Thin Line Fest is a blend of documentary film, multi-genre music, and photography: Texas' International Documentary Film Festival since 2007; one of Dallas / Fort Worth's largest music festivals since 2014; and the highly anticipated photography festival now in it's 4th year. The 11th Annual Thin Line Fest is April 18-22, 2018.

We are very excited to announce that Thin Line will award over $20,000 in cash and prizes to the best feature and short documentaries of the year including Best Feature and Short, Best Student, and new in 2018, the True Texas Travel Award presented by Texas Highways Magazine.

Thin Line Fest will give your documentary our undivided attention during the review process. We review documentaries on any topic, of any length, shot on any format, and completed in any year. We want relevant stories with compelling characters and told in a creative way. A big concept for 2018 is "Truth."

Thin Line Fest is a multi-format festival focusing on three artistic areas: documentary film, multi-genre music, and category-specific photography. We love crossover opportunities and if your film includes a way to include one of the other festival areas please let us know. We also want to know about any Texas connection. Please include this information in your cover letter.

Thin Line Fest is set in the historic downtown square of Denton, TX. Denton is a progressive community with two universities. The music scene is one of the best in the country with plenty of places to catch a jazz ensemble or an indie rock band within a block or two of festival venues. We screen at the historic Campus Theatre while other events are held throughout the historic and lively downtown square. Surrounded by a lively and safe night scene, Thin Line Fest truly is one-of-a-kind.

Unless otherwise agreed by the Festival in writing, awards will be fulfilled approximately 10-14 weeks after the closing date of the 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).

2017 Awards listed in the below Festival sections are subject to change.

Thin Line Best Documentary Award
The overall best documentary will be determined by a jury. Only films pre-selected by the festival programming committee will be eligible for this award. The winner will be chosen based on the following characteristics: 1. Be technically and creatively well-rounded and consistent. 2. Contain innovative elements that utilize the array of directorial decisions and creativity including, but not limited to: interview techniques (if there are interviews), narrative flow (traditional or not), overall style and approach to subject matter, as well as interest and importance of the content, subject, and people or things involved in the film. 3. Judges will NOT judge based on personal beliefs about the subject matter itself or any ethical concerns privately held by any one jury member. Feature winner will receive a $10,000 credit with Panavision. Short winner will receive a $5,000 credit with Panavision.
Sponsor:Panavision
Value of Goods/Services: 15,000 U.S. Dollar

Denton Award
The Denton Award is a $500 cash prize for the best feature or short documentary with a 'connection' to Denton County, Texas. A 'connection' can be any tie-in related to the People, Places, and Spirit of Denton County. Here are a few clear-cut examples: the filmmaker was born or currently resides in Denton County, the film's main character was born in or currently resides in Denton County, or the film features a Denton County location or individual city/community. Here are a few not-so-clear-cut examples: the film uses Denton County locations but they aren't featured or identifiable, the film's subject matter deals with a topic or issue currently affecting the people of Denton County, or the film's subject went to school in Denton County. All of the above examples would be eligible for this award. The criteria are meant to be broadly applied; but if you have a question send us an e-mail.
Cash Award Value: $500 U.S. Dollar

Best Student Short Doc Award
The Best Student Short Doc Award is based on the same criteria used in the Thin Line Best Documentary Award except it only applies to short documentaries which are labelled as a Student project in your submission. Student projects are only eligible for student awards.
Cash Award Value: $500 U.S. Dollar

True Texas Travel Award
All finalists and selected honorable mention entries will be highlighted on TexasHighways.com and in Texas Highways magazine’s social media postings. Up to 20 finalists will be invited to a special screening and red carpet event at Thin Line Fest set for April 18 – 22, 2018 (award date to be determined) where the Grand Prize winner will be announced. One (1) Grand Prize winner will receive an unforgettable 4 night/5 day luxury Fredericksburg escape in the heart of the Texas Hill Country and a $2000 cash prize.
Sponsor: Texas Highways Magazine
Cash Award Value: 2,000 U.S. Dollar
Value of Goods/Services: 3,000 U.S. Dollar

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 eligibilty 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, one band or musician, and one photo. Submission fees may be paid by credit card only (Visa, MasterCard, Discover).

NOTE: Students get 50% off submission fees. Your submission must be flagged as 'student' and your submission profile must include a photo/copy of your student ID. Any issues email film@thinline.us.

-Student works are accepted.
-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 e-mail or phone of their submission status on or around February 28, 2018.
Multiple entries are allowed. If submitting multiple works across different festivals (Film & Photo, etc); you will be required to submit two transactions, one for each festival.
-Make sure to tell us any special info about you or your submission. Some key points could be that you are a Texas-based artist. Or does your work have anything to do with the University of North Texas, Texas Woman's University, or Denton County?
-All three festivals accept (and prefer) 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 and all clearances necessary to exhibit your film, photo, or music at Thin Line 2018; (ii) warrant that you have the rights necessary to exhibit your film, photo, or music at Thin Line 2018; 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 exhibition of your film, photo, or music at Thin Line 2018.
-You must authorize Thin Line Fest to exhibit your selected work during the 2018 festival.
-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 [preferably a digital file format (h.264 @ 25Mbps or Apple ProRes)]; and (ii) any marketing or press materials.
-All invited filmmakers are provided housing for the night of their screening. Feature filmmakers are provide one additional night.
-All filmmakers are encouraged to attend their screening.

Invited Works/Artists

-Thin Line, at its sole discretion, may invite select films/musicians/photographers to participate in the festival.
-All invited works are ineligible for competitive awards.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Kasha Sequoia Slavner

    Although I wasn't able to attend the festival, my first feature documentary The Sunrise Storyteller screened there. I was so impressed at how responsive, organized, kind & supportive all the staff were. A big thank you to Susan Davis for such care! The festival had a very thoughtfully curated line up of films. Would love the chance to attend another year! Highly recommend submitting to this festival.

    May 2018
  • Ciara Lacy

    There's a lot I want to say here, as I couldn't have asked for a better experience for my first feature documentary! First off, the staff at Thin Line Fest is incredible: thoughtful, smart, and really dedicated to supporting independent cinema. They truly love films, and curate a really smart and diverse slate. And they take care of filmmakers! The press opportunities and social media marketing they offered our film were on point and creative, definitely ahead of the curve. I can't wait to finish another film for their consideration!

    May 2018
  • Lisa Eismen

    Second to none in hospitality, communication, quality and networking. Through Thin Line, I have found some life-long film partners and friends. Thank you to the team at Thin Line! Cannot wait to come back.

    May 2018
  • Anita Sugimura

    I fell in love with Texas at the Thin Line Fest! Amazing staff, amazing venues and what a wonderful and welcoming city. As a documentary filmmaker, I am forever spoiled by the hospitality of this wonderful festival. We were treated as royalty. The festival offers a lot to filmmakers, not just incredible venues for their screenings, but accommodations, shuttle service to and from any venue, green rooms and a whole lot more. Networking opportunities were plentiful and the staff was always willing to assist with any questions or needs. I highly recommend this festival and encourage filmmakers, musicians and photographers to take notice of this gem. You will not be disappointed.

    May 2018
  • clete donovan

    Denton feels like home!! The entire city carries an energy that warms your heart. Everyone from the volunteers to bar owners were genuinely excited to see you visit. No doubt we'll be planning out next Denton trip for another Thin Line fest!!!

    May 2018