A new collection of locally produced films, documentaries and video shorts premieres this September on KERA, the public broadcasting station for North Texas. On Thursday, September 8 at 10 p.m., KERA TV will premiere the third full season of Frame of Mind, a series of Texas-made independent films that showcase diverse styles, genres and stories that are uniquely Texan.
The 11-episode season features a broad spectrum of independent films produced by Texas-based amateur and professional filmmakers. A co-production of KERA’s Art&Seek and the Video Association of Dallas, Frame of Mind features films from competitions across Texas, including Dallas’ 24 Hour Video Race, as well as work by students at Garland High School and the University of North Texas.
“We’re excited to present another incredible slate of videos from some of the best and most interesting filmmakers in Texas,” said Anne Bothwell, Vice President, Arts, at KERA. “Frame of Mind is truly a unique platform, and it’s rewarding to share these films with new audiences.”
Frame of Mind airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on KERA TV beginning September 8. A description of each episode is below.
Episode 1: County Fair, Texas
By Brett Whitcomb
County Fair, Texas is a portrait of a year in the lives of four, small-town kids as they raise and care for farm animals to show in competition at a local county fair. Presented from the perspective of the kids themselves, the film is an affecting coming of age story, and a unique look at a formidable time in childhood.
Episode 2: Films from The University of North Texas Department of Radio, Television and Film
By Sara Masetti
Every year, thousands of undocumented students graduate with little hope of achieving their dreams. This short documentary tells the story of Loren, a young Latino college graduate and civil rights organizer, as he learns to move forward in life with an engineering degree in one hand and an expired visa in the other.
By Hanny Lee
Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and the fifth leading cause of death for those 65 and older according to the American Alzheimer’s Association. Helping Alzheimer’s patients is a very frustrating task for caretakers and family members. A nursing home in Phoenix, Arizona, has earned national recognition for its advanced program to provide dignity and positive emotions for its Alzheimer’s residents. Thirty residents with moderate to severe dementia are selected for housing in a Beatitudes nursing home campus building with a floor named “Vermilion Cliffs.” Named for the colorful, layered rock formations in Arizona that were fashioned by centuries of erosion, Vermilion Cliffs show that, “although weathered, although tested by dementia, people are beautiful” and “have certain strengths,” said Peggy Mullan, president of Beatitudes.
By Michael B. Mullins
Project Freeplay explores the concept of purely improvised music through the unique perspective of a double-drum quintet.
Episode 3: Agave is Life
By David Brown
Agave is Life is an exploration of the history of the agave plant in the cultures of Mexico and the American Southwest. Starting thousands of years ago when hunter-gatherers viewed the hardy desert succulent with its myriad uses as a gift from the gods, agave’s story is told through the lens of archaeological, ethnographic and modern day vignettes, closing with concerns about threats to the plant’s future.
Episode 4: CineSpace and Sight of Sound
CineSpace is a collaboration between NASA and Houston Cinema Arts Society (HCAS) that offers filmmakers around the world a chance to share their works inspired by, and using, actual NASA imagery. The CineSpace competition drew 194 entries from 22 countries and 32 states. Academy Award-nominated director, producer and screenwriter Richard Linklater – a Houston native who won best director honors at the 2015 Golden Globes and BAFTA Awards for his film Boyhood – helped NASA and HCAS judge the contest entries.
By Mary Magsamen & Stephen Hillerbrand
By Benjamin Eck
By Fernando Dueñas Peña
By Guy Shahaf
By Alexandre B. Lampron
Sight of Sound
Sight of Sound is an annual event that challenges filmmakers to create short silent films that are set to, and inspired by, classical music. Competitive entries are reviewed and selected by a jury of filmmakers, and the most outstanding films are screened in concert, with the Dallas Chamber Symphony performing the soundtrack live-to-film. Select filmmakers are also eligible for monetary prizes and license to use the Dallas Chamber Symphony’s recorded concert audio in their films.
