Thin Line Festival kicks off at the Campus Theatre

Thin Line Festival kicks off at the Campus Theatre

Thin Line Festival kicks off at the Campus Theatre
April 23
08:10 2018

The Thin Line Film Festival kicked off at the Campus Theatre on Wednesday, April 18 with the premiere of a film directed by Sasha Water Freyer called “Garry Winogrand: Everything is Photographable.” The film documents how Winogrand took the concepts of traditional street photography and changed them forever.

“I’m thrilled to be here,” Freyer said. “I’m so excited by the number of films [the festival] has and [its] range. I think it’s really great that [the Campus Theatre is] programming all these Texas films. It seems like a great community event.”

Freyer’s film won the special jury recognition for Best Feminist Reconsideration of a Male Artist this year at South by Southwest.

Freyer wasn’t always a filmmaker, though. She studied photography throughout college admiring Winogrand’s work, but saw him as an artist who had been lost in time.

“There was a new retrospective on his work in 2013 that captured my imagination,” Freyer said. “I wondered why there wasn’t a documentary over him if it was so important.”

Freyer began reaching out to her sources and fundraising in 2013 and started filming interviews in August 2015. She finished the interviews nearly two years later in April 2017 and spent the rest of the year editing.

Freyer didn’t try to grab the attention of the audience until the Q&A session at the end. She quietly seated herself in the back of the auditorium and blended in with the crowd before leaving to grab a quick bite to eat. She said while she appreciates the audience turnout, she doesn’t personally feel the need to watch her movie again, as she has seen enough of it over the past five years.

“Find your people and your community and support each other,” Freyer said. “One of the most key collaborators in this film is a photographer I went to college with. He helped me with selecting 400 Garry Winogrand photos.”

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Sasha Waters Freyer answers questions during a Q&A session after the screening of “Garry Winogrand: All Things are Photographable,” which she directed, produced, and edited. Freyer won “Special Jury Recognition for Best Feminist Reconsideration of a Male Artist,” at South by Southwest 2018 for the film. Rachel Walters

After Freyer’s film, moviegoers crossed the street over to 207 W. Hickory St. where a reception was held. At the reception, UNT President Neal Smatresk made an appearance and mingled with the crowd.

“Thin Line is a terrific attribute for our town, and for young artists and great documentary filmmakers to show off their wear,” Smatresk said. “I hope we get some really great support for it because this is the kind of thing that makes Denton cool.”

Smatresk said he is a former photographer himself and admires the work of the photographers featured at Thin Line.

“I actually made money doing real estate pictures and wedding pictures as a college student,” Smatresk said. “It gave me a certain appreciation and a creative inclination that supported me, and that’s what I think UNT is all about: how we use creativity to do good things.”

Locals Harry and Linda Eaddy attended the opening and reception of Thin Line. The Eaddy’s are no strangers to film festivals, or the workload it takes to plan them.

“My wife and I love going to festivals—anything to keep us from cooking,” Harry said.

The Eaddy’s work as the directors of film programming for the Denton Black Film Festival. Linda said she understands the inner workings of planning a festival first-hand, but this time, she and her husband are excited to sit back, relax and enjoy the art.

“Once you do this yourself, you’ll get it,” Linda said. “We know how tired they are at the end of the week. It’s exciting and wonderful, but you are physically and mentally exhausted.”

Thin Line and the Denton Black Film Festival are also community partners for film. This year the Denton Black Film Festival will their film “Shake Sister Shake” at 12:45 p.m. on Saturday, April 21 at Movie Tavern 1, as well as at 2:45 p.m. on Sunday, April 22 at Movie Tavern 3.

Harry said that although festivals can be tedious to run, Denton is fortunate to have so many.

“Festivals are really hard, particularly with what Thin Line does,” Harry said. “There’s 15-20 working parts, and each event is hard and challenging. Denton is fortunate they have so many festivals.”

The Eaddy’s agreed that Freyer’s “All Things are Photographable” was an appropriate way to start the festival and set a theme for the rest of the week. Harry particularly enjoyed the insight that Freyer’s documentary provided.

“I think it’s really hard to see what other people see, and I think that’s what I kept taking away was Gary’s [Winogrand] view of the world.” Harry said. “There were times were it suddenly connected and I understood it, which is really powerful.”

Linda said that documentaries are special because they provide a filmmaking experience as well as an opportunity to learn. She said Freyer’s documentary of Winogrand’s work provided the perspective of a photographer who aimed to capture people and life in their natural state.

“You are learning something as well as experiencing the story and trying to engross whatever the filmmaker has done,” Linda said.

Harry said Thin Line provides an outlet for everybody to enjoy art while having their own experience and interpretation. He said the festival also brings people together who can then share their experiences with others.

“Each person who sees it will see something different and it’ll mean something different,” Harry said. “And that’s exciting.”

Photography enthusiast Tom Hoemeke was also in attendance of the opening night of Thin Line. He said he enjoyed watching the different perspective of Winograd’s work while comparing it to his own.

“I find it to be a very interesting film,” Hoemeke said. “It’s more of a history lesson for me over urban photography opposed to my own photography, which is more in terms of nature and scenery.”

Hoemeke said he admires Thin Line because it contributes more art to a community that appreciates the films, photos and music it observes.

“It flows very well with Denton as a community,” Hoemeke said. “It’s a positive statement.”

Thin Line will be showcasing photography, films and music until Sun. April 22. The schedule of the movies, music performances and photo showcases are available on their website.

Featured Image: Filmmakers from all over the country travel to Denton to showcase their movies at Thin Line Film Festival. Will Baldwin

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Anna Orr

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