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What to expect at Thin Line this week: Dallas VideoFest collab, films, local music and more


Thin Line Fest — which bills itself as the longest-running documentary film festival in Texas — will host film screenings at the Campus Theatre (and more) April 24-28. Most notably this year, this free-to-attend festival is collaborating with Dallas VideoFest for a two-film opening showcase.

Dallas VideoFest was the longest-running independent Dallas film festival until it ended in 2021. For over three decades, the festival highlighted independent, alternative and obscure films.

“I wanted to try to find a way to keep the Dallas VideoFest brand alive because I think people still fondly remember the kinds of films that we showed,” Bart Weiss, the founder of the Dallas VideoFest, said. “And so this was an opportunity working with Joshua [Butler, Thin Line founder] to sort of keep our name alive and to keep the kind of films that we like that are edgy, political statically interesting.”

Thin Line Fest, which first launched in 2007, opens Wednesday and runs through Sunday, April 28, in various downtown Denton venues.

Here’s what locals can expect this week:

Over 60 films will be showcase

Campus Theatre, 214 W. Hickory St., will showcase over 60 films throughout the festival run.

This includes Dallas VideoFest opening the festival by showcasing No One Asked You, on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. followed by Breaking the News at 9:30 p.m.

“From the first ideas of Thin Line Fest back in 2006, Bart Weiss has been a source of advice and encouragement,” Joshua Butler, festival director of Thin Line Fest, said in a news release. “We are thrilled to continue the tradition of Dallas VideoFest with this special evening of hard-hitting documentaries that help reveal the truth in our complicated world.”

Thin Line Fest opens Wednesday, April 24, and runs through Sunday, April 28, in various downtown Denton venues.
Thin Line Fest Facebook
Thin Line Fest opens Wednesday, April 24, and runs through Sunday, April 28, in various downtown Denton venues.

No One Asked You follows comedian Lizz Winstead, co-creator of The Daily Show, and her team with Abortion Access Front as they crisscross the U.S. to support abortion clinic staff and bust stigma.

Founded in 2015, Abortion Access Front describes itself as a team of comedians, activists, writers and producers that uses humor to destigmatize abortion and expose the extremist anti-choice forces working to destroy access to reproductive rights in all 50 states.

Director, writer and producer Ruth Leitman will attend the screening with a Q&A following the screening.

Breaking the News showcases a group of women and LGBTQ+ journalists launching a news startup asking who’s been omitted from mainstream coverage and how to include them.

Co-director Chelsea Hernandez will attend the screening and will have a Q&A afterward.

“So the ability to show this film in this day, when news is so important and what we trust in the news is so different and how you can have different voices bringing us the news of what it means to us, is really important,” Weiss said.

A full list of films can be found online.

Live music, photography and market

Expect more than 80 bands and artists to perform at various locations in the downtown Denton area, including Dan’s Silverleaf, Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios, Steve’s Wine Bar, Andy’s Bar, Harvest House, Denton County Brewing Co. and the Denton County Courthouse on the Square lawn.

Last year was the first time Denton Makers Fest organizers David Baker and Madison Mercer hosted the vendors’ market with over 90 vendors as Butler allowed them to grow their market with the collaboration and bring a bigger crowd to the market and festival.

This year, Denton Makers Fest is back and will feature more than 100 local vendors who will sell their creations on Saturday from 1 to 7 p.m. on the Square.

Two photo exhibition venues will be included this year.

The Patterson-Appleton Arts Center, 400 E. Hickory St., will showcase the Thin Line 2020: The Forgotten Exhibition, which is a selection of over 75 photographs that were never exhibited after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the festival online.

UNT CoLab, 207 N. Elm St., will have an opening photography reception on Wednesday from 8 to 10 p.m. and will adjust its hours during the festival’s run.

Weiss will hold a mobile workshop on Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Patterson-Appleton Arts Center focusing on the pros and cons of mobile filmmaking and the necessary techniques for success.

Festival still has a free option

General admission is free if you register online, while the $29 supporter pass includes a T-shirt. The $99 VIP pass features priority access to all venues and complimentary food and beverage at official festival social events.