The 11th annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival was held this weekend in Durham, N.C. -- four days devoted to nothing but nonfiction films covering a wide variety of topics. And the big prize winners turned out to be two of the films that were honored earlier this year at Sundance (where the docs have been superior to the narratives for years): Tia Lessin and Carl Deal's Hurricane Katrina document Trouble the Water, and James Marsh's Man on Wire, about an unauthorized tightrope walk between the Twin Towers in 1974.

At Sundance, both films earned grand jury prizes, Trouble the Water in the U.S. category and Man on Wire (a U.K. production) in the world doc section. At Full Frame, Trouble the Water took the fest's top prize, called the Anne Dellinger Grand Jury Award. It also won the Kathleen Bryan Edwards Award for Human Rights and split the Full Frame/Working Films Award with Please Vote for Me (about student elections at a Chinese elementary school). Man on Wire, meanwhile, was given a special jury prize in addition to winning the audience award.


Cinematical's Kim Voynar called Trouble the Water "the most powerful documentary I've seen at Sundance." Somehow we missed Man on Wire (even a team of five can't see everything when there are 120 films playing), but Variety's Robert Koehler called it "one of the most wildly entertaining docs of recent years." It was picked up by Magnolia for theatrical distribution, so you haven't heard the last of it. Trouble the Water has its international distribution in place, but nothing yet for the U.S.

[Via indieWIRE.]