Every April film makers and film lovers converge on downtown Durham for the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. The country’s first and largest film festival devoted solely to documentaries is a “home away from home” for film makers; giving them an opportunity to step away from the red carpets of New York and Los Angeles. The festival is as unique as the City of Durham.

The traditional award ceremony is replaced by a bar-b-que; local food trucks cater the film maker’s party and there are daily free screenings. All part of the Festival’s way of saying thank you to the community.

Last year, the festival sold 45,000 tickets, utilized 350 volunteers and attracted more than $200,000 of in-kind support from the business community. Last year’s festival yielded $2.4 million for the local economy and generated $96,000 in tax revenue for the city of Durham.

Full Frame is just one example of the continuing impact of sports and culture on Durham. Data from the Bull City Crowd Pleasers (BCCP) – leaders from the largest entertainment organizations in Durham – reported an economic impact of more than $80 million in 2013. Nearly two million visitors attended events in that same year with 40 percent of visitors from outside of Durham.

BCCP was convened by the Durham Chamber in 2014. Participating organizations include: American Dance Festival, American Tobacco Campus, Carolina Theatre, Duke Athletics and Duke Performances, Durham Bulls, DPAC, Museum of Life and Science, Nasher Museum, Sarah P. Duke Gardens and Full Frame.

“Full Frame is a down home feel that leans forward,” is how festival director Deirdre Haj describes the film festival. In addition to the festival there are free youth screenings, a Full Frame Fellows Program designed to educate, motivate and nurture students interested in the documentary profession, School of Doc, a five-week summer camp, teaching all aspects of documentary film making; a tribute to a filmmaker – this year presented to Marshall Curry and a thematic program examining the ethics of representation in documentary film works curated by filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal.

Tickets go on sale on April 2. Find our more information at the festival website http://www.fullframefest.org/