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Thin Line Film meets live Jazz Funk after Saturday showing

February 7, 2013

Sweetwater Grill & Tavern, 115 S. Elm St., Denton, plays host to Thin Line Film Fest entry, Snarky Puppy: Ground Up,” after-film Sweetwater-Grill-Tavern logoparty, Feb. 9, 10 p.m- Midnight.

Jazz Funk band Pocket Mercury, featuring Brad Leali on sax, Michael Palma on keyboard, drummer Steve Barnes and Bassist Young Heo, set the mood for the post-showing celebration of the feature-length documentary that takes “a personal look at the band, ‘Snarky Puppy’ pulling from over two years of footage from their U.S. tour shows the organic growth, struggles, successes, and anecdotes, of a rapidly growing, independent band.”

More about “Snarky Puppy: Ground Up”snarky1

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Filmmaker Andy La Violette‘s film is inter-cut with the live, studio recording in Brooklyn in front of a live audience. Although originally based in Denton, members from Erykah Badu, Prince, Snoop Dog, and many others make guest appearances while sitting in with Snarky Puppy‘s collection of world-class musicians.

The film includes interviews with each band member talking about everything involved in being in a touring band. The musical director, Michael League, leads the band into every possible situation including constructing a recording studio to fit their 17 person recording session just days before opening night. GroundUP is not only the name of their album and film, but it also represents a way of life for every band on Michael League‘s newly created record label of the same name.

More about Thin Line Film Fest

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It began in 2004 with a small group of us organizing in our community around the idea of a film support organization. We incorporated our small non-profit on June 3, 2004 and set off to build an organization that would meet several ‘needs’ in our community. Our most ambitious goal was to organize an annual film festival within three years.

Festival planning actually began in 2006. At that time we all assumed we were creating a general film festival, or one that accepts and screens any type of film. Some of us had recently completed work on a feature-length documentary about Bay St. Louis, Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina. That documentary, and our view of the genre at that time, was influenced heavily by films that began to blur the line between documentary and narrative film (Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus). We had many heated debates about what characteristics defined a documentary; some of us even questioning the ‘realness’ of any documentary. Out of this experience came the vision of creating a festival which celebrated and explored this ‘thin line’ between fact and fiction. As you can tell… our name quickly followed. Other contributing factors included an established MFA program in documentary production at the local Univeristy of North Texas and the small fact that we would be the only documentary film festival in the entire State of Texas! And in case you didn’t know, its a big state.

Afer two years in September we realized there was too much local/regional competition. We settled on February – a bold move. This would make us one of the first festivals of the year in Texas; before SXSW, and before Dallas International. 2010 turned out to be a huge year for Thin Line with record attendance and record sales. The festival opened with the Texas Premiere of Gas Land with Director Josh Fox in attendance. Also at that screening were the EPA Regional Director Dr. Al Armendariz, several gas industry representatives, and many frustrated regional land owners. It was a lively event! Other big screenings included the Texas Premiere of the Oscar-nominated The Most Dangerous Man in America, as well as Oscar-nominated Burma VJ and the Oscar-winning The Cove.

The biggest change in 2012 was the expanded schedule. We added the previous weekend to our schedule and included Monday Presidents Day for an eleven day festival! That meant we could screen more documentaries than ever before; a total of 75! We also added a smaller and more intimate venue as well as four more parties. Another special edition for 2012 was the DocuDenton 7K – a five-day documentary video race in which teams must create a short documentary on a random topic in under five days. All of this excitement surrounded many big films such as the Texas Premiere of Battle for Brooklyn attended by Director/Producer Suki Hawley, as well as Buck, Jane’s Journey, and Nostalgia for the Light.

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