INTERVIEW: JOSHUA BUTLER OF THIN LINE FILM FEST

Interview by Sara Button

 Image by  Michal Garcia.

Image by Michal Garcia.

We first interviewed Joshua Butler about Thin Line in February of 2011. He dropped bombs such as, "...are documentaries 'all real?'" Back then, we posited that an online search of the key words "Thin Line" would pull up results about The Thin Line Between Love and Hate for the first few pages. Nowadays, however, that's different. Our front page results are all about Denton's Thin Line. Now, we are logged into our Google account and that behemoth of information does know everything about us including our interests and where we live. That may have some measure on why our results have changed in the past four years, but let's pretend for the moment that they don't. Thin Line 2015 is a different beast than Thin Line 2011. For one, they have added both music and photography components over the past few years. But that's not all. We talked with Butler to learn more about this year's Thin Line Fest and what has changed in the past four years. Read on for more...


 A photo of Joshua Butler with AV the Great from last night's opening night party with Boxcar Bandits at Dan's Silverleaf.  Photo: Ed Steele Photography LLC

A photo of Joshua Butler with AV the Great from last night's opening night party with Boxcar Bandits at Dan's Silverleaf. Photo: Ed Steele Photography LLC

WDDI: The Thin Line Film Festival is now in its 8th year - whoa! That is huge! What is the most notable change for 2015?

Joshua Butler: Thin Line Fest now includes a photo festival!
 

How many films are you showing this year compared to last year? 

We have 49 films this year and there were 54 last year. We normally use the Fine Arts Theater however it wasn’t available this year. The result is I tried to cram as many films into our schedule as possible.
 

In our previous interview you mentioned that there are 40 film festivals in Texas, of which The Thin Line is the only documentary specific festival. Do you attend other Texas based film festivals? If so, which are your favorites?

I’ve been down to the Dallas International many times and always have a good time. I’ve also attended Dallas Video Fest, Lone Star Film Festival, and SXSW.
 

In the history of TLFF, what films that have gone on to have the most success?

Gas Land from 2010 was a big film that really sparked a whole movement against fracking. Last yearwe had a film called White Earth that has been nominated for this year’s Oscar in Best Short Documentary. The Cove went on to win the Academy Award for Best Documentary.
 

What documentary are you most excited about seeing this year? Is the the Midlake doc? Webet its the Midlake doc

Ha, well I’ve seen all of them. The film that I’m a bit geeky over is Searching for Eddie Running Wolf. It’s a true ‘Thin Line’ documentary in that it really blurs the line between what is real and what is not.
 

We are excited about the new Photo feature for this year! Can you give us a little more information on where exactly we will be seeing these photos? How will the judging be determined?

This year’s Photo Fest is held at Banter, Cultivar, UNT on the Square, Eastside Denton, Chestnut Tree, Serendipity, Courthouse Museum, and Golden Triangle Mall. Simply visit any one of these galleries to experience Thin Line Photo Fest. We have 5 featured photographers this year and they will select this year’s winners.
 

What are your tips for first-time festival goers? Anything we absolutely cannot miss?

Friday night is the World Premiere of Gifted about Mr. Olympia Phil Heath. Phil will be here, not to be missed. I personally am super-excited about our Thursday night electronica show at Hailey’s Club. We’ve got two headlining acts: Gummy and Solidisco. It’s going to be awesome. And that just scratches the surface of what Thin Line is offering up this year.