Difficult as it may be to believeespecially as I look at the standing water in my front lawnbut the weather we’ve seen for the festival thus far is better than last year’s, when a deluge of Biblical proportions made the festival seem if it were happening underwater. Actually, we needed that rain badly, and by the end of the weekend, area reservoirs were back to 100 percent capacity.

A big crowd turned out for SONS OF CUBA, the official opening night film. Andrew Lang’s straightforward kids-in-competition doc movingly showed the love and passion of his characters, who otherwise have little besides boxing, baseball, music and La Revolución.

Prior to the film, Full Frame Executive Director Peg Palmer gave opening remarks that contained the expected gracious homilies, but her address was also notable for its steely undertone as she assured Durhamites that although sponsors may come and go (we think she’s looking at you, New York Times), the festival will carry on. After Palmer spoke, Sadie Tillery received a warm reception as she made her debut as the festival’s programming director.

We’ve got a big full day of movie-watching that we’re fixing an extra pot of coffee for. Two of the festival’s more ballyhooed titles play today, back to back in Fletcher Hall: at 4 p.m., THE YES MEN FIX THE WORLD; at 7 p.m., FOOD, INC.

There’s so much to choose from elsewhere: Our pick hits for the earlybirds: NC State grad Robert Greene’s OWNING THE WEATHER, preceded by THE FLYING SHEPHERD at 10:15 am; Sundance hit THE WAY WE GET BY, preceded by Indy hit MA BAR, at 10:30 am. Me? I’m checking out RED RACE at 11.

The highlight of my day, however, is going to be ZIDANE, a radically obsessive portrait of the great French soccer player Zinedine Zidane (who is unfortunately best known in this non-soccer-loving country for his headbutt of an opponent in the 2006 World Cup final).

Here’s today’s schedule.