Matt Olson, Copy Editor
The ninth annual Thin Line Fest is coming to Denton this week, bringing with it more than 50 films as well as a photography festival, live performances from local music acts. Several workshops and photo events will also take place and will be free to the public.
Events begin Wednesday and continue through Sunday, with locations including Andy’s Bar, the Campus Theatre, Dan’s Silverleaf, the Golden Triangle Mall, Harvest House, the Patterson-Appleton Arts Center, Rubber Gloves and UNT on the Square.
This year, the Thin Line Fest offers Thin Line Film, Thin Line Music, and Thin Line Photo. The films screened are exclusively documentaries, and the Thin Line website outlines the reason for this goal: “real life is more interesting (and more powerful) than fiction.” The musical performers range from local artists to national acts.
The festival gets its name from the idea of the “thin line” separating two opposing concepts or ideas – the Thin Line website lists “genius and crazy, fact and fiction, beauty and sadness, knowledge and apathy, right and wrong” as example dichotomies – and the attempt to document and explore both sides of these sorts of “thin lines.”
The event draws a large crowd of local Dentonites and students from TWU and UNT as well as residents from the surrounding communities. Festival Director Josh Butler elaborated in an email: “Last year over 15,000 people attended one of the festivals.”
Director of Film Programming Stanton Brasher said in an email: “This year, I am looking forward to all of the new insanity. We are going to have buskers, drummers, and zombies invading our personal space on the square this year, and I am beyond stoked about it.”
He added: “In fact, we still need musicians, comedians, rappers, jugglers, and magicians to come perform on the street Friday night before we debut the hilarious movie, ‘Busking Turf Wars.’”
Creative and Marketing Director Mindy Ardent shared via email: “I’m looking forward to seeing all the people come to enjoy the festival with us. We work so hard to make Thin Line happen that seeing people come and enjoy the fruits of our labor is very rewarding to me.”
More than 50 films will be shown at the event, including headliners “Busking Turf Wars,” “How to Let Go of the World,” “The Man with Four Legs,” “Re-Kill” and “Skips Stones for Fudge.” A secret screening will also take place Saturday after 8 p.m. at the Campus Theatre.
“Busking Turf Wars” follows the struggle of a street musician who attempts to claim his own turf. The film will screen Friday at 10:15 p.m. in the Campus Theatre.
“How to Let Go of the World” is an examination of climate change from Oscar-nominated documentarian Josh Fox. The film will screen Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Campus Theatre.
“The Man With Four Legs” documents the attempts of an amnesiac to make sense of his own life. The film will screen Thursday at 10:15 p.m. in the Campus Theatre.
“Re-Kill” is a found-footage horror movie that takes place five years after a zombie outbreak decimated the human population. The film will screen Saturday at 11 p.m. in the Campus Theatre.
“Skips Stones for Fudge” follows a bizarre stone-skipping rivalry between two record-holders. The film will screen on the festival’s final night, Sunday at 8 p.m. in the Campus Theatre.
Dozens of other films will be shown, ranging from 5-minute short films to feature-length documentaries.
Senior Film Programmer Susan Davis outlined one of the many appeals of Thin Line Film in an email: “Visiting filmmakers from around the country and world love to experience ‘Denton’ as part of the whole Thin Line experience. I have enjoyed hearing what is new in their world of film production and what stories they want to tell. That has always sparked my enthusiasm for personal projects in the works.”
Brasher added: “Last year was my first year, but I really enjoyed making actual friendships and connections with the filmmakers.”
Vice president of the Thin Line Fest Paul Metzler said in an email: “In all previous Thin Lines, I’ve seen films that have radically opened my eyes to some other human experience. I have no doubt that will be true this year as well.”
Metzler shared: “I just wanted to support any way to bring high quality films into the vintage theaters of downtown Denton in the hope that someway, somehow it would become a year-round feature of life in Denton.”
Thin Line will offer a variety of music acts, ranging in genre from dance to electronic to folk to hip-hop to rock.
Artists will include The Boombachs, Bri Bragwell, Dangle Dixon, The Effinay’s, Heavy Glow, Isaac Hoskins, King Pap, Melissa Ratley, Mickey & the Motorcars, Sonar Lights, Quentin Miller, TomKat, Wild Bill and countless others, from the surrounding area and from across the country.
Butler shared: “This is the second year as three festivals in one. Last year was our first Photography Festival, and like with doing anything for the first time, we learned a lot.”
He continued: “This year our main photography venue is the Patterson-Appleton Arts Center where [more than] 60 printed images will be on display. In addition, over 200 digital images will be displayed on large screens at both the PAAC and UNT on the Square.”
Director of Photography Ed Steele said in an email: “Obviously I’m biased, but some of the photos we’ve received this year are truly amazing. In addition to amazing photographs, we have a gallery experience that will be unlike anything you’ll see anywhere else. The photography exhibits at the Golden Triangle Mall and at the Greater Denton Arts Council Patterson Appleton Center are really going to knock people’s socks off!”
Many local businesses have contributed to the film festival, including the Denton Record Chronicle, Denton Municipal Electric, the Golden Triangle Mall, the Greater Denton Arts Council, Lucky Lou’s Mellow Mushroom, Point Bank and UNT on the Square, as well as countless others.
Ardent shared: “Many festivals in Denton are able to happen every year thanks to the businesses in our community that see the value of having such events in our city limits. Without their continued support every year, no festival would be able to happen and bring that something special to Denton.”
For a full list of sponsors, visit http://www.thinlinefilmfest.com/index.php/fest-info/our-sponsors.
Tickets and Passes
Attendees can buy tickets for single screenings or concerts – tickets for single films range in price from $4 to $10 while tickets for single concerts range from $10 to $30.
Passes are also available, including an all-access pass for $150 as well as a film pass and a music pass for $75 each; these prices are set to drop once the festival begins. Day passes are available for $20 to $45, depending on the day’s events.
For ticketing information, visit http://www.thinlinefilmfest.com/index.php/how-to-fest/ticketing-info.
For the online box office, visit http://www.thinlinefilmfest.com/index.php/how-to-fest/online-box-office.
For a full schedule of events, visit http://www.thinlinefilmfest.com/images/ThinLine_2016_program_schedule.pdf.