The 21st annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival will once again take over downtown Durham next weekend. The 2018 festival, which runs April 5th through the 8th, features adynamic lineup of new documentaries—including 21 premieres—and a slate of classics about Crime and Punishment in the Thematic Program, curated by filmmaker Joe Berlinger, as well as groundbreaking work by 2018 Tribute Jehane Noujaim. See the full schedule for screening dates and times for the Oscar®-qualifying festival right here in our favorite corner of the South.

Attending a film festival is different than date night at the multiplex. If you’ve never been to Full Frame—or any film festival, for that matter—no fear, there are plenty of ways to enjoy yourself. Check out our handy How to Fest video, and keep the following insider tips in mind for a successful experience:

  1. Park and stay all day. The City has extended parking limits during Full Frame beyond the normal two-hour allotment. The festival is in central downtown Durham, with most screenings, parties, and events happening at or within walking distance to the Carolina Theatre and the Durham Convention Center (see our map for venues, and more below for about parties and panels).
  2. Word to the wise: arrive early! We anticipate large crowds during the festival, and there are a number of other events going on downtown throughout the weekend. Whether you arrive by Lyft or LimeBike (discount codes for attendees available on ourwebsite), on a GoDurham bus, by car, or on foot, be sure you are in line no later than 30 minutes before showtime.
  3. Nothing is ever sold out! Filmgoers can access the Last Minute Line for any film, all weekend long. Even if it’s listed “Last Minute Line Only” on the schedule boards or our website, it’s worth taking your chances and hopping in the Last Minute Line. It’s $15, cash only (free for passholders) and is seated close to showtime.
  4. Fest for Free. There are plenty of free events all weekend long. From the popularA&E IndieFilms Speakeasy Conversations at The Durham Hotel and theLate Night Bash on Friday night at Unscripted Durham, to outdoor screenings at Durham Central Park and the Closing Night Party (at 21c) and filmAmerica to Me by Steve James (free ticket required), there are plenty of options to fest on a budget.
  5. Schmooze with tastemakers. Whether you’re in line for the next film, or enjoying a glass or rosé on the plaza, you’ll rub elbows with documentary legends like Chris Hegedus and D A Pennebaker, or up-and-coming filmmakers, film students, and doc lovers from around the world. Say hello!

We hope this provides some practical tips for attending Full Frame. More information can be found on our  website. We look forward to seeing you at the festival, April 5 – 8, 2018 in downtown Durham!