Full Frame: ‘King Georges,’ ‘From This Day Forward’ Among Doc Fest Hits

In its 18-year history, Full Frame has become one of the most prestigious documentary film festivals in the nonfiction community. While it’s not a marketplace, the Durham, N.C.-based four-day fest gives well received Sundance and SXSW docs a boost, while also showcasing smaller films seeking distribution.

One such film, Erika Frankel’s “King Georges,” made its world premiere at fest on Saturday and is the only doc that Submarine Entertainment’s Josh Braun signed during his time in Durham.

Braun, who will be honored with the festival’s 2015 Advocate Award, brought six previously released titles — “Mavis!”, “Iris,” “Peace Officer,” “Sunshine Superman,” “Meru” and “Kingdom of Shadows” — to Full Frame. HBO just acquired U.S. broadcast rights to Jessica Edward’s “Mavis!” about the life of musician and civil rights activist Mavis Staples.

Braun says that “Peace Officer,” about the increasing militarization of U.S. police departments, currently has three remake offers (two for television and one for feature adaptation), as well as four offers for the film itself (two theatrical and two broadcast).

Since 2013, Full Frame has served as an Oscar-qualifying festival in the short docu category. A nonfiction film no longer than 40 minutes that receives the Jury Award for best short automatically qualifies for Oscar consideration without having to participate in the standard theatrical run. The 2014 Full Frame short winner, “White Earth,” went on to nab an Academy Award nomination.

In addition to shorts, Full Frame is a necessary stop for documentary features hoping to reach the awards circuit. “Man on Wire,” “The Cove” and “Born Into Brothels” all screened at Full Frame before winning the Oscar for best documentary.

While Sundance hits, including “(T)error,” “3 and 1/2 Minutes,” “Cartel Land” and “Best of Enemies” drew some of the festival’s largest crowds, three titles making their world premieres at Full Frame garnered plenty of buzz.

“From This Day Forward”
Filmmaker Sharon Shattuck eloquently explores her father’s very intimate transition from male to female. The critical success of Amazon’s “Transparent,” along with Discovery’s new six-part transgender-focused docu-series “New Girls on the Block” and TLC’s upcoming unscripted show “Jazz Jennings” about a transgender teen will only help generate further buzz for this film.

Peter Galison and Robb Moss’ latest documentary also taps into another controversy magnet — nuclear power. The directing duo isn’t strangers to hot-button topics. Their 2008 Sundance hit “Secrecy” chronicled the massive efforts by the U.S. government to classify data from the general population. “Containment,” about the scientific, moral and philosophical problems that surround the disposition of nuclear waste, is sure to spark a national debate.

“King Georges”
It’s no secret that some of the best, most acclaimed documentaries are, as Jerry Seinfeld said at the 2007 Academy Awards, “incredibly depressing.” So when a poignant, emotional docu like Erika Frankel’s “King Georges,” about a fiery French chef’s crusade to save his world-renowned 40-year-old restaurant from becoming obsolete, evokes a steady stream of laughter, it’s reason enough to look forward to it.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Pawel Pawlikowski, during the ceremony award

    Pawel Pawlikowski on the Power of Making Movies With ‘Barbarians at the Gate’

    Academy Award winner Pawel Pawlikowski says he’s watching “with horror” as political developments increasingly divide countries across the globe, and admits that he’s reluctant to take a stab at documenting modern life after the success of his two critically acclaimed period dramas, foreign-language Oscar winner “Ida” and thrice-nominated “Cold War.” “I don’t have a hook [...]

  • Jessica Chastain Lupita Nyongo

    Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong'o Spy Thriller '355' Gets 2021 Release Date

    Universal Pictures has dated its spy thriller “355,” starring Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o, Diane Kruger and Fan Bingbing, for a Jan. 15, 2021, release. Simon Kinberg is set to direct from a script he co-wrote with Theresa Rebeck. The movie follows a group of spies from international agencies around the world. These women must bond [...]

  • Florenc Papas on Road Movies, Ancient

    ‘Open Door’ Helmer on Road Movies, Ancient Traditions, Social Pretensions

    Albanian director Florenc Papas, an alumnus of the Sarajevo Talents program, is in competition at the Sarajevo Film Festival with his feature film debut, “Open Door.” The road movie follows two sisters, Rudina and the pregnant and unmarried Elma, who embarks on a journey to visit their strict and traditional father in the remote mountain [...]

  • Dronningen/Queen of HeartsDirected by MAY EL-TOUKHYNordisk

    'Queen of Hearts,' 'White, White Day' Among Nordic Council Film Prize Contenders

    HAUGESUND, Norway  —  Iceland’s “A White, White Day,” Denmark’s “Queen of Hearts” and Norway’s “Blind Spot” are among the five films that will compete for this year’s Nordic Council Film Prize, a prestigious film award aimed at promoting Nordic co-operation and environmental initiatives. Sweden’s “Reconstructing Utøya” and Finland’s “Aurora” help round out the list, which [...]

  • Actor Javier Bardem looking at chinstrap

    Javier Bardem on Toronto-Bound ‘Sanctuary,’ See Trailer (EXCLUSIVE)

    MADRID  — Just selected as a Special Event at September’s Toronto Film Festival, Alvaro Longoria’s “Sanctuary.” starring and produced by Javier Bardem, may need a new ending. On Aug. 19, Bardem, along with Greenpeace, addressed delegates at the United Nations in New York to urge governments to agree to a strong Global Ocean Treaty. Creating [...]

  • Bosnia's Canton Sarajevo to Launch Film

    Bosnia's Canton Sarajevo to Launch Film and TV Rebate Incentive

    Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Canton of Sarajevo is introducing a new €1 million ($1.1 million) film funding initiative next year aimed at promoting domestic and international film and television production in the region. The incentive is the first of its kind in the country. Government representatives of Sarajevo Canton, including Prime Minister Edin Forto and culture [...]

  • Antlers Trailer

    Guillermo Del Toro's 'Antlers' Starring Keri Russell Drops Chilling First Trailer

    Events take a dark turn for a small town school teacher, played by “The Americans'” Keri Russell, in the first teaser trailer for horror movie “Antlers,” produced by Guillermo del Toro. The footage, unveiled Tuesday, centers on a young boy (Jeremy T. Thomas) reading from a frightening short story he’s written as Russell listens. The [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content