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Frame Of Mind Returns To KERA TV For 2020 Season


by Mia Estrada 8 Sep 2020 7:00 AM

The season looks to history and current events to examine racism, the pandemic and more. Tune in Sept. 24.

Still from “Truth” by Kyle Portbury.
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Frame of Mind is back to share its 28th season with you. The series, presented by Art&Seek, revives on Sept. 24 at 10:30 p.m. on KERA TV to feature independent film and video from Texas filmmakers. 

Frame of Mind is back on KERA TV starting Sept. 24. Catch the weekly coverage.

This fall, the show takes a closer look at films that reflect the moment, and the past that brought us to it. In the first episode, legendary North Texas journalist Bob Ray Sanders revisits how the media portrayed issues of race and racism in Dallas-Fort Worth across the final decades of the 20th century. Another season highlight: Mark Birnbaum’s world premiere of Proof, a film about Byrd William IV, a fourth-generation photographer on a journey to preserve his family archives. 

Bart Weiss. Photo: BartWeiss.com

Frame of Mind is produced by Bart Weiss, co-founder of Dallas VideoFest and the Video Association of Dallas.

“What independent filmmakers do is instead of seeing the moment, they see the broader context, and they make us understand events in a very different kind of way,” Weiss said. “Instead of seeing a headline or a two-minute YouTube video, you understand something in a completely different way through a Texas lens.”

The multi-episode TV series began in 1992 on KERA to give a platform to filmmakers across the cinematic spectrum, including documentary, animation, drama, video art and more. 

“Several films in this year’s lineup, especially, will speak directly to issues that everyone is facing today and seeing filmmakers bring them to the small screen has been particularly gratifying,” said Bill Young, Vice President of TV Programming at KERA .

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the way we communicate, and Weiss, who worked at KERA for several years, will produce video interviews with filmmakers this year. You’ll find them on Art&Seek,  along with additional coverage of each week’s episode. 

2020 Frame of Mind Season:

At the Crossroads…Again

Still from “Mossier Vallery: The Land Fort Worth Forgot.”

Sept. 24, 10:30 p.m.: This summer, once again, protests against police brutality and racism were brought to the forefront of the national discussion. Journalist and KERA alum Bob Ray Sanders discusses race in the last four decades of the 20th century while reflecting on his own experience covering criminal justice. The show includes the following segments:

  • Dallas at the Crossroads — This 1961 promotional film was narrated by Walter Cronkite and produced by Dallas Citizens Council in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement. However, the Dallas Citizens Council was not concerned about racial harmony but about the business of Dallas. 
  • Project CrossroadsThe episode will also include clips from KERA’s 1988 series called Project Crossroads, which was a media and community program that focused on bringing churches, politicians, activists, business leaders and residents together to discuss and address racial tensions in Dallas.
  • Hate Mail  This 1992 film was created by Mark Birnbaum and Bart Weiss, producer of Frame of Mind.  It centers on Bob Ray Sanders, who was the first Black talk show host at KLIF in Dallas, and the hate mail he received – and shared on air – from the radio’s predominately conservative white listeners. The film also looks broadly at racism in Dallas and beyond.
  • Mossier Vallery: The Land Fort Worth Forgot The short film by Daniel DeLoach follows the first Black community,  in the 1870s, in Tarrant County. The name comes from the T.W. Mosier Plantation, where the town’s founders had previously been enslaved.
  • The episode closes with KERA’s 1989 At The Crossroads music video, a song about change and justice.

Documentary Shorts

“The Paint Wizard” by Jessie Auritt and Jessica Wolfson.

Oct. 1, 10:30 p.m.: Tune in for a compilation of documentary shorts covering topics from a look at Cuba to the exploration of gender, alcoholism and race.

  • Dear Bruh: A Eulogy. A Baptism. A Call to Action by Ya’Ke — Ya’Ke Smith delivers a powerful short on the current movement for Black Lives. About love and loss. “Dear Bruh, I miss you today…” is the first line of the short. It was released shortly after the death of George Floyd and addresses racism and its history.
  • Choices by Jonathan Moffett— In a seven-minute short, Moffett shares the story of alcohol addiction and a man who sped through a highway in Canton, Texas, where a six-grade student died in a two-car accident in 1997. The man recounts his memories and its aftermath.
  • The Paint Wizzard by Jessie Auritt and Jessica Wolfson — In Austin, Millicent “Millie” McCrory, also known as “The Paint Wizzard” is an accomplished house painter. She works in a mini skirt, crop top and a signature cat-ear headband. At 58 years old, Millie adopted female pronouns and identifies as transgender. The short follows Millie’s day-to-day, as she struggles for acceptance.
  • Cuban Earth by Melinda Levin — Levin’s film follows arts group Teatro Callejero Medio Ambiental (Street Theatre about the Environment) in Havana and Pinar del Rio, Cuba.

Bobby Keys: Every Night’s A Saturday Night

Still from “Bobby Keys: Every Night’s A Saturday Night.”

Oct. 8, 10:30 p.m.: In Jeff Stacy’s music documentary, viewers will explore the life of renowned saxophone player Bobby Keys. Keys not only was best friends with Keith Richards but toured with The Rolling Stones. The Texan was also a session player with John Lennon, Eric Clapton, Etta James, Marvin Gaye, Barbra Streisand, B.B. King and many others.

Proof

Still from “Proof” by Mark Birnbaum.

