Filmmakers and audiences from around the world learned something new about Texas at the Awareness Film Festival in Los Angeles (September 10 – 20th).  Texas is home to the Dallas Cowboys, barbecue and oil fields but it is also home to an ever surprising, vibrant arts community, Denton!  Now when these filmmakers from such locales as Sweden, Australia, India, China, Canada, Mexico, New York, Connecticut, California and Florida make plans to attend film festivals around the US and abroad, I absolutely believe they'll pack bags eagerly to screen their films at Denton's Thin Line and the Denton Black Film Festival.  Why?

Retno Haspari at Awards Ceremony in Jakarta, Indonesia. Retno's Refusal was awarded the World Film Award for Merit and the International Film Festival for Environment, Health and Culture Award of Merit at the June 9th Awards Ceremony in Jakarta, Indonesia. Image from

Denton was in the mix of conversation at the Awareness Fest.  Denton natives Kathryn Bauswell and I represented the documentary short film, Retno's Refusal, in Los Angeles with our fellow Director, Jennifer Batchelder, honing in on social media here in town to spread the word about our project.  Retno's Refusal won the Awareness Audience Award for Best Documentary Short. Our acceptance  speech gave special thanks to Denton, Texas and Retno Hapsari of Jakarta, Indonesia's XSProject.  Retno's tour of the City of Denton, Texas Landfill at ECO-W.E.R.C.S. was the backdrop for Retno's message about the dire need for conscientious care of our environment whether in the US or the open trash dumps of Jakarta, Indonesia.  International and domestic filmmakers thanked us for telling a story with universal significance.

Filmmaker Tracy Xu from Toronto at Los Angeles Filmmaker Party with Susan and Kathryn Bauswell. Filmmaker Tracy Xu from Toronto at Los Angeles Filmmaker Party with Susan Carol Davis and Kathryn Bauswell.

What happened next is that certain magic of filmmakers gathering at a festival late night party to talk about where their films screen next or where they're hoping to go.  Everyone wants to know which festivals are the best to attend with cool location, warm hospitality and hot screening venues.  The buzz starts. Business cards are exchanged and pictures taken. iPhones work quickly checking festival websites.  Denton is now on these filmmakers' radar.

Thin Line and the Denton Black Film Festival need to be on our radar, too. Ticket sales and business sponsorships keep festivals in the black and promote expanded programming. The personal recommendation made to residents or artists elsewhere about Denton's fabulous film, music, art and cultural festivals is powerful stuff!  Festival organizers know their attendees and audiences have plenty of choices for things to do in Denton.  They work hard to offer variety, quality and good value for that ticket price.

Thank you, Artists and Supporters of the Arts, for promoting Denton with what you say and do.

Retno Hapsari says, “It takes each one of us to make a difference for all of us.”  I couldn't agree more.


See also:


Thin Line: Retno’s Refusal

Denton’s Thin Line Film Festival will bring 5 days of documentaries from around the world to our great city…Feb. 18-22. The annual festival, which last year added music to the mix, will this year add photography to the already incredible Denton event. Thin Line 2015 also brings together a group of bloggers who, in a […]

Published on: Wed, Jan 28, 2015


Thin Line: Retno’s Refusal

Imagine mountains of stuff. Close your eyes and see the piles and piles upon more piles of all the stuff people have no use for anymore: baskets, furniture pieces, rags, scraps, rotting food, containers, twisted metal and just about any conceivable left over of consumerism. See the little children scurrying about, up and down the […]

Published on: Wed, Feb 18, 2015