The last day of the Full Frame Festival is always the hardest. Getting up on a Sunday morning to drive to Durham to see the last few films, knowing that the morning lineup aren’t in competition and are probably the weakest films of the festival doesn’t help. I’m also not interested in hanging around for the winners, mainly because by that time I’m tired of staying inside, and the rush for last-minute tickets to the winners is usually more than I can handle.
This year, I stayed for two films, both of which were intriguing. The first, Waking Sleeping Beauty from director Don Hahn was a fun insider’s look at tumultuous creative process inside Disney’s animation studio, during the pivotal years of rebirth from the mid eighties to the early nineties. As one would expect from a creative, lively bunch of Disney animators, there was some laughter, and some tears, as these talented men and women tried to live a creative life within a corporate behemoth. It was a fascinating and upbeat film.
As upbeat as Waking Sleeping Beauty was, the last film of the festival (for me, anyway) was a complete downer. A Film Unfinished by Yael Hersonski dissected the making of an unfinished Nazi propaganda film of the Warsaw ghetto. Perhaps needless to say, it was moving, tormenting, and depressing. But it did for me what the best documentaries do: educate, and offer witness.
You can go to the Full Frame site to find out about the festival winners. I usually manage to at least see one or two winners, but this year I missed them all. But, they will soon be on my Netflix list. One exciting development this year is that Full Frame will host an expanded set of films throughout the year; there is always more to see!
Until next year!