Sadie Tillery '05 is the director of programming for the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham, North Carolina. The native of Raleigh, North Carolina, knew in high school that she wanted to study film and photography but didn't want to go to an arts-only school. "I really wanted a liberal-arts education," she says.
At Hollins, she began a film-studies program with classes taught by the late Klaus Phillips. "Taking those classes at Hollins gave me a vocabulary for what I was seeing in film," Tillery says. "That set the stage for the rest of my education." She also made several movies of her own, under the guidance of filmmaker Jake Mahaffy. Over time, she began to think more about film programming. During both her junior and senior years, she spent her January term at Full Frame. After graduation, she was hired as the programming coordinator and now is the director of programming.
Each spring, Full Frame's four-day film festival screens more than 100 documentaries from around the world. Tillery spends the entire year finding the films, which involves traveling to other festivals as well. She watches approximately 300 documentaries or films every season, she says, and meets with some of the very filmmakers whose work she studied at Hollins.
Much of her work involves leadership skills that she also learned at Hollins, Tillery says. She was especially influenced by her three years with the Batten Leadership Institute "a huge, important resource for me, for dynamic feedback about public speaking and all sorts of leadership skills."