Getting ready for Full Frame? Here’s two ways to view our 2020 prize winner Riafn

Sarah Rogers
Thursday, May 20, 2021
Still image from film Riafn. A man cups his hands to his mouth and yells into the distance. Behind him are the Alps.
Still from Riafn (2019)

In the days leading up to the 24th annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival (June 2–6, 2021), the Franklin Humanities Institute will present a virtual screening of Riafn, the winner of its 2020 prize, at 7 p.m. EDT on Thursday, May 27. Additionally, an outdoor screening of the film will be open to members of the Duke University community from 8–10 p.m. Tuesday, June 1. The film will play on loop in an installation at the Wellness Center. These events are presented in partnership with MOBILE CINEMA, Cinematic Arts, Screen/Society, Duke Arts, and the Duke Wellness Center, with generous support from the Office of the Vice Provost for the Arts.

The Franklin Humanities Institute prize was introduced at last year’s festival to celebrate aesthetic excellence in a short film, one that successfully explores and advances documentary as a formally inventive artistic medium. The prize recognizes innovation and excellence in areas including cinematography, sound design, style, structure, and other aesthetic dimensions.

Riafn (2019) depicts the stunning landscapes of the European Alps—mountains, valleys, trees, and waterfalls. But equally remarkable are its soundscapes—here, a cacophonous medley of unique, signature calls, bellowed by the solitary members of a far-flung community into an echoing distance. Eventually, these calls are answered, by the clangs and chimes of bells, swaying along with the easy ambling motions of cattle on their way home. A non-narrative film without exposition,  Riafn relies on visual compositions and layered sounds, immersing the audience in a remote and beautiful pocket of the world.

“The film was inspiring in this time of social distancing in presenting the potential of editing to consider creativity across distance,” reads the jury statement. “The angles of the camera, the quality of sound, and the synthesis of images and sounds—their call and response—is affecting and rigorous…The film’s integrity rests on its artistic quality rather than a narrative, and its accomplishment in nonetheless documenting a cultural practice was commended by everyone.”

Join for a free screening of this 29-minute short at 7 p.m. EDT on Thursday, May 27, 2021, followed by a Q&A with director Hannes Lang. A panel will guide the discussion, and the audience will have the opportunity to submit their own questions through the screening platform, Eventive.

Members of the Duke community can also attend an outdoor screening of Riafn at the Duke Wellness Center from 8–10 p.m. on Tuesday, June 1, 2021. The film will play on loop. This is the first event by MOBILE CINEMA, a collaborative and experimental arts project by Cinematic Arts and Screen/Society, which will explore the possibilities for audio/visual installations in outdoor spaces across Duke’s campus.

While the virtual screening is open to the public, please note that the outdoor screening is limited to Duke faculty, students, and staff.


How to view the film

Click here to pre-order your ticket for the virtual screening on May 27. You will be asked to create a free Eventive account in order to reserve a ticket.

Click here for directions to the Duke Wellness Center for the campus screening on June 1. The film will be visible from the deck on its north side.

Attendance is limited to Duke faculty, students, and staff. In order to enter campus to attend the screening, attendees must have clearance on SymMon, the university’s COVID-19 symptom monitoring app. Duke currently requires all community members to wear masks inside of buildings. Masks are optional outside.

Depending on attendance levels, guests may have to wait to enter the outdoor screening area; once there, they may be asked to cycle out in order to make space for waiting guests. In keeping with the Duke event policy effective June 1, we strongly encourage that all guests be vaccinated.

The closest parking decks are by Wilson Recreation Center and the Bryan Center. Please note that anyone with a valid Duke parking pass can park in most facilities (including garages) free of charge from 5 p.m. – 7 a.m. Additionally, Duke University faculty, students, and staff can request a free after-hours permit here. Go to "Get Permits," select the free after-hours permit, and "check out."