Oct. 15, 10:30 p.m.: Mark Birnbaum takes a fascinating look into photographer Byrd Willam IV’s journey to preserve 400,000 photographs, cameras, letters and journals from his great-grandfather, grandfather and father.

The Savage Seconds 

Left-to-Right: Kelli Howard, Sarah Mendez, Elaina Alspach and Alondra Puentes in “The Savage Seconds” by Danielle Georgiou Dance Group.

Oct. 22, 10:30 p.m.: Danielle Georgiou of Danielle Georgiou Dance Group released her first feature film this summer. The Savage Seconds was intended as a theater production, but was adapted to film when the COVID-19 pandemic forced arts venues to close. The experimental piece follows a 14-year-old girl who is sent home from boarding school during a plague, only to find absent parents, malicious siblings and a world in political turmoil and faced with the disease.

Ascencion

Still from Ascencion by Rusty Leaver.

Oct. 29, 10:30 p.m.: Saddle up for a story that captures a look at a Mexican man who sets new standards in the competitive horse world. Directed by Rusty Leaver, the film shows the limitations of racial and economic barriers towards Mexicans and immigrants. Against all odds, Ascencion Banuelos became a champion cutting horse competitor and is the first Mexican American to be inducted into the National Cutting Horse Association Hall of Fame.

Tattoo Uprising

Still from “Tattoo Uprising” by Alan Govenar.

Nov. 5, 10:30 p.m.: Director Alan Govenar spent more than 40 years on this film, an overview of the history of tattooing, from Biblical references and early Christian practices to the voyages of Captain James Cook and the ever-evolving tattooing in the Western world. The film features Ed Hardy, Werner Herzog and Les Blank.

Best of Fort Worth Indie Film Showcase

Still from “Truth” by Kyle Portbury.

Nov. 12, 10:30 p.m.: Each year, Fame of Mind showcases the work of one of the many Texas film festivals. This year, it’s the Fort Worth Indie Film Showcase.

  • New Hope, Texas by Shelly Brandon — Brandon’s film follows a couple near who experience a life-altering crisis that tests the limits of long-term, enduring love. The couple finds that they must come to terms with the changes it creates in their relationship.
  • 76105: Dr. King Won’t Rise by Brittney Cech — The Stop 6 neighborhood in Fort Worth has been known for drugs, gangs and crime. However, for Dante, Quinton, and Franklin, Stop 6 was home, and the three come back to break stereotypes and uplift the community.
  • Truth by Kyle Portbury — Portbury’s animation is about the famous speech of Soujourner Truth, Ain’t I a Woman?. Sojourner was an African-American abolitionist and women’s rights activist who lived between 1797 and 1862.
  • Guest of Honor by Lisa Belcher — In a short narrative, Belcher’s tells the story of a married couple who are struck by tragedy but go ahead with their anniversary party when an unusual guest arrives.
  • Alora by Nicholas Muthersbaugh — A mother, training for the mission of a lifetime as a NASA astronaut, has to make a choice between her dream of space flight and the love of her daughter, whom she would leave behind.

Stories of the Pandemic and Beyond

Still from “Ter” by Maria Luisa Santos

Nov. 19, 10:30 p.m.: In a collection of short pieces by Texas filmmakers, viewers will dive into the stories about the COVID-19 pandemic, isolation and how dealing with the pandemic has affected lives.

  • The Pandemic Chronicles by Ya’Ke — This 18-minute film showcases glimpses into lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. From hooking up with strangers in masks to the uncertainty, unknown, death and the protests against police brutality.  
  • COVID Nurse: Anisa Quintanilla’s Story by Faheem Rashid —  This film gives insight to New York nurses as they put their lives on the line during the pandemic.  
  • Gimme Shelter in Place by Joan Davidow and Stuart Glass A five-minute reflection on made during the lockdown phase of the pandemic. 
  • Somniloquyby Erin Spence — Somniloquy follows a person who unknowingly communicates with a mysterious entity in her sleep and the personnel assigned to study her.
  • Coup D‘état Math by Sai Selvarajan — This animated short depicts four stories that speak to the complex equation of each immigrant’s journey. 
  • A Walk Along the Stars by Lani McHenry —  In a short film/animation, McHenry honors her late grandmother Francis McHenry. The film centers around McHenry’s recollection of her grandmother, as well as the struggle of letting go in order to make home feel like home again.
  • ¡Cómeby Lizette Barrera — ¡Cóme! takes us to Florida, where a 12-year-old Puerto Rican girl’s perspective changes when she brings a popular dessert dish, arroz con leche, to a Thanksgiving event at her school. And no one eats it.
  • The Woods Out Back by Emma Breslauer — Dorian’s daily routine of protecting a magical forest is thrown for a loop when he encounters a wild boy determined to pet every wild animal he sees.
  • Ter by Maria Luisa Santos — A Mexican live-in housemaid struggles with making a difficult decision while trying to hide her distress from the girl she loves and cares for. 
  • Pillars by Cameron Bruce Nelson — A Mennonite woman reverts to a secret language when her best friend begins the rites of marriage.

Dance Hall Days

Still from “Dance Hall Days” by Erik McCowan.

Nov. 26, 10:30 p.m.: In the last episode of the 2020 Frame of Mind season, we remember dance halls, once as common as cattle in Texas. Director Erik McCowan introduces us to the people who strive to keep dance halls alive.

Got a tip? Email Mia Estrada at [email protected]. You can follow her on Twitter @miaaestrada.

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