I’ve always been a film buff. When I was a kid, my father and I planned mini-festivals of our own, pairing movies like Forrest Gump with It’s a Wonderful Life and Twister. (I’ll admit it: My taste was incredibly eclectic.) My love of movies has persevered all these years, and this unabashed film fandom is a central reason I look forward to Thin Line Fest every year. Amid the COVID-19 crisis, the show is still going on -- and it may be the perfect antidote to your quarantine blues. 

For five days, Thin Line will screen a succession of powerful, uplifting stories that can all be watched from the comfort and safety of your home. 

From enlightening feature-length documentaries to searing shorts, the 2020 film lineup may be Thin Line’s best yet. Consider this: The final week of March, you and your friends can stream films about everything from cowboys to music to cartoonists, created by filmmakers from Austria, Kenya and our own backyard. Experience the stories of five struggling musicians - well, as struggling as you can be when your parents are music royalty - in Born Into the Gig (streaming March 25 | 7 pm and March 26 | 10:30 pm), which chats with the children and grandchildren of Bob Marley, Bill Withers, James Taylor, Carly Simon and Stephen Stills. 

The circle of life is shown in extreme detail with the Russian film Sockeye Salmon/Red Fish (streaming March 26 | 11:30 am and March 27 | 11:30 am), which follows wild Sockeye salmon as they leave their habitat in the Pacific Ocean in search of fresh waters to reproduce and die. That same weekend, you and your crew can catch flicks about everything from nail technicians to Snarky Puppy. While Shatter the Silence (streaming March 28 | 7:45 pm) provides an in-depth look at the Dallas Women’s March and other powerful moments of women raising their voices, Nailed It (streaming March 28 | 10 am) details the alluring history of nail salons owned by Vietnamese entrepreneurs. Plus, Snarky Puppy: Family Dinner Volume 2 (streaming March 29 | 1 pm) offers an enticing behind-the-scenes look at the Grammy winners’ live album. (And if you can't get enough of music docs, check out Falcon, Mutha-Falcon, streaming March 28 at 8:15 pm during the Shorts Program Express Yourself. and Mydolls: A World of Her Own, streaming March 28 at 12:30 pm during the Shorts Program Opening Doors.)

Powerful stories are the essence of Thin Line, but this fantastic fest is, first and foremost, an opportunity to be uplifted by the power of cinema. As I mentioned above, each of these films was chosen because they will leave your heart and mind racing. At a time like this, a slate of entertaining, easily accessible films is just what we need.

Even though Thin Line will be held virtually, they still need everyone who wants to stream the films to register at thinline.us. Festival attendees will be able to login at the website and then choose which “theater” to stream live. The Award Ceremony will be live-streamed on March 29 when this year’s winning films will be announced.