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Music good idea forThin Line

Area residents who have never checked out Thin Line, the annual documentary film festival held each February, may want to give the event a look — and a listen — this time around.

Thin Line has added music to its schedule, which we believe is a good move that will help focus more attention on Denton and could potentially generate additional traffic and revenue for local businesses.

This year’s event begins Wednesday and runs through Feb. 16. Patrons can purchase an all-access festival pass, a film pass or a music pass this year.

Thin Line director Joshua Butler of Denton told us that adding five nights of music to the only documentary film festival in Texas required new thinking, new relationships and a lot of flexibility.

“We shortened in length,” Butler said of the festival, which jumped from five to 10 days of film screenings two years ago. “We shortened in length because we grew in width. And our future plans are to claim more bandwidth.”

Thin Line will stage evening music performances in five downtown venues — all within walking distance — in addition to daytime and early evening documentary screenings at the Campus Theatre and the Fine Arts Theatre near and on the downtown Square.

Butler recruited Bryan Denny, the chief executive officer of DHS Entertainment, to coordinate the music with the help of volunteers.

Denny told us that the music festival part of the event will be kept small for now. Because Denton is internationally known for music, they’ve been able to get some national bands, but a lot of local bands are also being booked.

Denny said he is pleased with the lineup so far. Sebadoh, the brainchild of Dinosaur Jr. alumnus Lou Barlow, Jason Lowenstein and Bob D’Amico, is headlining the festival. Brave Combo, Denton’s two-time Grammy-winning polka band, is on tap to play the opening night of the festival. Rising local artists, including hip-hop artist AV the Great and indie-pop artist Jessie Frye, will appear.

The lineup goes from jazz and neo-soul to Americana, folk and Latin music, Denny told us.

Butler said that in spite of slicing the festival’s documentary schedule in half, the festival will screen about 60 films.

One of those films — which should be a highlight for Denton residents — is When We Were All Broncos, a documentary by Denton native and filmmaker David Barrow that will open the festival. Barrow’s film traces the origins of racial desegregation in Denton schools, uncovering some surprising information about the people who reached across social and cultural barriers to ease black students into white schools.

When We Were All Broncos began as a smaller project, but grew into an 83-minute feature produced by Barrow’s production company OC Imageworks and the Denton Public School Foundation.

Films will screen at the Campus Theatre and the Fine Arts Theatre on the downtown Square. Live music will be at Dan’s Silverleaf, Hailey’s Club, Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios, Sweetwater Grill & Tavern and the Thin Line Tent, which will be on East Oak Street near Oakland Street, across from Oak Street Drafthouse & Cocktail Parlor. To buy passes, visit

Thin Line is an excellent reflection of the creative energy that thrives in Denton and continues to provide a wide range of cultural and entertainment options for residents and visitors.

Adding music to the mix should only enhance the experience.