Reading Brian Gardner's letter regarding his criticism of the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival ("Film (festival) criticism," Letters to the Editor, April 16) prompted me to add my voice to his—and a few others from whom I have heard.
As a long-term resident of Durham who works downtown, I have always been thrilled to have the festival as a nationally known film event right here in our beautifully and recently refurbished downtown. It's a new dawn, and an event like Full Frame should be a perfect fit for the wave of cool that can now be found downtown.
In 2006, a French artist of international reputation, Georges Rousse, joined us in Durham for a month to produce and install colorful, accessible and simply amazing public works of art using volunteer labor and donated money. Anybody who participated as a volunteer or appreciative audience member in one of the largest art events in Durham, completely free to the public, knows what a successful body of work was produced.
The volunteers who orchestrated this also raised enough money to make an extraordinary, professionally produced documentary that is inspiring, beautiful and entertaining. It is being accepted by documentary film festivals all over the country.
What shocked me was that Full Frame was not one of them. Though they had time to show several films twice, they chose not to screen a documentary about the grassroots effort that led to a creative coup for public art: 11 art installations that cost the city nothing, built entirely by donated time and volunteer labor under Rousse's direction.
So please add my voice to Gardner's in his complaints about the difficulty of negotiating some aspects of Full Frame, now that we are aware of the difficulty of getting a documentary accepted that, to me and others, was a good fit for Full Frame. It showed twice last night at the Nasher, to excellent houses and rave reviews—for free.