Thin Line Fest Opens in Denton April 24 | Reminiscent of Dallas VideoFest

Written by Kelly Kitchens
Dallas VideoFest returns programming opening night of Thin Line Fest, DFW’s only documentary film festival since 2007

Although VideoFest retired after 35 years, founder and artistic director, Bart Weiss relishes in keeping it alive in the zeitgeist with one-off events. VideoFest is more than just a film festival; it is a state of mind, a force on its own accord that can compliment other festivals like Thin Line, in a way like no other.

“From the first ideas of Thin Line Fest back in 2006, Bart Weiss has been a source of advice and encouragement,” noted Joshua Butler, festival director of Thin Line Fest. “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.”

Opening night of Thin Line Fest, Wednesday, April 24, will be co-hosted by Dallas VideoFest. A screening of NO ONE ASKED YOU launches the Festival at 6:30 p.m. The film follows comedian and disruptor, Lizz Winstead, co-creator of “The Daily Show,” and her team Abortion Access Front as they crisscross the U.S. to support abortion clinic staff and bust stigma. Pop culture icons and next-gen comics fuel the six-year road film, activating small-town folks to rebuild vandalized clinic, exposing wrongdoer politicians, domestic terrorists and media neglect.

Director, writer and producer Ruth Leitman of NO ONE ASKED YOU will attend the screening with a Q&A lead by VideoFest’s founder, Bart Weiss, to follow the screening.

BREAKING THE NEWS begins at 9:15 p.m. and looks at the dearth of women and people of color in the media. Emily Ramshaw wanted to do something radical about the white men dominating newsrooms; so, in 2020, she and a motivated group of women and LGBTQ+ journalists banded together to buck the status quo and launch The 19th, a digital news start-up based in Austin.

The film documents the honest discussions at The 19th around race, gender and identity equity, revealing change doesn’t come easy, and it showcases how one newsroom confronts these challenges both as a workplace and in their journalism.

“The two films are very much in the spirit of the films Dallas VideoFest is known for: Powerful films that address the critical issues of the day, done with spunk and style,” said Bart Weiss, VideoFest’s founder and artistic director.

Co-director Chelsea Hernandez will attend the screening of BREAKING THE NEWS, and a Q&A will follow the screening.

“Over two-thirds of our filmmakers will be in attendance at this year’s fest,” said Josh Butler, Thin Line’s founder, giving good opportunities to engage in thoughtful conversations about their films.

In addition, once night falls in Denton, 85 bands each representing a diverse lineup of rock, metal, country, punk, jazz, nuwave, screamo, cumbia, hip-hop, alternative and pop around Denton.

In between films and music shows, attendees may step into one of the city’s photography galleries to explore more than 175 exhibited works from 48 regional, national and international photographers. Those who attend April 27 may take part in the Instant Film Society Pola-Walk or browse more than 100 different art-maker vendors on the Denton Courthouse’s lawn during North Texas Makers Mart.

Sixty documentaries from around the world will screen at the annual Thin Line Fest in Denton on April 24-28. Films about music, culture, politics and sports and much more will be shown. Twenty-one documentaries will make their Texas premieres and a handful of films will celebrate their world premieres along with 85 bands, performing everything from rock to cumbia, will entertain the crowds in downtown Denton’s various venues. Photography galleries will showcase more than 175 from photographers worldwide.

About the author

Kelly Kitchens

Kelly J Kitchens (Wickersham), film publicist

As an editor and feature writer, Kelly J. Kitchens found herself engrossed in North Texas’ arts, entertainment, leisure/hospitality and fund-raising events scene in the early and mid-'90s where she was a feature writer, critic and editor for a weekly arts and entertainment magazine in Dallas called The Met. Her love of film, music, art, theater and worthy causes drove her to then pursue the publicity side of the media business in 1995. Kelly has been honored by being named a “master publicist” in the Fort Worth Business Press and an “ace media maven” in The Dallas Morning News.

For more than 25 years, Kelly has had her hand in much of the Dallas film world. For instance, she publicized Angelika Film Centers openings in Dallas and Plano and the revitalization of Houston’s Angelika. She is the director of press and publicity for several area film festivals and independent films playing at other film festivals. And in 2022, she plans to return to be the publicist for Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas in DFW.

During the pandemic, Kelly wasn’t sure where her career would take her. Fortunately, she was able to help save Thin Line Film Festival, Dallas VideoFest's DocuFest and AltFiction Fest, Pegasus Film Festival, among other film festivals as they turned to go virtual instead of canceling.

As the world emerges from the pandemic, Kelly is working on publicity for Pegasus Media Project, Who Needs Sleep Telethon, as well as several films making their ways into the festival circuit and an Amazon series nominated for a Daytime Emmy, #WASHED.

One of Kelly’s specialties is her Media Roundtables. RTs are modified press conferences that turn into conversations and virtual film schools with filmmakers, festival directors and anyone else she happens to be working with at the time. Get a feel for these media roundtables at this YouTube playlist: