Full Frame has announced that the festival will screen a collection of Steve James’ highly regarded films over the course of the four-day event, and will welcome a variety of subjects featured in these works for Q&As. 

Arthur Agee, Jr. (Hoop Dreams), Ameena Matthews (The Interrupters), and Reverend Carroll Pickett (At the Death House Door) are expected to attend, along with many of James’s collaborators from Kartemquin Films

Full Frame will also feature “Hoop Dreams at 20,” a panel conversation in celebration of the landmark documentary’s 20th anniversary that will feature outtakes, insider commentary, and special guests. 

“I’m excited to have so many of my films play again in front of the appreciative audiences at Full Frame. It will give me a rare opportunity to reflect on where my career has led me, and maybe make connections between the films that have eluded me before. And I’m determined to resist the impulse to go re-edit them all again,” said Steve James.

“What’s really at the heart of honoring filmmakers with this Tribute is having the opportunity to look back at the course of a particular artist’s work. I deeply admire Steve’s approach as a filmmaker—the commitment to his subjects, and the way he handles even difficult exchanges with candor, honesty, and respect. Being able to welcome the people who have collaborated on his films is such an amazing opportunity,” said director of programming Sadie Tillery.

The Thematic Program “Approaches to Character,” curated by filmmaker Lucy Walker, comprises of a series of memorable subjects through a diverse array of filmmaking techniques. The lineup features titles from many accomplished filmmakers, including Shirley Clarke’s Portrait Of Jason.

“In each of the brilliant titles I’ve selected, the filmmaker has found a different access point to their subjects. Through these diverse techniques we learn something profound about human beings and how they construct their identities, often revealing the individual in more powerful and fascinating ways than meeting a person in real life,” said Lucy Walker. “This is a fantastic opportunity to show films that we rarely get to see on a big screen to an extraordinarily knowledgeable and engaged audience. This is what I love about Full Frame—filmmakers come to watch films, be inspired, talk shop and exchange notes with our colleagues and heroes.”

Specific screening times and venues will be announced with the release of the full schedule on March 13th.


Full Frame honors the work of Steve James. The Full Frame Tribute will be presented at the Awards Barbecue on Sunday.  

At the Death House Door (Directors: Steve James, Peter Gilbert) 

An unflinching account of the work of Reverend Carroll Pickett, who presided over 95 executions during his 15-year tenure as a death house chaplain in a Texas prison.

Hoop Dreams (Director: Steve James)

This deeply moving film follows Arthur Agee, Jr., and William Gates as they strive to achieve professional basketball stardom and escape poverty in Chicago.

Hoop Dreams at 20

In celebration of the landmark documentary’s 20th anniversary, this panel conversation features insider commentary, rarely seen footage, and special guests.

The Interrupters (Director: Steve James)

Three brave “interrupters” from Chicago’s CeaseFire organization take on inner-city violence with a dangerous form of intervention.

A Place Called Pluto (Director: Steve James)

When a reporter is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, he boldly faces his prognosis by putting his experiences into words.

Reel Paradise (Director: Steve James)

The final month of an American family’s yearlong stay in Fiji, where they screened movies in one of the most remote cinemas in the world.

Stevie (Director: Steve James)

Ten years later, Steve James visits a young man to whom he was a Big Brother and finds him at a turbulent crossroads in his life.


Filmmaker Lucy Walker presents a series of documentaries featuring memorable subjects revealed through a diverse array of filmmaking techniques.

The Arbor (Director: Clio Barnard)

This unconventional portrait of the late British playwright Andrea Dunbar features actors lip-synching audio interviews with her family, friends, and neighbors.

Creature Comforts (Director: Nick Park)

In this short film, claymation zoo animals reveal how they feel about their living conditions, and living perpetually on display.

David Hockney IN THE NOW (in six minutes) (Director: Lucy Walker)

A tribute to the evolving work of the iconic British painter and photographer, an artist who insists on living in the present.

Devil’s Playground (Director: Lucy Walker)

Amish teenagers choose between their faith and the temptations of the modern world following a period of experimentation known as rumspringa.

The Five Obstructions (Directors: Lars von Trier, Jørgen Leth) 

Lars von Trier challenges fellow filmmaker Jørgen Leth to create five new iterations of his film The Perfect Human, placing a new restriction on each production.

Hôtel Terminus: The Life and Times of Klaus Barbie (Director: Marcel Ophüls)

This epic examination of the life of Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie, the “Butcher of Lyons,” doggedly explores questions of evil, complicity, memory, responsibility, and evasion.

The Kid Stays in the Picture (Directors: Nanette Burstein, Brett Morgen) 

Robert Evans, the first actor to become head of a major film studio, narrates this Hollywood insider tell-all detailing his rise, his fall, and his rise again.

Land of Silence and Darkness (Director: Werner Herzog)

Fini Straubinger, deaf and blind since her teens, attempts to help those who are similarly afflicted overcome their isolation.

The Lion’s Mouth Opens (Director: Lucy Walker)

With the support of family and friends, a young woman takes the daring step of determining whether she carries the genetic marker for Huntington’s disease.

Metallica: Some Kind of Monster (Directors: Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky)

At work on their album St. Anger, the members of the legendary band find themselves embroiled in bitter disputes, so they bring in their therapist to help.

On the Bowery (Director: Lionel Rogosin)

Part-time railroad worker Ray Salyer spends three days drinking on drifting on Manhattan’s Skid Row in this seminal postwar work of docufiction.

Portrait of Jason (Director: Shirley Clarke)

Drink in hand, Jason Holiday, a gay African American hustler and aspiring nightclub performer, regales us with stories of his life.

The 17th Annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival will be held April 3-6, 2014, in Durham, N.C., with Duke University as the presenting sponsor. The Invited Program and NEW DOCS films were announced last week. The complete schedule of films will be announced March 13th. Individual tickets go on sale March 27th.