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Frame of Mind Series Brings Texas Indie Film To KERA TV
by Anne Bothwell 2 Sep 2016

From music to livestock, art to homelessness: examine life through a Texas lens.

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Get set for some unexpected journeys when season three of Frame of Mind kicks off Thursday night on KERA TV.

Put yourself in the shoes of a 9-year-old and other future farmers as they raise and sell livestock in “County Fair, Texas”; see the world through Dallas filmmaker Mark Birnbaum’s lens;  follow SMU’s Willie Baronet as he collects thousands of signs from homeless people across the country.

Frame of Mind airs Thursdays at 10 p.m., starting Sept. 8

You’ll also see work from students at University of North Texas and Garland High School, as well as highlights from the “24 Hour Video Race.”

“Frame of Mind” is a co-production of Video Association of Dallas and Art&Seek. Big thanks to Bart Weiss, president of the video association, and his team, who curated the season. (Raquel Chapa, Joe Ramirez, I’m looking at you.)

Here’s the lineup for the season:

Episode 1 (September 8)

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 (September 15): Films from The University of North Texas Department of Media Arts

Undocumented Dreams
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.

Vermilion Cliffs
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.

Project Freeplay
By Michael B. Mullins

Project Freeplay explores the concept of purely improvised music through the unique perspective of a double-drum quintet.

Episode 3 (September 22)

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 (September 29): CineSpace and Sight of Sound

CineSpace

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.

Higher Ground by Mary Magsamen & Stephen Hillerbrand

Home by Benjamin Eck

Mission Avante by Fernando Dueñas Peña

Guiding Light by Guy Shahaf

Le Voyage 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.

Blue Disquietude by Courtney Ware

Experiment by Lili Gu

Time Crunch by H. Paul Moon

Food Fight by Aparna Hegde

The Fatales by Aleks Rastovic

Impetus by Silvia Lara

Teddy’s Bear by Caitlin Brown

Episode 5 (October 6): 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.

Becoming Blair
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.

Stretch Capacity
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 (Oct. 13): Poetic Visions of Texas

Remembering Tracy Hicks
By Mark Birnbaum and Ron Siebler

Remembering Tracy Hicks is a visually stunning and evocative requiem to the artist, a composition of light that ultimately evolves into an extension of Tracy’s many creations. Centered on a recent retrospective of the artist’s work, Mark Birnbaum’s film simultaneously illuminates and portrays the very essence, fragility, and jeweled facets of Tracy Hicks and his nuanced and haunting art. Hicks died in 2014.

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 Hamilton

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 (Oct. 20): Texas Stories

1985
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.

The Odds
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.

Squeezebox
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.

Undertow
By Shelly Brandon

Undertow is a visual and emotional journey through depression.

Episode 8 (October 27): 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.

Wired by Kristina Armitage, Caleb Daves & Kendall Ludlow

Pop by Matt Keith

Lovesick by Katie Yager

The Shadow of a Killer by Joe Brittain & Ian Grubbs

Love Unscripted by Lacie Block

What You Want to Be by Nicha Meyer

Brushed 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

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

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

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 (November 3): 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.”

Teams whose work will air: Pass the Gaff, The Landhammers, That One Guy, Bronins Reunite, The Conquered, toughBoypockets

Episode 10 (November 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 (November 17) – UPDATED

Serving Second Chances
By Alan Govenar

Serving Second Chances chronicles efforts to provide survival resources and opportunities for homeless and at risk people to start a new life. Intertwined in the day-to-day operations of The Stewpot, the film focuses on three of its clients and their deeply personal struggles to stabilize their lives: Gerald Williams, a musician whose crack addiction ruined his career; Alisa Flores, a victim of an abusive relationship; and Velietta Dickens Rogers, a rape survivor who contracted AIDS. Serving Second Chances is a compelling story of loss, hope, desperation, and redemption that is at once disturbing and inspiring.

 

 

 

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