Thin Line Fest, the only event in Texas to offer documentary films, live music and photography galleries all at one festival, opens its film program, Wednesday, April 19, with Waking the Sleeping Giant:The Making of a Political Revolution, a thought-provoking story of the attempt to build a progressive movement set within the context of the U.S. 2016 presidential race.The film tracks Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ bid for the White House and follows citizens who became involved in the populist movement during that period. This will be the world premiere of the film directed by Jon D. Erickson and Jacob Smith, who also produced the film with Kathryn Goldman. All will be in attendance at the Thin Line premiere.
“With a film like Waking the Sleeping Giant and other films in our program, Thin Line Fest remains true to its name,” Joshua Butler, Thin Line Fest director, said. “The term ‘Thin Line’ denotes that slightly blurred division between what is real and what is fiction, and particularly in this age when people are constantly bombarded with media messages and concerns about what is ‘real’ and what is ‘fake’, we want to challenge and encourage our audiences to engage in more critical thinking and awareness of what is real and what isn’t.”
The Travelstead Outdoor Theater, located two blocks off the Denton Square on Oak Street, is an addition to Thin Line Fest. Moving the event from February to April provided an opportunity to hold more outdoor events and organizers were able to add an additional venue for screenings. “Films shown at the Travelstead Outdoor Theater add an extra dimension to the festival,” Butler said. “All the films, Planet Earth excluded, were shot, in part, in Denton County. We think audiences will enjoy viewing these films while keeping a critical eye out for any settings that may look familiar.”
Thin Line’s documentaries are divided into two categories, features and shorts. This is the second year for a special segment, Our Town Denton, which features films documenting the Denton experience. Documentaries are just as interesting as fictional films, added. Butler. “In fact, I would argue that in most situations, real life is more interesting than fiction.”
Screenings of all films will take place at either Campus Theatre or the Travelstead Outdoor Theater, both located off the Square in downtown Denton.
(A list of films with location is listed below. For times, please go to www.thinline.us .)
Organizers urge attendees to note that in honor of Thin Line Fest’s 10thanniversary, general admission to the films, photography exhibits and musical venues, April 19 – 23, is free, simply by registering through the website at www.thinline.us/register. VIP passes, which include priority admission, are $150 per person.
The best resource for more information about programming of films, photography exhibits and musical events is www.thinline.us. Also, look for Thin Line Fest on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Or call 888-893-4560.
Films showing at Campus Theatre, 214 W. Hickory Street:
4 Wheel Bob
4 Wheel Bob tells the story of wheelchair hiker Bob Coomber and his attempt to be the first wheelchair hiker to cross the Sierra Nevada. As a board member of the East Bay Park District, Bob aims to motivate, educate, and inspire the public to discover California’s great outdoors.
Directed and Produced by: Tal Skloot
Alone Among the Taliban
Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Eslamzadeh travels deep into the Taliban areas of Afghanistan, places where it has been impossible for other filmmakers to travel for at least the last decade.
Directed, Written and Produced by: Mohsen Eslamzadeh
Astrosamantha, The Space Record Woman
Narrated by Giancarlo Giannini, the docu-film Astrosamantha is a unique and intimate portrait of the space record woman, Samantha Cristoforetti, and her spaceflight to the International Space Station. A real story about space, action, curiosity, records and women.
Directed and Written by: Giancarlo Giannini
Produced by: Morol srl
Bill Nye The Science Guy
Bill Nye embarks on a quest to change the world through science advocacy and education. With intimate and exclusive access, this is a behind-the-scenes portrait of “the Science Guy,” as he inspires Millennials to participate in STEM.
Directed by: David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg
Produced by: Nick Pampenella, Kate McLean and Seth Gordon
Bonnie and Clyde
Fifty years ago this American Classic made its World Premiere at Denton’s Campus Theatre. Now, be a part of history as we commemorate this anniversary with a return to where it all began!
Directed by: Arthur Penn
The Department of Dance at Texas Woman’s University presents a dance to welcome audience members to the film Mr. Gaga. Filmed over a period of eight years, director Tomer Heymann mixes intimate rehearsal footage with an extensive unseen archive and breathtaking dance sequences. This story of an artistic genius who redefined the language of modern dance is guaranteed to leave you skipping.