By Courtney Ware
By Lili Gu
By H. Paul Moon
By Aparna Hegde
By Aleks Rastovic
By Silvia Lara
By Caitlin Brown
Episode 5: Real Reel (Texas Docs)
The Superlative Light
By Ben Steinbauer
The Superlative Light is the story of an artist’s journey from obscurity to prominence and the photographs he made along the way. Photographer Robert Shults went from being a homeless dreamer to a home-owning artist after taking photos of the brightest light source in the known universe, a laser in the physics department at The University of Texas. The documentary takes the audience back to the spaces Robert inhabited while homeless, the odd jobs he worked (including a stint as a portrait photographer at Sears) and ultimately to the location that changed his life, The Texas Petawatt Laser.
Mountains on the Prairie
By Martin Lisius
Mountains on the Prairie is a 6-minute short ﬁlm that Martin Lisius photographed, narrated and directed. In it, he introduces a particularly colorful kind of thunderstorm called a “supercell.” Martin made the ﬁlm to show the beautiful and majestic side of this otherwise potentially destructive phenomenon.
By Bri Barsalou
This documentary tells the transition story of Blair through his eyes and the eyes of his mother. It focuses on the emotional aspects of why someone would identify as transgender, and the effects of that decision on a family.
By Mason McNeal
Through balloon art, Austin Cardenas reveals the world of joy and impermanence. Austin struggles to bring the tenets of sideshow performance art to the gallery art world. In this documentary short we explore the meaning of integrity and the value of entertainment.
One Foot in Reality
By Ramtin Nikzad
Virginia Linn was a busy mother of three when her life was disrupted by a psychotic break and diagnosis of late-onset schizophrenia. Since then she has experienced psychotic episodes and periods of hospitalization, but also a gradual recovery. This short documentary gives her account of a life with schizophrenia and struggle for normalcy.
A City is a Poem
By Andrew Q Holzschuh
Four months after getting back from the PCT, after my wife and I decided to plant our roots back in Dallas for a while, I got asked to make a film about the very city I missed. Not for its status or skyline, but for its people and its hospitality. I was given the opportunity to collaborate with award-winning American slam poet Joaquin Zihuatanejo. With his poem in my head, I explored some of the lesser-known corners of Dallas and met some awesome people along the way.
Episode 6: Poetic Visions of Texas
By Raphael Parry
Joan of Arc wakes up in present day Marfa, Texas. Pursued, she has two choices: run or appease the voices in her head and fight.
An Errand of Hip and Chin
By Richard Bailey
Casey is a young man who enjoys hooping and playing drums. Then one day a mysterious voice sends him on an errand to take a message to the people. Casey succumbs to many distractions along the way.
A Spiral Way
By Richard Bailey
Meet Leon Gordon Agee, a small-town storyteller and songwriter. He weaves macabre and philosophical tales that reveal currents of magical realism in the landscape of the American South.
Man Without Country
By Jennie Lyn
A poetic and personal search for human connection, Man Without Country shows a vast and desolate landscape through the eyes of an Alien Being. Isolation and broken communication journeys our Alien from a fragmented past through a portal of renewal to an aura of rebirth. Shot on Super 8mm with a layered audio track of archived family phone messages and conversations, Man Without Country explores man’s struggle with what humanity expects and what humanity gives. Feelings of disconnectedness prevail in our society. Do we alienate ourselves through our own destiny? Fleeting moments of meaningful reality exist to be savored like precious nectar, and to sustain us in dark times. Space, time, observation and travel are experienced as the Alien awakens on earth to seek and to find. Are there other worlds? Where does one belong in our cosmos? Our Alien’s voyage is the universal quest, the journey through loss into one of surrender and love, before returning once again to the void.
Episode 7: Texas Stories
By Yen Tan
A dying man prepares to move in with his estranged mother. He makes an appointment with a beauty consultant to hide his symptoms.
By Caitlin Stickels
Deep in the pits of the Texas desert, Travis works his ranch, waiting for the day he can ﬁnally move on from the murder of his wife. It’s like his life paused the day she died. Only the execution of the murderer will offer Travis the revenge he thinks he deserves. But when his daughter surprises him for a visit, he is forced to come to terms with their distant relationship and reconcile the man he has become.
