the same.

The screening of Trouble the Water – the 2008 winner of the Sundance Grand Jury Documentary Prize – was an especially amazing part of the day. This film, directed by Tia Lessin and Carl Deal, incorporates camcorder footage shot by Kimberly Roberts to tell the story of a Ninth Ward family and their ongoing experiences related to Huricane Katrina. Trapped in her house with family and neighbors, Kim’s handheld footage is at once harrowing and engaging. The film then follows them as they try to re-settle after the storm. Kim and her husband weren’t able to make it to the screening, but the directors were there for a great Q&A afterwards.

Buy Flying on One Engine was a similarly gripping film, detailing the work of Dr. Dicksheet, a cancer-survivor and surgeon who has completed over 140,000 cleft lip surgeries for children in India. Complete with put-downs about Mother Teresa and godlike worship from the locals, the doctor is fascinating to watch and the film was lovely. For this screening it was paired with Cheap Be Like Others , an interesting look at transexuality in Iran.

At the Full Frame party in the evening, the day’s films once again provided great fodder for conversations about the political as well as the artistic aspects of documentary. Durham and the remarkable filmmaking community that has gathered for the festival this weekend continue to amaze. how much inderal is safe