Written and Directed by: Tomer Heymann
Produced by: Barak Heymann
People’s Train of Culture
People’s Train of Culture tells the story of an initiative of Salvador Allende’s government, President of Chile 1970 – 1973, which aimed to bring culture closer to those who had no access to it. In February 1971, 60 artists traveled by train bringing different artistic disciplines to people across the countryside.
Written, Directed and Produced by: Carolina Espinoza Cartes
Property of the State
Property of the State tells of a disturbed young man by the name of Brendan O’Donnell. Seen through the eyes of his sister Ann Marie, piece by piece she threads together the events that ultimately lead to the harrowing murders of a young mother, her child and a local priest in the forest of East Clare, Ireland.
Ann Marie lived through it all.
Directed by: Kit Ryan
Written by: Susan Morrall
The Two Dollar Bill Documentary
While some believe that $2 bills are no longer made, they are alive and well. Learn all about ‘the deuce’ from its history to its many superstitions, the way it’s perceived and used in society, and even some incredible stories about the ways it connects people. This comprehensive film will open your eyes about a truly unique piece of currency.
Directed by: John Bennardo
Produced by: Amy Byer-Shainman, John Bennardo and Erik Mintz
There’s a new detective agency in Dallas, Texas, started by three exonerated men, with decades in prison served between them. This character-driven documentary follows these change-makers as they rebuild their lives and families, learn to investigate cases, and work to support one another.
Directed by: Jamie Meltzer
Produced by: David Alvarado, Kate McLean and Michael May
Unlocked: The World of Games, Revealed
Unlocked is a groundbreaking documentary series that provides firsthand stories by industry icons, celebrities, consumers, and field experts on the culture, technology, history, and future of the video game industry.
Written and Directed by: Jeremy Snead
Waking the Sleeping Giant: The Making of a Political Revolution
Waking the Sleeping Giant: The Making of a Political Revolution is the story of the attempt to build a 21st century progressive movement in the United States. Five remarkable individuals wrestle with persistent racial injustice, growing economic inequality, and the corrupting influence of money in politics against the backdrop of an extraordinary 2016 presidential race.
Directed by: Jon D. Erickson and Jacob Smith
Produced by: Jacob Smith, Jon D. Erickson and Kathryn Goldman
What Happened in Vegas
While on vacation in Las Vegas, filmmaker Ramsey Denison is walking through a parking lot when he sees a group of police officers abusing a stranger in custody. Shocked by what he’s witnessing, he calls 911 to report police brutality — only to find himself being attacked by police and arrested. After reading a police report filled with lies and discovering that the video documenting his attack by police has
conveniently gone missing, Denison investigates a terrifying pattern of police brutality and discovers that behind the shimmering surface of Las Vegas lies a police department with individuals willing to go to any lengths to cover up its crimes.
Directed by: Ramsey Denison
Produced by: Doug Blush, Randy Wiles and Ramsey Denison
Director Kat Hunt compels her friend Erica to take revenge on the men in her life in this experimental, docu-fiction comedy.
Written and Directed by: Kat Hunt
Produced by: Camila de Onís and Kat Hunt
Gay and guilty? In 1961, Heinz stroked another man’s knee. As a result, he was convicted to two years on probation and three weekends in juvenile detention, a conviction that still stands to this day. But he is gay and #NotGuilty. More than 50,000 men were convicted under Section 175 of the German Penal Code because of their homosexuality. It’s high time they were exonerated.
Directed by: Maxim Kuphal-Potapenko
Written by: Maxim Kuphal-Potapenko and Anna Moll
Produced by: Anna Moll
And the Earth will be Lost to Flames
The end is nigh. But until then, there’s work to do.
Written, Directed & Produced by: Adam Bertocci
On a Sunday morning the congregation of the Daytona Beach Drive-in Church tunes in.
Directed by: Lauren DeFilippo
A man attempts to solve the JFK assassination on his own using stuff lying around the house. A serio-documentary-comedy-drama.
