Here at KERA, we’re pleased to announce the 29th season of “Frame of Mind”, the station’s acclaimed television program showcasing independent Texas film and video. The series is presented by Art&Seek and produced by Bart Weiss, co-founder of Dallas VideoFest and the Video Association of Dallas.
The season kicks off Thursday, Sept. 16 at 10:30 p.m. on KERA TV.
There are 14 episodes this year, featuring a mix of independent documentaries, shorts, music and dance that show off the diversity of work created by Texas filmmakers. This year’s offerings range from “Cowboys,” a feature documentary exploring the life of real Texas cowboys working on remote cattle ranches, to a compilation of shorts from the 2021 Pegasus Film Festival, the largest student-run film festival in the country.
A couple of themes emerge this season. One is how art organizations are navigating the pandemic and finding new ways to create work. Stage performers transitioned to virtual spaces in the last year. The episode, “Theater in Video” premiering on October 21st, highlights theater and dance companies translating their work from stage to screen. “Theater in Video” was made possible by a grant from George and Fay Young Foundation and the David Nathan Meyerson Foundation.
Both filmmakers and arts groups also tackled issues of racial and social justice in their work. “Ursula, or let yourself go with the wind,” tells the story of Nadia, a seven-year-old who becomes separated from her mother after seeking asylum at the border. The film, “Huntsville Station,” documents the first few moments of freedom of newly released inmates from Huntsville Penitentiary.
“It has been a pivotal time for filmmakers as we journeyed through political and societal change and a pandemic,” said Bart Weiss, Frame of Mind producer. Weiss is also the co-founder of Dallas VideoFest and the Video Association of Dallas, co-presenters of the show.
“The empathetic eye of the filmmaker pulls us out of our bubbles and into worlds that struggle, rise up and rejoice. Watching this year’s films will open you up to a new ‘Frame of Mind’.”
The new season premieres Thursday, September 16 at 10:30 p.m. on KERA TV. Episodes will air on Thursdays at 10:30 p.m. through December 30.
Here’s the whole season lineup:
Sept. 16, 10:30pm: Cowboys
Ride alongside modern working cowboys on some of America’s largest and most remote cattle ranches. The movie documents the lives of the men and women working on these “big outfit” ranches — some of which are over 1 million acres and still require full crews of horseback mounted workers to tend large herds of cattle. Directed by Bud Force and John Langmore.
Sept. 23, 10:30 pm: Ursula, or let yourself go with the wind
Ursula tells the story of seven-year-old Nadia, who becomes separated from her mother after seeking asylum at the border. As Nadia waits for her asylum to be processed, she remembers the life she left behind in Honduras and wonders about the new one she’s facing. Staged imaginatively with puppets and handmade dolls — and with original music by Armando Monsivais — Ursula reveals the inner world, desires and resilience of a child seeking a better life by immigrating to the United States. Written, directed and performed by Frida Espinosa Müller. This program is supported by the George and Fay Young Foundation and the David Nathan Meyerson Foundation.
Sept. 30, 10:30 pm: Two From The Gov
Enjoy two films from the award-winning filmmaker, writer and photographer, Alan Govenar.
Give The World A Smile Each Day
Travel back in time to the era of traveling songbook salesmen and gospel quartets, when shape notes helped bring music education to Southern Baptist communities across the South. Give The World A Smile Each Day explores the largely forgotten story of the Stamps-Baxter Music Publishing Company in the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas, Texas, and the people behind it.
Bridging Utopia chronicles two attempts to forge a more equitable world: the connection between them, the people creating them and the legacy they have left behind. Both attempts were inspired by the social philosophy of Charles Fourier. La Reunion, outside Dallas, failed. The other, the Familistère in Guise, France, lasted nearly a century.
