Docu follows highs and lows of thesp's career

The premiere of HBO’s “Elaine Stritch at Liberty” will kick off the 2004 Full Frame Documentary Festival.

Fest, which will unspool April 1-4 in Durham, N.C., is one of the qualifying stops for Oscar consideration in the docu short category.

“Stritch” follows the highs and lows of the thesp’s career through footage from her Tony Award-winning one-woman stage show and from behind the scenes. Doc was helmed by the team of D.A. Pennebaker, Chris Hegedus and Nick Doob in their initial foray for the cabler.

Under its “Hybrid” theme this year, fest will highlight works by artists who tread the line between fact and fiction. Selections were curated by Mary Lea Bandy of the Museum of Modern Art’s Dept. of Film & Video. Besides screenings, panels will touch on issues raised by the shifting boundaries between documentaries and features.

Mockumentary veteran Harry Shearer will be on hand as part of special “An Evening With …” to discuss the notion of hybrids. Sponsored by MTV, Q&A will be hosted by Kurt Loder.

Barry Levinson, Ted Bogosian and Tom Fontana will be on hand for the unspooling of their own hybrid experimental film, “50/50.” Story concerns one woman’s quest to reproduce in the age of genetic engineering.

Full Frame will salute Marcel Ophuls (“The Sorrow and the Pity,” “Sense of Loss”) with its career award. Ophuls joins honorees including Pennebaker and Hegedus, Errol Morris and Barbara Kopple.

Competitive fest has added a new prize this year for “Exposing the Seeds of War.” Created by author Walter Mosley, $5,000 award will recognize the film and filmmakers that best explore war and its sources.

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