Written, Directed and Produced by: Ian Johnston
Young Artist Series Film
Written and Directed by: Carly Haynes of Argyle High School
Evaluate, and Adjust
With technology becoming more involved in our everyday lifestyle, where does it fit in marching band? We follow the Argyle High School Marching Band on their road to the State Finals competition to find out. Paired up with Pyware and its innovative software, we get a glimpse of what could be the future of the marching arts.
Directed and Produced by: Dakota Ford
Every 107 tells the stories of 3 survivors of sexual assault. From an innocently intended high school hangout to an arranged marriage in Pakistan, these women span in experience while still sharing their common emotions, their fears, and their advice for others.
Directed and Produced by: Tracy Knittel
A boy struggles with depression, and his only way to fight it is to get from Point A to Point B as fast as possible.
Directed by: Michael Escobar
It’s quite plain to 7-year-old Nori: She is a girl, because she has a girl’s heart. But her body is that of a boy. The film portrays young Nori and her mother’s conflict of enabling her daughter a life worth living out of the norm.
Directed and Produced by: Anne Scheschonk
It’s Not Just Jenna
The story of a young girl’s journey from victim of sexual abuse to survivor. Jenna Quinn and her family share their story with compassion and courage. She was the victim behind the “Jenna’s Law” legislation in Texas.
Directed by: John and Heather McKenzie
An animated experimental documentary. The film is told by examining two contrasting points of view, a Caregiver and an individual with severe schizophrenia undergoing a massive surgery to replace their tongue.
Directed by: Jeremy Bessoff and Kate Raney
Living Art: Jo Williams
Living Art features Jo Williams, an award-winning watercolorist and longtime resident of Denton, Texas, who, over the past 40 years, has been an active supporter of the arts in the community and beyond. Williams’ students speak of her teaching them to “see the world with an artist’s eye.”
Directed by: Susan Carol Davis
Written and Produced by: Linda S. Anderson
Man vs Wind
A windy night in Denton, Texas.
Written, Directed and Produced by: Ian Johnston
The search is on for Enzo Ball, the recreant Mime whose 2012 disappearance is believed to be linked to his controversial hobby. A staunch believer that Ball was targeted for simply being his own Mime, Eric Farmer hits the streets with a camera and a cause; taking aim at the troupe and its draconian approach to member conduct in an effort to force Enzo’s release. But when word of his crusade reaches the organization that most believe took the Mime, Farmer will find that he’s got his work cut out for him. The group doesn’t like what they’re hearing, and are setting out to make some noise of their own…
Written and Directed by: Scott Brown
Produced by: Jeevin Johal, Mike Kam and Scott Brown
Nothing Compares explores the power of music to connect, redeem and heal, as recounted by the singer of a Prince tribute band, in the immediate aftermath of the Purple One’s passing.
Directed by: Melissa Dowler
Produced by: Melissa and Tom Dowler
Project Freeplay explores the concept of purely improvised live music through the unique perspective of a double-drum quintet.
Directed by: Michael B. Mullins
Produced by: Michael B. Mullins, Tania Khalaf and C. Melinda Levin
Spotlight on North Texas
Moving image archivist Laura Treat is racing against time to help preserve at-risk motion pictures of North Texas. Learn more about North Texas film history, what you can do to preserve your own home movies, and view a selection of materials preserved by this project. Spotlight on North Texas has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this article, book, exhibition, film, program, database, report, Web resource, do not necessarily represent those of the NEH.
Directed by: Laura Treat
Story Town with Weldon’s
Weldon Burgoon, rodeo calf roper, saddlemaker, charismatic small business owner and family man, spins stories and insight gleaned from over six decades operating Weldon’s Western Store in Denton. The film features lively historical rodeo footage and Americana images as well as original music from Denton artists.
Directed by: Susan Carol Davis
Written and Produced by: Linda S. Anderson
Sylvia Vanderpool-Robinson was a singer and record executive who revolutionized the music industry and became known as the “Mother of Hip-Hop.”
Directed by: Bayer Mack
Written and Produced by: Bayer Mack and Frances Presley Rice
Telling the Story of Slavery
Discussing the legacy of slavery in America is still a complex and difficult conversation to have. How do we confront this horrible and defining period of our shared history? This is a film about a place that is attempting to do just that: Louisiana’s Whitney Plantation.