Oct. 7, 10:30 pm: Things Missing/Missed
A couple is battling the gaps appearing in their memories, their domestic environment, and their relationship. The pain of their strained affection is elevated by the slow and steady disappearance of household items. The culprit? A hermit, who may or may not exist. In this performance by Danielle Georgiou Dance Group, we watch the couple disappear into their own environment, being replaced by the things that filled the empty space in their lives. Through fascinating visual storytelling and surreal stagecraft, Things Missing/Missed reveals how quickly missing/forgetting/evading becomes our human response to the emptiness in our lives. Directed and choreographed by Danielle Georgiou.
Oct. 14, 10:30pm: Suffocation Theory
Undermain Theatre and writer David Rabe collaborate to turn his short story, which appeared in The New Yorker, into a virtual one-man performance delivered by an unnamed narrator (Bruce DuBose). Suffocation Theory explores a kind of dreamscape of destabilization — of climate, of public events, of private lives — in which all of the narrator’s fears seem to materialize at once. Directed by Jake Nice. This program is supported by the George and Fay Young Foundation and the David Nathan Meyerson Foundation.
Oct. 21, 10:30 pm: Theater In Video
Dive in as theater and dance companies create new work that confronts key issues of our day, transformed for cinematic television. This program is supported by the George and Fay Young Foundation and the David Nathan Meyerson Foundation.
A short theatrical film based on a year of interviews with the Mexican muralist, Diego Rivera. The film features poetry, documentary and theatrical adaptations to explore Rivera’s ideas about art and cultural agency. Based on the book by Alfredo Cardona Peña, and directed and adapted by Cora Cardona. Performed by Teatro Dallas.
In Spite of These Things: The Complicated Legacy Of Black Theatre In Dallas
Explore the inequalities Black theatre companies have faced in Dallas dating back to the days of vaudeville. Since Dallas’s inception, Black theatres have and continue to struggle to be heard, recognized and respected among their counterparts. Directed by Tonya Holloway. Performed by Soul Rep Theatre.
A WWI Soldier, stuck in the mud from the waist down, pleads with a Gardener to help dig him out of the ground. However, The Gardener believes him to be a Soldier Plant, who needs tending and care. Based on the play Smile, Smile Again, by Justin Locklear and directed by Courtney Ware. Performed by Ochre House Theatre.
The Traveler finds himself on an endless, elevated track, old, worn, and haunted by the past. From the earth arises another being, Appa. She calls upon the world to awaken, setting into motion awareness and transformation of the Traveler. Directed by Thomas Riccio. Performed by Dead White Zombies.
Oct. 28, 10:30 pm: John Wilcox: The Relinquishment Of Time
When an artist dies, what happens to their artwork? This is the story of one man’s journey to archive and exhibit his brother’s artistic estate, and open a window into the personal motives behind minimalist art. Directed by Sarah Reyes and Daniel Driensky.
Nov. 4, 10:30 pm: Forgotten Justice
Historically, communities of color have lived south of Interstate 30 in Dallas. More affluent white communities lived to the north. Explore two documentaries highlighting the continuing struggle to bring equity to neglected neighborhoods and preserve their rich history:
Oakland Cemetery is 60 acres of history. Weather, neglect, an apathetic city government and a poorly run board of trustees have all combined to run this Dallas landmark literally into the ground. Now, a new board, a new councilman and a small army of volunteers are fighting to save this patch of authentic Dallas and lift the community right outside its rusted gates. Directed by Mark Muller.
Examine the effects of systemic racism and income inequality on access to fresh produce in communities of color. This piece focuses on Oak Cliff and West Dallas and puts the spotlight on organizations, like the Oak Cliff Veggie Project, that works to address these concerns. Directed by Elroy “EJ” Johnson.
Nov. 11, 10:30 pm: Who Are We? Building Community
In this series of films, Texas filmmakers use music videos, documentaries and dance to present different perspectives on building community.
Life Interrupted tells the story of two Bruce Woods Dance Company patrons’ experiences of COVID-19, the reality of being in intensive care for 21 days, on a ventilator, intubated for 12 days, and close to death. Commissioned by Sally and Mark Dietz and directed by Jirard/Joy Bollinger.
