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Join Us As Frame of Mind Celebrates 25 Years 14

Hard to believe. Frame of Mind, KERA’s television series devoted to independent film from Texas, turns 25 this year.

The show began on May 2, 1992. It was the brainchild of producers Suzanne Dooley and Marlis Schmidt. The pair picked a mix of  video art, documentary, music video, animation and drama, all created in our area.

Along the way,  Frame of Mind wound up showing early work by filmmakers who have achieved great success, including Pulitzer Prize-winner David Leeson, Oscar-nominated Keith Alcorn, and Hollywood directors David Lowery and Kat Candler.

Today, Bart Weiss, co-founder of Video Association of Dallas, produces the show. And Art&Seek is proud to present it on KERA TV.

It’s a big anniversary, so of course, we’re having a party. Come celebrate with us on Wednesday Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. at Texas Theater.  Meet some of the filmmakers whose work has shown on “Frame of Mind,” and watch this season’s first episode with us. It’s a look back at highlights from the show’s history, narrated by Dooley and Schmidt.

Frame of Mind  airs Thursdays at 10 (unless noted) on KERA TV. Here’s a look at this year’s lineup.

Sept. 7, 10 p.m.: Frame of Mind: 25 Years

Frame of Mind Producer Bart Weiss joins founding producers Marlis Schmidt and Suzanne Dooley to look back on 25 years of Texas independent filmmaking, including music videos, shorts and excerpts from documentaries. The show captures the diversity of how images can be made and how the Texas experience can be interpreted. This retrospective highlights the show’s commitment to work on the periphery of the mainstream. It also honors visionary Texas artists whose work might otherwise be lost or forgotten.


Sept. 14, 10 p.m.: A Media Projects Retrospective: 40 years – 40 films

Dallas filmmakers Cynthia Salzman Mondell and Allen Mondell started their production company, Media Projects, four decades ago. The award-winning pair created a model for sustainable independent documentary filmmaking that has influenced a generation of Texas filmmakers. This retrospective begins with Remember Mama, their first collaboration, which was produced through KERA. The retrospective includes excerpts from many of their films, touching on topics ranging from their East Dallas neighborhood to the women’s movement, Jewish immigration to Texas, Jewish matchmaking and women’s shoes.


Sept. 21, 11 p.m.: Reel Texas: The Animated World

This show features a variety of animation styles – cute and funny, dark and irreverent – all with a unique Texas twang. The first half of the episode focuses on recent work, while the second half looks back on 25 years of animation on Frame of Mind.


Sept. 28, 11 p.m.: A Line In The Sand

This beautifully photographed feature-length documentary by directors Marianne and Doug Leviton chronicles the tenacity of an historic ranching community, Matador, Texas, struggling to survive economic pressures, a dwindling population and desperate competition for scarce water. When a multi-year drought leads to a wildfire of epic proportions, it is the deep love of their land that puts neighbors at mortal risk to save each other and their town. This is a visual poem to the indomitable American spirit.


Oct. 5, 10 p.m.: Reel Texas: Documentaries

These short documentaries reveal unique takes on what it means to be a Texan – today, and in days gone by. Texas filmmakers train their lenses on old home movies, a family-owned western store, an old-time pilot in Fort Worth, the opening of an Asian art exhibit in Dallas and a dog shelter.


Oct. 12, 10 p.m.: Back To Newsroom

On Feb 16, 1970, KERA broadcast the first episode of Newsroom. The show created a new approach to presenting the news and launched the careers of broadcasters Jim Lehrer, Lee Cullum and Bob Ray Sanders. One of the show’s many innovations was hiring documentary filmmakers to create short original films about local issues. These filmmakers, Mark Birnbaum, Ken Harrison, Allen Mondell and Gary Potts, along with photographer Gary Bishop, became the core of the Dallas documentary film community. This episode highlights the best of their work for Newsroom, including pieces that haven’t been seen since airing on the show.


Oct. 19, 10 p.m.: Reel Texas: High Schools/St. Mary’s Hall

Each year, Frame of Mind features the diverse and creative expressions from a Texas high school. This year, the show features work from students at St. Mary’s Hall in San Antonio, which consistently sweeps high school film competitions, such as South by Southwest. Prepare to be moved by the depth and talent of these young filmmakers.

Oct. 26, 10 p.m.: Best Of The Texas Show From Dallas VideoFest

For 30 years, Dallas VideoFest has closed out its festival with a celebration to highlight the power of short films. Chosen by jury, these are the best shorts made in Texas. This year, Frame of Mind looks back on highlights from three decades of Texas filmmaking.

Nov. 2, 10 p.m.: Reel Texas: Tales

This episode features recent drama, comedy and historic fiction made in Texas. A Turkish man flees the horrors of war in 1917 and lands on a Texas farm. A border patrolman finds redemption at the hands of an undocumented immigrant. A girl grows up too fast after her Quinceañera. A gay teen stands up to his father’s bullying. And a coffee shop inspires romance.

Nov. 9, 10 p.m.: Reel Texas: Universities/Baylor University

Colleges and universities around Texas play a crucial role in the state’s film community. Students and professors produce work that attracts attention at film festivals around the world. This year, Frame of Mind presents work from Baylor University.

Nov. 16, 10 p.m.: TBA 

Nov. 23, 10 p.m.: Signs of Humanity

Frame of Mind presents this Thanksgiving special, Signs of Humanity, a documentary by Dallas artist Willie Baronet. Baronet travels the country meeting homeless people and buying their signs. He’s used his collection to create installations to raise awareness about homelessness. In July 2014, Willie and three filmmakers drove across the country listening to the stories of more than 100 people on the streets and purchasing 280 signs. This film captures their journey.

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