Thin Line Fest is the longest-running documentary film festival in Texas and includes a multi-genre, city-wide music festival and photography exhibition. Thin Line Fest returns to downtown Denton, the last cool city in Texas, with a restructured vision. In 2023, that new vision includes more opportunities to explore, discuss, and dissect how the mediums of music, film, and photography connect. Curated panels, pop-up visual art installations, mini-workshops, and performances by world-class musicians will complement the film program.

This year’s film program will focus on those films that demonstrate the symbiotic relationship between imagery and sound in a documentary format and utilize musical scores and/or sound design as powerful storytelling tools. We encourage teams with all kinds of documentary film projects to submit their work for consideration at the festival.

Thin Line Fest explores the liminal spaces– the border spaces and the tension that exists between different places or feelings where harmony and friction, growth and stagnation, and imagery and sound co-exist. Thank you for your interest, we hope you will submit your work.

FilmFreeway is used only for Film/Video submissions. For photography submissions visit

Cash awards will be fulfilled at the festival (if present), or as soon as possible after the close of the festival. Any award that includes a certificate of credit will be mailed from the award sponsor. These are generally mailed within 2-3 weeks post-festival.

Award eligibility is subject to any restrictions or conditions imposed by applicable laws and regulations (international, federal, state, or otherwise), and the award recipient is responsible for all applicable taxes, customs, tariffs, insurance, and similar charges or costs (if any).

2023 Awards:

“Thin Line” Award - Feature Documentary (Best Overall Feature)
“Thin Line” Award - Short Documentary (Best Overall Short)
Best Sound Design in a Documentary - Feature
Best Sound Design in a Documentary- Short
Best Original Score in a Documentary- Feature
Best Original Score in a Documentary - Short

Best Denton Doc - A documentary film selection that is connected to Denton County, Texas in any way.

Best Student Film - Documentary film made by a current student, of any age or level. Submissions in this category will not be considered for any other award.

Best “Sound on Screen” - A documentary film (feature-length or short) that treats sound, music, or musicians as the subject of the documentary.

VR / AR Experience - The use of technology to explore the possibilities of documentary as an experience.

Best Music Video - Short-form video piece that features a musical song as the central focus, for artistic purposes. A bridge between imagery and music.

Submission fees are in US Dollars and are non-refundable. Thin Line reserves the right to disqualify a submission, without a refund or credit, if eligibility requirements are not met or if eligibility status changes. Each entry must be accompanied by the appropriate fee. One submission is defined as one film for example. Submission fees may be paid by credit card only (Visa, MasterCard, Discover).

Entrant confirms and warrants required legal authority to submit the entry into the Festival and to use all music, images, and content in the entry. All entrants will be notified by email or phone of their submission status on or around March 17, 2023. Multiple entries are allowed.

We require digital submission materials. Submission materials will not be returned.
If you are selected you must execute a release agreement wherein you (i) accept responsibility for obtaining any clearances necessary to exhibit your film or music at Thin Line 2023; (ii) warrant that you have the rights necessary to exhibit your film or music at Thin Line 2023; and (iii) indemnify and hold harmless Thin Line Fest, its parent company, its affiliates, and subsidiaries and any of their respective directors, officers, employees, and representatives against any claim arising out of an exhibition of your film or music at Thin Line 2023. You must authorize Thin Line Fest to use your selected work for festival promotion purposes.

You must deliver to the festival (i) one exhibition copy of the invited film in requested formats for virtual/in-person venue screening and (ii) any marketing or press materials. All filmmakers are required to participate in live Q & A's following screenings of his/her film. Arrangements can be made for a recorded Q & A if the live Q & A is an impossibility.
Thin Line, at its sole discretion, may invite select films and musicians to participate in the festival.

Overall Rating
  • Robin Rosenthal

    This year was our second time bringing a film to Thin Line. We were honored to screen Mariposas del Campo among so many terrific films and filmmakers. Director of Film Programming Susan Davis is an amazing communicator from beginning to end. She and the festival staff are so warm and welcoming, making sure everyone meets each other and has a rocking great time in Denton. Although the theaters were large and comfortable, we did miss the old screening venue on the historic Courthouse Square, where there were more walkable options in close proximity to all the great food, drink, and music that Denton has to offer, providing more options for filmmakers to hang out together.

    May 2022
  • Dinnie Martin

    Message from the director, Laurier Fourniau :
    Such an awesome cinematographic, musical and human experience ! I was coming from France and the whole festival crew has been very welcoming. I absolutely loved my time at Thin Line.

    April 2022
  • Fer Delgado

    It was a great experience. I couldn't attend because of the dates, but Susan and its team kept all the time the communication clear and simple and give us opportunity to share our thoughts with the audience and other participants through different channels. It was really an amazing experience eventhough our paticipation was online.

    April 2022
  • Nick Canfield

    Thanks to all the Thin Line staff for putting on a fantastic festival. They work hard to bring filmmakers to the festival and make it a well run and fun experience. We had a great screening of our film The Reverend and were honored to receive the Best Domestic Feature Award. The music component was excellent too, thanks for bringing Reverend Vince & The Love Choir down for a rocking show.

    April 2022
  • Holly Morris

    Was wonderful to participate in this Fest. Susan Davis is terrific!

    April 2022