This award-winning documentary is an honest conversation between three Black teenagers and educators of color about the lack of STEAM exposure for youth of color in Oak Cliff, Dallas. The film dives into what community members, educators and local nonprofits are doing to address this concern in a changing 21st-century world. Directed by Elroy “EJ” Johnson.
A music video performed by Dat Mayne DeeWayne, Vocab, and Lil Aubrey, and directed by Ya’ke Smith.
Nov. 18, 10:30 pm: Digibees
Enjoy a collection of work from Digibees, a production team founded by Dallas filmmakers Pockett Brown and Jirard. The team has created numerous award-winning music videos and independent films.
Nov. 25, 10:30 pm: Best Films From San Antonio Film Festival
For 27 years, the San Antonio Film Festival has shown new and original films from around the world. Enjoy these selections from the 2021 festival.
Explore a victorious strike of 10,000 pecan shellers and the life of strike leader, Emma Tenayuca, through a contemporary lens. Directed by Anne Lewis.
Best friends, D and Aimee are 40-somethings at a concert trying to escape the realities of day-to-day life and have some fun. But an otherwise ordinary trip to the restroom reveals what’s really going on in each of their lives. Directed by Diana C. Carrasco.
A man wakes up in a mansion with no recollection of how he got there. A mysterious figure helps him face his inner demons. Directed by Paulina Manseau.
Time can be your biggest ally and your biggest heartache in this film directed by Paulina Manseau.
After 30 years of employment, Joe retires from his job so that he can spend his time with the love of his life, Eva. Directed by Cedric Thomas Smith.
Dec. 16, 10:30 pm: Youth Media From Pegasus Film Festival
Tune in for a collection of short films from the 2021 Pegasus Film Festival, the largest student-run film festival in the country. Based out of Dallas, Pegasus’ mission is to promote a wide variety of films and to give teenagers the opportunity to create and connect.
Dec. 23, 10:30pm: Texas Stories
Texas-based filmmakers share the following narratives with their unique vision and style:
Every weekday, inmates are released from Huntsville State Penitentiary, taking in their first moments of freedom with phone calls, cigarettes, and quiet reflection at the Greyhound station up the block. Directed by Jamie Meltzer and Chris Filippone..
Ride A Wave
Tommy Homonym invades a subplot from The Little Shop of Horrors in this eccentric black-and-white musical adventure. Directed by George Wada.
Frustrated with current events, a teenage boy creates a compelling device that can change the world, if only he could get his community to buy it. Directed by Wendy Pennington.
Artstillery is a nonprofit that works with marginalized communities to document residents’ stories and create immersive performances. While gathering stories in West Dallas, a community member, Teddy, began sharing with the group. This is the story he told. Directed by Ilknur Ozgur.
Sweeter on the Vine
A country music video showcasing a family man’s life, from cradle to grave. Directed by Anna Terry.
How To Run In A Straight Line With Your Eyes Closed
Explore a portrait of Dallas in June 2020, set against protests sparked by the murder of George Floyd. Directed by Christian Vasquez.
Dec. 30, 10:30 pm: Stories Of Texans
What does it mean to be a Texan? This compilation of films examines Texas strands.
The Unlikely Fan
She’s a Sri Lankan-born, Dallas-based, retired teacher and mother. She’s also crazy about basketball. Meet “the unlikely fan” who knows a thing or two about hoops. By Sai Selvarajan and Jeff Bednarz.
Forgiving The Unforgivable
An amazing story of one woman’s journey of transformation from trauma, despair and hopelessness, to hope and happiness, by forgiving her enemy. Directed by Eddie Burns.
A touching story of an extraordinary scientist with congenital eye disease who excels in his NASA position, reinforcing the value of a diverse workforce. Tracy’s Vision profiles the personal courage of Tracy Minish, a branch chief at NASA’s Mission Control Center at the Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas. Directed by Ann Michel and Phil Wilde.
Al On Earth
Bonafide storm chaser Al Key has been driving his truck on the backroads of Texas for 50 years. Struck by lightning once in his life, Al sleeps little or not at all when the weather gods come calling. Directed by Susan Carol Davis and Claire DeJarnett.