Culture Buzz: Frame4Frame Festival Returns to Arlington Sept. 21-24, 2017
By Alexis Selvera
Posted on September 18, 2017, September 18, 2017

Dedicated to raising cultural awareness and appreciation for the diverse creative population in the Arlington area, the second annual Frame4Frame Festival is set for Thursday, Sept. 21, through Sunday, Sept. 24. The festival will feature film at Studio Movie Grill in Arlington Lincoln Square, art at the Arlington Museum of Art, and music at J. Gilligan's in The American Dream City.

Frame4Frame will screen a diverse collection of films from both studios and independent filmmakers, highlight local and national artist as well as feature national musical artists and emerging artists. There will be networking events for film enthusiasts, musicians and artists. Live music and art exhibits will be featured at venues around the University of Texas at Arlington and elsewhere in the city.

"We were so proud of the response and turn out to our inaugural Festival last year. We upped the ante this year, and the quality of films - local and international - that were submitted really blew us away," said James Hawthorne, Arlington Film Society director. "We are thrilled to share all of these with our community of film lovers."

The festival is sponsored by the Arlington Cultural Tourism Council (ACTC), the Arlington Film Society, and the Arlington Museum of Art.

Hawthorne recently sat down with to discuss his inspiration as well as what people can expect to see at this year's festival.

What inspired you to create the Frame4Frame Festival?

I was inspired to create a film festival in Arlington after I attended the Texas Black Film Festival in Dallas in 2008. I was intrigued by all the elements of the festival, particularly the diversity of the audience and that they all genuinely enjoyed the program. I wanted to create a venue in Arlington that brought people from all ethnicities together and share the wonderful stories that these brilliant filmmakers create.

I also wanted to educate our Arlington community to the diverse and very talented filmmakers from its own community. We have Hollywood actors/actresses, directors, animators and others who are at the top of their game in the industry and few people know these individuals have roots in Arlington, Texas.

Have you always been interested in film?

Yes, I have been a film buff from a very early age. I was raised watching the very early Disney movies like Fantasia and Mary Poppins. During my early teens I was a big fan of the Blaxploitation films of the early 1970's. Every Sunday I'd go with my brother to the Hollywood theater in downtown Fort Worth and watch films like Foxy Brown, Uptown Saturday Night, Cooley High, Sparkle and Cornbread, Earl and Me.

How did last year's festival turn out?

For a first year festival I think we were pretty successful. We screened 30 films over a three-day period that attracted over 600 movie fans. We had some really great films and I think those that attended were surprised at the quality of films represented at the festival.

The festival was held at the Studio Movie Grill in south Arlington and the management there said our festival was huge boost to their weekend. We were excited that we could do that for a local business and we hope to replicate that success in our second year.

Since the festival ended we have gotten support from both the Fort Worth Lone Star Film Festival and the Dallas International Film Festival. The organizers of those festivals both said they heard very positive things about Frame4Frame and so they recognize our city as being a player in the festival market. That's a good thing for our city, I believe. Hopefully we can capture more sponsors and get more community support this year!

What will be new at this year's festival?

We have added a new category of micro-short films, which are all five minutes or less. We are still in the planning stages, but we hope to add a new edition to the festival: film workshops. Our official schedule will be announced this summer.

How do you want people to feel after they attend Frame4Frame?

I want people to leave with a feeling that they want more! Micah's Moment won the Audience Favorite during the awards program last year, which told the story of a deaf high school football player from Martin High School. Micah actually attended the awards ceremony and spoke. His family said he'd never spoken like that before. It was a very moving moment and a "Kleenex" moment for sure. It's a story that people would not know except through the efforts of the filmmaker who sought to tell his story.

What other visual arts programs will be present?

The Arlington Museum of Art will have a feature exhibit of photography which may be entitled: Frame4Frame but again those details are still being worked on. We are also in the process of booking artist to participate in the music festival.

Is UTA a partner for this festival?

We are very fortunate to have the UTA film department as a partner. They are also working with us on the photography exhibit that will be on display at the museum. Both UTA film professors Ya'ke Smith and Bart Weiss have been mentors and provided advice as board members and technical advisors through the Arlington Film Society.

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