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Thin Line 2019: The films, music and photos of Denton’s multitalented festival

Thin Line 2019: The films, music and photos of Denton’s multitalented festival

Thin Line 2019: The films, music and photos of Denton’s multitalented festival
April 15
15:30 2019

Over five days, people from across the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex flocked to Denton for Thin Line Fest. The free festival, which ran from April 10-14 across 15 different locations, featured local and international photographers, filmmakers and musicians. If you missed out on this year’s Thin Line Fest, here is a rundown of what happened.

Aubrey, Texas native Matt Simms talks about his first-place-winning image “Monkey Family Sleeping” during the Thin Line photo awards ceremony at Campus Theatre on April 13, 2019. Image by: Kara Dry.

The photos

The 2019 Thin Line Fest photo competition featured more than 50 photographers competing under five different categories: Feature (Candid), Feature (Abstract), Nature (Wildlife), Nature (Scenic) and the year’s theme “Walk the Line.” 

Every image selected for the professional competition was featured in one of the festival’s three galleries, located at Armadillo Ale Works, Hickory Street Office and the Golden Triangle Mall. Many of the featured photographers were Denton-based, including Brad Holt, a UNT alumnus. A few others were located out of state and even out of the country, such as Grant Baldwin from Canada and Emily Garthwaite from the United Kingdom.

Each gallery displayed photographs from each of the five competition categories. Some of the wildlife photos depicted animals native to the U.S., like buffalo found in Yellowstone National Park, but there were also multiple pictures taken out of the country, featuring wild lions, zebras and rhinos. Several feature photos captured scenes from football games, concerts and day-to-day life.

This year’s professional photo competition winners who received a $500 cash prize were:

Feature (Candid): Emily Garthwaite, “Iraqi Children Playing” 

Feature (Abstract): Brandon Wade, “Spiral”

Nature (Scenic): Chance Kirby, “Final Seconds”

Nature (Wildlife): Matt Sims, “Monkey Family Sleeping”

“Walk the Line”: Christopher Zebo, “Rio Grande Sunrise”

Matt Simms’ photo, “Monkey Family Sleeping,” won first place in the Nature (Wildlife) category of the 2019 Thin Line photo contest. Image by: Kara Dry.

The films

The film portion of Thin Line Fest is separated into two parts: feature films and short films. The festival showed 23 feature films, which were screened between the span of five days at either The Campus Theatre or Alamo Drafthouse theaters 1, 7 or 8. The feature films explored topics including race, social media, gun violence, animal conservation, homelessness, mental illness and more. Multiple filmmakers this year were either from or filmed from outside of the U.S., representing Australia, England, the Netherlands, Iran, Kenya, France and Canada.

In total, 49 short films were played at Thin Line. Ranging from two to 39 minutes in length, each short film was put into one of six programs, with each program screening their shorts back-to-back at either The Campus Theatre or Alamo Drafthouse. This year’s short films featured subjects as local as UNT’s football quarterback Mason Fine and as global as Saudi Arabian film crews.

Here are this year’s film award winners, who were announced at the awards ceremony on Saturday:

Best Feature Documentary: Grant Baldwin, “This Mountain Life”

Global Awareness Award: Hans Pool, “Bellingcat- Truth in a Post-Truth World”

Best Short Doc: Rory WT, “There is Something in the Water”

Best Student Doc: Dana Reilly, “At Arm’s Length”

Emerging Filmmaker: Chelsea Hernandez, “Building the American Dream”

Best Denton Doc: Texas Woman’s University, “Mack Minded”

Orr Award Winner: Emelie Mahdavian

The Bralettes perform at the Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio in Denton, one of the venues hosting artists for Thin Line Fest. Image by: Ashley Gallegos.

The music

This year, 59 different bands and solo artists represented the music scene at Thin Line. Dan’s Silverleaf, Harvest House, Rubber Gloves, Andy’s Bar, J&J’s Pizza, Sweetwater Grill and Tavern, Campus Theatre and Mulberry Street Cantina served as live music venues for featured artists, most of whom performed hour-long sets.

The festival featured music genres including indie pop, rock, electronic and soul. Some bands, like Denton four-piece Pearl Earl did not have to travel far. Others came from cities known for their music scenes, like The Bralettes from Dallas and Technicolor Hearts from Austin. 

Trees Marie kicked off the night at Dan’s Silverleaf on Wednesday and Fat Tony wrapped up the performances at Harvest House Sunday evening. The bulk of the bands’ sets were held back-to-back across seven of the venues on Saturday. At Dan’s Silverleaf, Marathons and Unicorns, comprised of Eric Nichelson and his three children, all between the ages of 7 and 15, started the show with rock and country songs for all ages. At Harvest House, M3CCA slowed it down with low-fi hip-hop while indie rock band Go Fever showed off their ’70s new wave-inspired sound at Rubber Gloves.

UNT studio art alumna Madelyn Sneed-Grays works on her first mural as a part of the LSA Mural Project. Image by: Adriance Rhoades.

The events

Sprinkled throughout the five-day festival were a variety of events, many of which pertained to either photography, film or music. The photography category hosted the most events, which included a photojournalism panel, a two-hour shootout competition on the Square, a hands-on instant film lesson and a discussion with award-winning photographer O. Rufus Lovett. Photographers were also offered two Saturday sessions where they could have their portfolio reviewed and critiqued.

Aside from photography, St. Andrew Presbyterian Church hosted a demonstration for F1D indoor planes and screened the feature documentary “FLOAT” on Saturday while Denton’s Kiwanis Club held its third annual Crawfish Boil on Sunday at East Side Denton. Thin Line wrapped up on Sunday evening with a live art show for the LSA Mural Project. The event, which was held in collaboration with the Greater Denton Arts Council, featured six Denton artists who were selected to paint murals on the rooftop of LSA Burger over the weekend.

As another year of Thin Line comes to a close, Denton continues to provide a space for photographers, filmmakers and musicians to network and collaborate while entertaining and drawing in new fans from across the metroplex. Those who missed the festival can visit for more information about this year’s featured artists and performers.

Featured Image: Brad Holt smiles as he learns of his honorable mention award for his image titled “Floating!!!” in the Feature (Candid) category at the Thin Line photo awards ceremony at Campus Theatre on April 13, 2019. Image by: Kara Dry.

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Haley Arnold

Haley Arnold

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