By Jeremy Rovny
The recounting of a duel where a man remembers the pain of losing his true love.
Youth Goin’ Bad
By Ya’ke Smith
The music video for Sammie Zonana’s Youth Goin’ Bad was directed by Fort Worth ﬁlmmaker Ya’Ke Smith. The song was written for his short ﬁlm One Hitta Quitta.
By Sam Lerma
Manuel Casillas reemerges from a musical hiatus determined to embark on a new phase of his career. His plans are put to a halt by a collection of vivid dreams, a group of feral cats and a strange box containing a substance that devours whatever it touches.
By Shelly Brandon
Undertow is a visual and emotional journey through depression.
Episode 8 – Garland High School and New Work from the Walleys
Garland High School
The Film Department at Garland High School, better known as Reel Owl Cinema, was accepted in 2005 into the then-pilot program for the International Baccalaureate High School Program. As they enter their 12th year, they still remain a film program at the spear’s tip of promoting and representing high school film in North Texas. They are one of a very small elite group in the world to offer a four-year film program in a high school setting. Their films have consistently been official selections at almost a dozen festivals around the world and have won competitions at many through the years. Founded by Patty Schubert, who passed the reins to her son Tommy in 2012, the department has seeded no less than five North Texas film festivals with high school showcases. As they continue to work with other new festivals, they have an extremely large high school festival of their own. The Reel Owl Cinema Film Festival consistently seats 450+ people for their one-night event annually in mid-May. The festival and program continues to grow with each passing year with the department looking forward to many more decades of success.
By Kristina Armitage, Caleb Daves & Kendall Ludlow
By Matt Keith
By Katie Yager
The Shadow of a Killer
By Joe Brittain & Ian Grubbs
By Lacie Block
What You Want to Be
By Nicha Meyer
By Kristina Armitage & Audrey Ngo
Best of Me
By Audrey Ngo & Francisco Martinez
New Works from the Walleys
Tongue in Cheek: The Inflatable Art of Jimmy Kuehnle
By The Walleys
The Hudson River Museum hosts Jimmy Kuehnle’s first large-scale solo exhibition in New York through September 18, 2016. Kuehnle brings new works to the Museum, and we see him here installing Super Punch Bubbles, blossoms of bright color billowing from the tower windows of Glenview, the historic home at the Museum and You Lick Me, I Lick You, tongue-shaped inflatables that drape the Museum’s Entrance Arch. Watch Jimmy at the Museum’s Kite Festival walking in his inflatable suits, favorites for all. In the galleries are more Jimmy Kuehnle works and costumes.
Thorsten Brinkmann: The Great Cape Rinderhorn
By The Walleys
This short documentary follows German artist Thorsten Brinkmann as he creates his site-specific installation, The Great Cape Rinderhorn, at Rice University Art Gallery. Working primarily from objects found in Houston, Brinkmann turns Rice Gallery into a place where the familiar is made strange as castaway goods are reimagined through Brinkmann’s idiosyncratic sensibility that combines assemblage sculptures with his self-portrait and still life photography.
Michael De Feo: Crosstown Traffic
By The Walleys
Crosstown Traffic, a new installation by Michael De Feo, is the seventh exhibition in Rice Gallery’s Summer Window series, which features works visible through the glass wall while the gallery is closed for the summer. Known as “The Flower Guy,” De Feo is a painter with a penchant for street art, gaining international recognition for painting over outdoor fashion ads with buoyant floral patterns.
In Crosstown Traffic, De Feo treats Rice Gallery’s front glass wall like a supersized commercial display kiosk, enlarging a selection of fashion ads from magazines, printing them at nearly billboard size, and hand painting over them. As if a piece of Times Square or a large-scale storefront was transported to the gallery, the floor-to-ceiling imagery engulfs the viewer with ads De Feo abstracts and enlivens with pops of color and pattern.
