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Local films featured in expanding Thin Line Film Festival in Denton

Local films featured in expanding Thin Line Film Festival in Denton

Local films featured in expanding Thin Line Film Festival in Denton
February 10
23:39 2014

Morgan Gentry // Staff Writer

In its seventh year, the Thin Line Film Festival will take place throughout theater venues and music venues on the Square, starting 6:30 p.m. at Feb. 12. More than 60 documentary films will be shown and thousands of people are expected to attend this year, according to officials.

Serve Denton, a nonprofit organization helping the less fortunate, will be the subject of the short documentary, “Serve Denton: Helping Nonprofits Change Lives,” about its methods of helping the underprivileged in Denton.

The 11-minute short will be featured in the “Shorts #4” collection at 2 p.m. on Feb. 16 at the Campus Theater.

“The reason we did the documentary is we have a really rich history in the Denton community,” Development director of Serve Denton Kayce Strader said. “It captured a lot of people who were involved in the story from the beginning.”

The nonprofit organization has existed for more than 30 years and wanted to share its story in a concise way, Strader said.

Along with the collaboration and communication with other nonprofits, Serve Denton is actively pursuing a 16-acre central campus in Denton, which would house nonprofits for $1 a year, enabling the helpers of the city to spend more money on the needy, according to the website.

With the help of Olive Tree Pictures, a nonprofit organization based in New York City that empowers international nonprofits and ministries through film and documentaries, Serve Denton, along with two other organizations, were granted short documentaries to help bring awareness to their causes.

“I think that everything starts with a dream,” film director Pat Denson said. “It was certainly a dream of Elinor Hughes [Denton mayor in 1976-1977 and one of the first women to hold a position in office], who did much of the difficult work at the beginning, and I was really drawn to the story of Serve Denton.“

Denson said working with Serve Denton over a three-day period was a pleasure for  her because of the great interest she has in the subject.

“In some ways these films are kind of promo pieces for the nonprofit, but that’s not why it’s in the festival,” said Festival Director Joshua Butler about the short. “It’s about an important local organization and it’s very well done.”

Making the cut

Other local films that will be in the festival are: “Querencia:” a short film about the bike shop that keeps Denton’s cyclist community rolling; “Sign Painters:” a feature about the past, present and future of sign makers; “United Way of Denton County:” a short film on the County’s nonprofit organization helping those in need; and “When We Were All Broncos;” a world premiere feature about the 1972 Denton high school football team that underwent desegregation.

Making the judgment call on what Thin Line thinks its audience will enjoy is crucial, but organizers always keep local topics in mind.  The short films may not have audiences sitting on the edge of their seat but it will engage them, which is one of the key components of a good documentary, Butler said.

“I’m a very harsh critic when it comes to documentaries,” Butler said. “It’s gotta be an interesting, engaging, entertaining film first and foremost.”

A musical addition

Being the first nonprofit organization to hold a multi-genre international documentary festival in Texas, Thin Line has continued to evolve.

Along with the short documentaries, the festival will feature three world premieres of “When we were all Broncos”, “Unleashed” and “My Toxic Backyard.” Thin Line organizers also added local music to the fray this season.

“Now it was really time to do something new and I always wanted to do a multimedia festival,” Butler said. “It’s just about creating the right size, keeping it manageable, making it successful and growing gradually and organically, just like we have done with the film festival over the last seven years.”

With acts like Sam Lao, Calhoun, Crypt Trip, Av the Great, Booty Fade, Fab Deuce, Jenny Robinson and numerous others, the festival is attempting to separate itself from other festival contenders.

Next year, Thin Line plans to add photography to the mix.

With the three-dimensional approach of film, music, and photography, Thin Line will have art from multiple mediums.

The plan is to have up to 50 walls around Denton displaying pictures from multiple categories, Butler said.

The photography will be a competitive and free aspect for festival goers to travel around Denton and see all the different  categories on display.

“There will be so many crossover opportunities and incorporate so many people into the festival,” Butler said. “I’m really looking forward to this new format of ours.”

Feature photo: The Campus Theatre in Denton off W. Hickory Street is hosting the Thin Line Film and Music Festival from Feb. 12-16. Photo by Zach Estrada / Intern Photographer  

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