The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival is an annual international event dedicated to the theatrical exhibition of nonfiction cinema. Each spring, Full Frame welcomes filmmakers and film lovers from around the world to historic downtown Durham, North Carolina, for a four-day, morning-to-midnight array of nearly 100 films, as well as discussions, panels, and Southern hospitality. Set within a few city blocks, the intimate festival landscape fosters community and conversation among filmmakers, film professionals, and the public.

The festival is a program of the Center for Documentary Studies, a nonprofit 501(c)(3), and receives support from corporate sponsors, private foundations, and individual donors whose generosity provides the foundation that makes the event possible. The Presenting Sponsor of the festival is Duke University.

The Mission

Full Frame serves the documentary form and its community by showcasing the contemporary work of established and emerging filmmakers. The festival provides a space that nurtures conversation between artists, students, and the Full Frame audience. Full Frame is committed to enhancing public understanding and appreciation of the art form and its significance, while making films more accessible to a wider audience.

Opening night at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival

Opening night at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival

Call for Entries for 21st Annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival now open:

The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival exhibits nearly 100 documentary films in a variety of programs. By submitting an application, your film will be considered for both the NEW DOCS and Invited Program categories. Filmmakers whose films are selected for Full Frame will be notified at the time of acceptance whether their films will be screening in the NEW DOCS or Invited Program categories. Films screening in the Invited Program are not eligible for awards.


ENTRY FORM:  Full Frame partners with the online submission service Withoutabox. A direct link to the entry form is available at the bottom of this page.

ENTRY FEE & DEADLINES:  Entry fees are the same for shorts (40 minutes or less) and features (41 minutes or longer). Entry fees must be paid by credit card and are non-refundable.

Regular deadline
: September 1 – October 31 / $40
Late deadline: November 1 – December 15 / $60

ELIGIBILITY:  Short and feature documentary films completed after January 1, 2017, are eligible for Full Frame 2018.

SUBMISSION FORMAT:  Full Frame accepts Withoutabox Secure Online Screeners or Vimeo links. Vimeo links are preferred. Screening links must be received at the time of submission. The festival cannot guarantee that updated links will be reviewed.

NOTIFICATIONS:  Notifications regarding acceptance will be sent no later than March 5, 2018.