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Frame of Mind: 25 Years of Texas Film 20

KERA’s Frame of Mind, the longstanding television series showcasing independent Texas filmmakers, has been around a whopping 25 years. To commemorate the milestone, Art&Seek and the Video Association of Dallas have put together a retrospective, 12-episode season.

To kick things off, the first show — airing Thursday at 10 p.m. — takes a look at highlights throughout the years with founding producers Marlis Schmidt and Suzanne Dooley.

Join us for a free watching party Wednesday, Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. at Texas Theatre. We’ll celebrate the series and watch the first episode.

“I had been involved in video art and film since college in Denton and kind of trekked through the ’80s, when independent film producers were kind of starting to get organized but frustrated at the same time and trying to find an outlet,” Schmidt says in the episode.

In 1991, both Schmidt and Dooley approached KERA with proposals for a series highlighting local independent filmmakers, and Frame of Mind was born. Since its inception, the show has focused on “Texas-made independent films that showcase diverse styles, genres and stories that are uniquely Texan.” This first episode features the mix of video art, documentary, music video, animation, and drama the series became known for showcasing.

Some highlights from Episode 1:

A clip from a 2014 episode features David Lowery sharing the first film he ever made. It’s a fuzzy, ghost story the Dallas native filmed at 7 years old. Who knew Lowery would premiere another Ghost Story at the Sundance Film Festival decades later?

David Lowery screenshot from FOM Ep. 1

A look at the first piece featured on the show. To Schmidt, Scott Murphy’s Extra Credit Project was the perfect way to kickstart the series because it “represented the independent filmmaker.” Murphy is now a writer on a number of network series, including Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Clip of Scott Murphy short film from FOM Ep1

Keith Alcorn, who would go on to nab an Oscar nomination in 2001 for Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, shares a clip from his 1991 series Nana and Lil’ PussPuss. 

Clip from Keith Alcorns short from FOM Ep1

Make sure to stop by the Texas Theatre Sept. 6 for Art&Seek’s anniversary party. Meet some of the filmmakers featured on the show, and watch this season’s first episode.

New episodes of Frame of Mind air every Thursday at 10 p.m. (unless noted) on KERA TV.