Anila Quayyum Agha: Intersections
By The Walleys
Pakistani-American artist Anila Quayyum Agha uses light and cast shadow to transform Rice Gallery into a sacred space of her own making that is open to all. “Intersections” is inspired by Agha’s seminal experience of exclusion as a woman from mosques, a space of community and creativity, while growing up in Pakistan. The wooden frieze emulates a pattern from the Alhambra, a palace where Islamic and Western discourses met and coexisted in harmony, and serves as a metaphor of union.
Episode 9: The Great Hanging and the Best of the 24 Hour Video Race
The Great Hanging
By Johnathan Paul
In October of 1862 Texas state militia arrested over 200 hundred suspected Union sympathizers. Forty of these men were convicted and sentenced to death in what has been known as the Great Hanging. For 150 years these events were marginalized, until now.
Best of the 24 Hour Video Race
This episode features a selection of entries from the 2016 Dallas 24 Hour Video Race, a fun competition in which teams of filmmakers have 24 hours to write, shoot, edit and score an original short film. Each film must have included the following elements – The Theme: There is no such thing as a free lunch; Location: Place of worship; Prop: A sub sandwich; and Line of Dialogue: “When all else fails, read the instructions.”
Pass the Gaff
That One Guy
Episode 10: The World Through Mark Birnbaum’s Camera
Mark Birnbaum has travelled around the block and around the world to show the beauty and humanity that we would otherwise miss. He was originally trained as a photographer and learned to make films while serving in the military. His films all have two elements: interesting people who warm up to his camera and make you feel something and visuals that seem to place the camera in just the right spot to understand what these folks are saying. Some of his films are personal, some very political; some follow small but critical stories, some reveal vast vistas. Mark has schlepped his camera from China to Lubbock to show us an unseen world in a way will we not forget.
The retrospective of his work on Frame of Mind will range from a film about his sister’s wedding (but really about how and why we love each other) to what the hell happened to the American newspaper; from Nicaragua dancing with socialism to Tom DeLay dancing with the stars; from eight African-American teenagers traveling to China to a community of women trash pickers in Ecuador.
Birnbaum’s films have probed, celebrated and exposed people to places and personalities, from small family moments to complex issues that affect our sense of the world.
Episode 11: Signs of Humanity
By Willie Baronet & Tim Chumley
Signs of Humanity is a documentary film that explores the inter-related themes of home, homelessness, compassion and humanity. Artist and professor Willie Baronet has purchased more than 1,000 homeless signs over the past 22 years, and he uses this collection to create installations to raise awareness about homelessness. During the month of July 2014, Willie and three filmmakers drove across the country, interviewing more than 100 people on the streets and purchasing over 275 signs. Signs of Humanity is a film about that trip.
Art&Seek introduces you to the North Texans who make art, explores how they do it and helps you connect with it. Reports from the team’s arts journalists air regularly on KERA FM. In addition, more than 3,000 arts groups and their events are represented on the Art&Seek Calendar. Check that out, and more, at artandseek.org. Art&Seek is a service from KERA.
ABOUT VIDEO ASSOCIATION OF DALLAS
The mission of the Video Association is to promote an understanding of video as a creative visual art medium and cultural force in our society, in addition to supporting and advancing the work of Texas artists working in video and the electronic arts. As technology has changed since our inception, the VAD has evolved its mission to include digital video and other digital mediums. Through its programs and information services, the Video Association educates and informs artists, students, educators, critics, video/film producers and an interested public to better understand, appreciate and evaluate the creative possibilities of the video medium, especially in combination with other digital technologies. The VAD also provides a forum for the work of regional video artists, in order to stimulate excellence in their work and provide the opportunity for dialogue and critical discussion.
KERA is a not-for-profit public media organization reaching the fifth-largest population area in the United States through KERA-TV, KERA WORLD, KERA 90.1 FM, KXT 91.7 FM and Art&Seek. For over 50 years, North Texans have turned to KERA as a vibrant destination for community engagement and lifelong learning. KERA produces original multimedia content, carries the best in national and international public television and radio programs, and provides online resources at www.kera.org.