Opinion

Heightened anticipation

A pair of announcements this past week reminded us of the excitement that a pair of cultural festivals – one of long standing, one relatively new – will bring to our city in the next couple of months.

First, let’s look ahead to the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. It’s only weeks away – April 6-9 – and the festival released a rich list of films that will be on this year’s program.

Two competitions for new films will feature 71 different films, a documentary-lover’s paradise. And to mark the festival’s 20th season, artistic director Sadie Tillery has put together a celebration of the films and filmmakers who have helped establish this as a nationally noted event.

“It has been a remarkable journey to take, looking back over the milestones and moments highlighting two decades of Full Frame,” Tillery said. “Above all else, this retrospective is a celebration of the artistry, courage and power of storytelling we see every year from documentary filmmakers around the world. We’re proud to continue to provide a stage where their work can be experienced and appreciated.”

The “remarkable journey” has brought nearly 2,000 films to screens in multiple venues in and around downtown, centered on the historic Carolina Theatre that has seemed like the perfect hub.

In fact, the festival’s attractions include not only a “morning to midnight doc fest of over 100 films, panel conversations, and southern hospitality,” but also its compact walkability.

Only weeks after Full Frame shows its last film for this year, one of the newest additions to our host of festivals will draw people all over to downtown Durham. Moogfest, first held in 2004, moved from Asheville to Durham last year and has quickly been embraced by the city’s entrepreneurial culture. This week, it offered several updates on this year’s program.

The festival says its mission is to “Grow a global community of futurists who explore emerging sound technologies and design radical instruments for change.”

Here’s how its website describes what’s to come May 18-21:

“By day, Moogfest is a platform for conversation and experimentation. This mind-expanding conference attracts creative and technology enthusiasts for three days of participatory programming in Durham, North Carolina. By night, Moogfest presents cutting-edge music in venues throughout the city. Performing artists include early pioneers in electronic music, alongside pop and avant garde experimentalists of today.”

The announcements this past week whet our appetites for the upcoming festivals, surely the intent of the promoters. We’re ready – bring them on, and bring their energy and attention to a city fortunate to have them.

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