Our very own all-documentary film festival — to be fair, Denton deserves the credit — starts tonight. Here’s the article I wrote for Twitch:
North of Dallas, Texas, lies the college town of Denton, where more than 100,000 people go to sleep at night, wondering if Bonnie and Clyde will ever return. The 1967 film version of their lives was partially shot in Denton, where the outlaws once hid out. Nowadays, film buffs who are fascinated by real life stories gravitate toward documentaries, and Denton’s own Thin Line Film Fest has a dandy, 11-day program that’s filled with nothing but documentaries. It’s set to start rolling out tomorrow.
To quote from the press release, the fest kicks off Friday night “with the Texas premiere of Battle for Brooklyn with Director and Producer Suki Hawley in attendance. …
“On Saturday, February 11, 2012 at 12:30 pm at the Square Donut Theater, the film Kaziah the Goat Woman will screen. The film is about a woman (Kaziah) who for the last few years has painted works of fallen soldiers to give to their families. Three paintings for two DFW families, who will be in attendance, will be presented to them during the screening on behalf of the artist.
“On Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 7:00p, Brilliant Life tells the story of Barry Weatherall, a plumber who was completely blinded when a chemical mixture exploded in his face. After years of darkness and depression, he discovers new delight in life through outdoor adventure. Both the film’s director, Marilyn Bright, and star will be in attendance.”
The picture above is from Patricio Guzman’s Nostalgia for the Light, which screens on February 16. The doc, from Chile, has received some great reviews; it “travels 10,000 feet above sea level to the driest place on earth, the Atacama Desert, where atop the mountains astronomers from all over the world gather to observe the stars. The sky is so translucent that it allows them to see right to the boundaries of the universe.” Nostalgia for the Light also received a Honorable Mention from our own Ben Umstead as part of his “Best of 2011” review.
Now in its fifth year, the festival has been steadily growing, expanding its program over more and more days. I’ve had to beg off from attending again this year, due to personal schedule conflicts, but what I like about the fest is that they don’t program the same films that everyone else is programming. There’s a greater focus on films from around the world, instead of just American-centric docs, which also adds to the variety on tap.
The Thin Line Film Fest is a wonderful example of a local festival that seeks to improve and expand every year. It runs through Monday, February 20, with more than 20 filmmakers scheduled to be in attendance, and deserves to be on your radar.