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Moviegoers Can Do a DoubleTake in Durham this Weekend

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DURHAM — The business of making movies is in the spotlight this week -- not in Hollywood, but in Durham.

TheDoubleTake Documentary Film Festivalis only three years old, but it is already considered one of the best in the country.

"One of the things we're trying to do is provide information in the most entertaining way possible," says festival director Nancy Buirski.

Over the course of four days, audiences have a chance to catch 80 films that tackle tough topics like alcoholism and teen violence. The film "Sound and Fury" deals with the emotional debate over the use of cochlear implants.

DoubleTake is giving filmmakers a reason to take a second look at the Bull City.

"The big impact is going to be a billboard effect -- the national prominence, credibility and visibility an event like this gives us," says Reyn Bowman of theDurham Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Entries come in from as far away as Norway and Australia.

"We started off the first year with 100 entries, the second with 300, and now we have 425," says Buirski.

The festival attracts big names like Faye Dunaway and Martin Scorcese. This year, MTV signed on as a sponsor.

"MTV realized this was a perfect opportunity for them to join us and address the issues that concern young people," says Buirski.

DoubleTake has also been a real success with filmmakers. One of the documentaries screened last year went on to be nominated for anAcademy Award.

Organizers say the festival is one of the best ways for filmmakers to generate interest in their work, and Durham has the diversity they want.

"There's a cultural energy here. I got the feeling when I arrived here three years ago that people wanted more, so I decided to give it a try and I was right," says Buirski.

More than 5,000 people are expected to attend the festival; 60 percent of those people will come from out of town. The festival is expected to bring in about $500,000 for Durham.

The festival runs through Sunday at theCarolina Theatre.

Movie times and ticket information areavailable online.