Directed by: Kalim Armstrong
Produced by: Nick Weissman
An old Kurdish game played by two young boys teaches simple truths.
Written, Directed and Produced by: Kayvan Sarvari
The Great Hanging
Historical reenactment portrays the largest extralegal mass hanging in US History, where 42 suspected Union sympathizers were murdered for potentially mounting an insurrection with local slaves.
Written and Directed by: Johnathan Paul
Produced by: Marcus Parkhill, Melinda Levin, Tania Khalaf and Eugene Martin
The Hardest Mile
Young Artists Series Film
Written and Directed by: Annabel Thorpe of Argyle High School
Hoax is a mockumentary drama-comedy which follows the making of Sam Maynard’s opus documentary entitled El Chupacabra: The Blood Sucking Creature from Hell. To fulfill his life’s goal, Sam dupes a college film student into documenting his exploits as they both stumble through the harsh wilderness in
order to once and for all obtain proof of this Mexican beast. In so doing, Sam can validate his own existence as well as the Chupacabra’s.
Directed by: Hayden Zaiser
Written and Produced by: Kenneth Severson
The Orange Story
February 1942. President Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9066, which authorizes the forced “relocation” of 120,000 ethnic Japanese from their homes and into incarceration camps throughout the U.S. Koji Oshima is the proud owner of a small corner grocery store, but he must now abandon everything and report to an assembly center. His belongings, his business – everything must be sold or left behind, except what he can carry in one large duffel bag. On the day of his departure, Koji is saddened to learn that even friendships can be tainted by the larger forces of fear and wartime hysteria.
Directed by: Erika Street Hopman
Written by: Eugene Sun Park and Erika Street Hopman
Produced by: Eugene Sun Park and Jason Matsumoto
The Wizard Oz
Oberon Zell-Ravenheart, known simply as “OZ”, is a self-described wizard. Being a product of the 1960’s renaissance era where new art, ideas, and beliefs emerged, OZ created a life for himself that is truly stranger than fiction. Raising mythical beasties, seeking out legends, and experiencing the magic of love brings OZ to an important question…will he be remembered?
Directed and Produced by: Danny Yourd
Tick Tock Clock
This fun, historical film is about the friendship of three Texas friends, Marty, Tom and Gail, all now seniors in their 70’s, who have known each other since they were children. In 1955, having just turned 13 years old, and using a then-brand new Brownie 8mm Movie Film Camera, they began documenting their lives.
Through a journey of time, Tick Tock Clock takes us from the 1950s to Christmas 2014, when Gail finds out the old family house, lost in a bankruptcy a decade earlier, is being torn down.
Written, Directed and Produced by: Gail Reaben
We’re not Promised Tomorrow
Young Artists Series Film
Written and Directed by: Robert Stockstill of Dale Jackson Career Center
Showing at the Travelstead Outdoor Theater on Oak Street, 2 blocks east of Denton’s Square.
After discovering that an asteroid the size of Texas is going to impact Earth in less than a month, NASA recruits a misfit team of deep core drillers to save the planet.
Directed by: Michael Bay
Produced by: Jerry Bruckheimer
Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
A town’s sheriff and regular patron of a historical whorehouse fight to keep it running when a TV reporter targets it as the Devil’s playhouse.
Directed by: Collin Higgins
Tasked with overhauling a university football team that was dismantled for breaking collegiate rules, coaches Wally Riggendorf (Robert Loggia) and Ed Gennero (Héctor Elizondo) pick unusual new players like junior professor Andre Krimm (Sinbad) and 30-something quarterback Paul Blake (Scott Bakula). As
Paul courts professor Suzanne Carter (Harley Jane Kozak), the team struggles until the arrival of a female placekicker, who bolsters the squad as it gets ready to challenge its big rival.
Directed by: Stan Dragoti
An epic story of adventure, starring some of the most magnificent and courageous creatures alive, awaits you in Earth. Disney nature brings you a remarkable story, narrated by James Earl Jones, of three animal families on a journey across our planet – polar bears, elephants and humpback whales.
Directed by: Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield