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Frame of Mind’s 2019 Season Puts Texas Filmmakers On KERA TV

by Anne Bothwell 27 Aug 2019 8:00 AM

Episodes include new looks at legendary sportscaster Norm Hitzges and late journalist Molly Ivins.


At Art&Seek, we’re happy to announce the 27th season of Frame of Mind, which will kick off Thursday, Sept. 5 at 10 p.m. on KERA TV.

Frame of Mind celebrates independent filmmaking from Texas.  Through documentaries, animation and more, the 2019 season will explore subjects as varied as PTSD and the #MeToo movement. Viewers will meet new Texas characters, and get fresh takes on familiar faces, including the late journalist Molly Ivins, the makers of the famed Czech Stop kolaches and legendary sports broadcaster Norm Hitzges.

Frame of Mind debuted on KERA on May 2, 1992. In its early years, producers Suzanne Dooley and Marlis Schmidt chose work across the cinematic spectrum: video art, documentary, music video, animation and drama. Today, the show is a multi-episode TV series, presented by Art&Seek and produced by Bart Weiss, co-founder of Dallas VideoFest and the Video Association of Dallas.

“This season Frame of Mind shows the character and characters of Texas, and shows us how we live, how we fight, and how we obsess about sports,” says Weiss. “Texas filmmakers will help us see our state and ourselves in a new light and, perhaps, change our frame of mind.”

Here’s the season lineup for Frame of Mind. Check for updates on each week’s episode at

Shatter the Silence

Former Texas State Senator Wendy Davis, in Shatter the Silence

Sept. 5, 10 p.m.: In this 2019 film, filmmaker Cheryl Allison weaves the story of the ongoing fight for gender equality in the wake of the #MeToo movement. Using archival footage of suffragettes, Anita Hill, Eleanor Roosevelt and more, the film brings historical context to a fight still being waged today.

9/11: Voices of the Aircraft Dispatchers

Scenes from  9/11: Voices of the Aircraft Dispatchers

Sept. 9, 9 p.m. and Sept. 11, 10 p.m.: Director Jake Zelman shares the story of how five airline dispatchers faced one of the darkest days in American history — September 11, 2001. Little is published about what the airline operational centers encountered that day, but Zelman’s documentary brings those actions to light.


Ingrid Gipson

Sept. 12, 10 p.m.:  What prompts a successful Texas fashion designer to immerse herself in nature? Morissa Maltz tells the captivating story of Ingrid Gipson, a prominent Dallas fashion designer in the 1980s who left the world of fashion behind for a life of solitude and creativity in the Oklahoma woods.

Stickman: The Roosevelt Wilkerson Story

Roosevelt Wilkerson in Stickman

Sept. 19, 10 p.m.: A knife altered the course of Roosevelt Wilkerson’s life twice. As a young man, it sent him to prison. Later, homeless and angry, he picks up a stick and begins carving. The documentary film Stickman tells incredible story of Roosevelt’s journey off the street and the transformative – and unlikely – friendships he makes along the way. Art enthusiast Carol Brewer befriends him and their relationship is the genesis of an art program for the Dallas homeless. Susan Nowlin, a Texas socialite and friend of former president George W. and Laura Bush, becomes his benefactor and helps him sell his hand-carved sticks. With Susan’s help, Roosevelt’s carvings become sought-after, reach the White House, and one is eventually gifted to Pope Benedict VI by then president George W. Bush. Directed by Margaret Galbraith, Stickman demonstrates that love and compassion hold no economic nor racial boundary and have the power to transform each one of us.

Explore the Ordinary: The Films of Exploredinary

A look at the work of Daniel Driensky and Sarah Reyes.

Sept. 26, 10 p.m.: Enjoy a retrospective of artists Sarah Reyes and Daniel Driensky. Working under the name Exploredinary, the duo creates documentaries that encapsulate the human condition and celebrate the breadths of its expression. Regardless of the medium, Exploredinary believes that the ordinary is extraordinary — it’s simply a matter of perspective.

Reel Texas: Real Characters

Molly Ivins. Photo by Alan Pogue. From Molly & Ann

Oct. 3, 10 p.m.: In this special compilation, viewers meet a handful of colorful Texas characters, including journalist Molly Ivins, former Governor Ann Richards and the people who make the beloved kolaches of Czech Stop in West, Texas.  Here are the short films in this program:

Molly & Ann, by Paul Stekler: A short personal film about Governor Ann Richards and best-selling author and political columnist Molly Ivins — two Texas icons, unabashed progressives, and women who made their mark in a political world dominated by men — made by a filmmaker who knew them both.

489 Days, by Rania Elmalky: An animated documentary about an Egyptian-American former political prisoner and hunger strike survivor who was imprisoned in Egypt from 2013-2015

UnBound, by Erin Zeller: The story of Julia, a Texas woman who became trapped in the sex trade as the result of an abusive relationship. After years of being trafficked and exploited, she was rescued and supported by UnBound, an anti-trafficking organization in Texas. Now, Julia’s has life come full circle as she works for the organization that saved her, sharing her story to help other victims recover. This piece was filmed in various places around Waco, Dallas, and Fort Worth.

Kolache, TX by Chad Withers: An intimate look behind the scenes at Texas’ favorite rest stop and the town of West, Tx

Reel Texas: Journeys To Change

“A Line Birds Cannot See”

Oct. 10, 10 p.m.: Tune in and embark on several different Texas journeys, including a search for Texas history in Illinois, and a flight from violence in Guatemala to safety in the United States. Each journey has its peril — and changes the travelers forever.

Detrás de la Realidad, by Nuria RodríguezIn the spring of 2018, several members of Community Action Network at Bachmann Lake Together wrote and published a book of their stories called Compartiendo Sueños (Sharing Dreams). Over the past year, even more members of Bachmann Lake Together joined forces to learn how to tell stories visually using film under the direction of Amber Bemak, Assistant Professor of Film and Media Arts at SMU. The short film, Detrás de la Realidad, is the result of their collaboration.

A Line Birds Cannot See, by Amy Bench: Separated from her mother by smugglers at the border, a determined 12-year-old sets out across a desert with only a plastic sack for protection from the cold; survives starvation on the streets of Ciudad Juarez, and escapes kidnappers to find her mother and a place where they can be safe again.

25 Texans in the Land of Lincoln, by Ellen Brodsky: Twenty-five history students travel from the Alamo to Springfield, Illinois to build a Day of the Dead altar honoring Lincoln’s support of Mexico, and ask a museum to return Santa Anna’s prosthetic leg. With humor, humility, and animated history lessons, these students, mostly Mexican American, raise questions of identity, borders, museum ethics, and collective memory.

Reel Texas: College Showcase

Oct. 17, 10 p.m.: Enjoy a collection of shorts from the film and media arts programs at Southern Methodist University Meadows School of the Arts and the video technology program at North Lake College.

Best of Pegasus Film Festival

Oct. 24, 10 p.m.: Run by students from across the Dallas-Fort Worth area, The Pegasus Film Festival showcases the best that high school filmmaking has to offer. Discover what high school filmmakers are thinking about, from international food to heavy metal “bangovers.” 

Meet Metal Bangover, Sari Wyssbrod, The Hockaday School: This film explores one of the most well-known aspects of the metal scene: headbanging. Artists from different areas of the international metal scene speak out about why they headbang, how they headbang, and how they take care of their necks after a crazy show to avoid that dreaded bangover.

Bait, Sophie Gilmour, The Hockaday School: A girl is stuck working for a predatory boss at a pet shop to help pay for her mother’s growing credit card debt.

A Crime Story, J.W. Bayonne, Lakeview Centennial High SchoolJacob Schmidt and David Garcia are at the close of another case when new information will leave the young detectives wondering who they can trust.

Comfort Food, Anoushka Singhania, The Hockaday School: An exploration of how immigration, assimilation, and food are all connected

Memorias, Jennifer Rojas, The Kinkaid School: A mom tells her daughter about her favorite memory. The next day, the mother’s dad (the girl’s grandfather) tells her the same memory, but not everything in the memory is what it seems to be.

It’s My Life, Bernadette Kalala, Lincoln High School and Humanities & Communications MagnetThis film follows Jada Jackson and her experience with Instagram and its impact on her life.

Alien Homie, Sam Blumberg, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts: An Alien who can skate? Yeah, okay. This space bro is everyone’s new bff, but at what cost?

Pandemic, Linley Munson, Alcuin School: The only surviving girl on the planet goes through the motions of an average day after a pandemic has killed off the human race.

I Need Space, Phoebe Knag, The Hockaday School: Young Liam, a hopeless romantic, will do anything for Alexis, his girlfriend, who just needs a little space.

The Wolf and the Rabbit, Morgan McGrath, Career Center East: A friendly shadow wolf want’s to befriend a small rabbit, but the rabbit is afraid.

Boys Will Be Boys, Angelina Velis, Ursuline Academy of Dallas: In response to recent media coverage regarding sexual assault, this short film shows the steps that women take every day to make sure they are not assaulted.

Luke Chako: The Little Kid With a Big Voice, Victoria Chikaoneka, Uplift Summit International PreparatoryTwelve-year-old singer-songwriter Luke Chacko became a viral internet sensation following his impromptu performance of the hit song, “Let it Go” at an Idina Menzel concert on July 30, 2017. Following this, “The Ellen Show” invited him to be a guest.

Texas Tales

“Age of Bryce”

Oct. 31, 10 p.m.: Tune in for fiction films that highlight the imagination — and anxiety — of the Texas experience.

Tempestad, by Daniel E. Garcia: It’s opening day of The Tempest at Alex’s prestigious high school, but he and his brother must first accomplish a colossal tree service project to keep the family business alive.

Age of Bryce, by David Feagan and Brian ElliottSmothered by an adoring, over-protective mom, 12-year-old Bryce Yancy Paul (Bip) is pushed to the brink of pubescent revolution. It’s time to ripen. Bloom. Break the shackles of parental paranoia. It’s the Age of Bryce. Sometimes a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.

Nobody Knows, by Nolan Wilson Goff: After a prank goes wrong, a quiet high schooler navigates his small Texas town, all while knowing he is responsible for the accident.

Steve Hill, “Talkin’ that Mumbo Jumbo.” Directed by George Wada: The 1945 film noir “Detour” is the backdrop for Texas blues rocker Steve Hill song “Talkin’ that Mumbo Jumbo” as we take a journey through America’s media culture. John Lennon once said that the meanings of all songs come after they are recorded. Someone else has to interpret them.

A Soldier Home

Scene from A Soldier Home

Nov. 7, 10 p.m.: In this experimental documentary, viewers meet Zach Fresquez — a Marine back from war who struggles with finding love and employment. The film explores the psychological landscape of veterans re-assimilating into their communities and reminds us of the sacrifice they make.

Best of Thin Line Fest

Minneola Portraits

Nov. 14, 10 p.m.: Thin Line Fest, North Texas’ first documentary film festival, explores the thin line between truth and fiction. Enjoy a collection of Thin Line’s award-winning shorts, curated by Susan Carol Davis.

At Arm’s Length, Dana Reilly: Two journalists who covered a mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, TX, attempt to reconcile their empathetic relationships to the survivors with the distance required to continue reporting.

There’s Something in the Water, Rory WT: There’s two kinds of lakes in the South: them that’s got Giant Salvinia and them that’s about to have Giant Salvinia. Caddo Lake is the only natural lake in Texas, but its delicate eco-system is threatened by a seemingly unstoppable invasive species of floating fern: Giant Salvinia. There’s Something in the Water is an 8-minute animated documentary featuring interviews with people who live and work on the lake, demonstrating the damage that has been caused, and how everyone can work together to try and fix it.

Mack Minded: Humanly Possible, Susan Carol Davis: Before the acronym STEM even existed, Dr. Pauline Beery Mack, Texas Woman’s University professor in the 1950s-1970s, pioneered the quest for knowledge in science, technology and statistical research. Her advances in bone density provided NASA invaluable information for manned spaceflight, earning Mack a Silver Snoopy award presented by Astronaut Jim Lovell in 1970, a time when women scientists were rarely recognized among their male peers.

Critterman, David GoodmanDavid Kleven, more commonly known as Critterman, has educated critter lovers young and old across the North Texas region for the last twenty years. Along with his assortment of animals and reptiles, Critterman has traveled around to schools, auditoriums and homes in an effort to spread a positive message of preservation. The documentary Critterman offers a glimpse into the work life of this local legend.

Mason Fine: Chasing History, Charles Elmore:  Football prodigy and star student Mason Fine broke every high school football record his senior year at Locust Grove High School with dreams of playing for a Division I college team. Now, Mason’s living his dream and proving his doubters wrong as the starting quarterback for the University of North Texas’ Mean Green football team.

Mineola Portraits, Lauren Cater: Mineola isn’t unlike other small towns in America. In fact, this is where it gets its charm. Capture what all small towns have in common – public celebrations. The film’s observational style provides a truly immersive experience where the town may be small but the celebrations are big.

Norm Hitzges: An Opinionated History of Dallas Sports

Nov. 21, 10 p.m.: In this original Frame of Mind production, legendary sports broadcaster Norm Hitzges tells how he got his start, offers his theory about how football is like war and shares highlights from the history of Dallas sports. The film features footage from the WFAA Newsfilm Collection from the G. William Jones Film & Video Collection at Southern Methodist University, and original illustrations by Dan Peeler and Charlie Rose.

Waging Peace: The Peace Corps Experience

“Waging Peace”

Nov. 28, 10 p.m.: Texas director Allen Mondell was a Peace Corps teacher in Sierra Leone, West Africa. His feature, Waging Peace, documents the Peace Corps experience told through volunteers’ letters, journals and blogs — all written while on the job.