Lights! Camera! … Denton?
Looking for a film festival? Denton has that. What about a 48hr video race? Denton has one of those too. Need to network with other filmmakers in the area? Denton knows the best ones for you. Founded in 2004 by a group of students at UNT, Texas Filmmakers is a non-profit corporation based in Denton, Texas. Their programs and services include Thin Line Film Fest, video races, Texas film and video grants, an editing lab, equipment rental, and they have built up an online community; making it easier for filmmakers to network and reach out to other local filmmakers.
When asked how Texas Filmmakers came to be, Joshua Butler, the president of Texas Filmmakers, was able to give us the rundown:
“I came to Denton in the summer of 2003 to pursue a degree in film at UNT. In the spring of 2004 I was shooting a music video and I needed a place to build a large green screen stage so I asked the University Union how we could rent the Silver Eagle Suite. They told me that it was going to be hundreds of dollars and I was a bit surprised it would be so high for students. The lady then explained to me that if I was a student organization it would be free. I asked how I would go about setting up a student organization and she pointed me to the Student Activities Office down the hall. I picked up the proper forms and learned that I needed other students, a faculty advisor, and a constitution. From there I began thinking about what type of organization was needed in Denton in the area of film and video production. The first student organization was called Texas Filmmakers Cooperative. Our mission was to help provide production resources to the student filmmaking community. It all grew from there. We quickly had nearly 200 members and that summer we raised almost $20K. Also that summer we incorporated and acquired our federal non-profit status. In creating our by-laws we decided to include that we would create a film festival in Denton within three years; and three years later in the fall of 2007 Thin Line Film Fest was born. Our attendance was 400; but each year, the festival’s attendance has grown by 250%. In 2010 we had 2,250 in attendance and are expecting another big jump in 2011. “
Since there are three colleges in the area, I also asked Mr. Butler if he received a large amount of student submissions for the festival.
“We don’t really receive many student submissions. Surprisingly, very few UNT RTVF students submit their documentary films. I don’t know if it is a lack of confidence, or motivation, or if it is simply the apathy of the typical college student. “
And of course, we were discussing movies, I also had to ask which one was his favorite.
“That’s tough. I’ll say GasLand. It’s a great film and it has a really good shot at being nominated for an Academy Award this year.”
48 Hours of Hell is the name of one video race they host in the month of October, based around Halloween. Filmmakers who enter are given 48 hours to write, direct and shoot a movie that they can submit to win prizes. Each year the filmmakers are given categories that they must incorporate into their films in some way. The entries are judged in 4 categories and the Best Overall award is also given. This year the categories were: best use of the theme of backstabbing, the knife prop, a kitchen setting, and the quote “Look Ma, No Hands.” Awards were given for the best of each category. The Best Overall award was given to the film “Bright Colors.”
So make sure you keep an eye out for Texas Filmmakers and the Thin Line Film festival!