Tomlinson Hill takes a personal look at race in Central Texas

Tomlinson Hill

KLRU presents a new documentary on a seldom-told part of Texas history. Airing on June 19th at 9 pm and June 24 at 10 pm, Tomlinson Hill documents how the legacy of slavery in East and Central Texas has created a region still divided despite the civil rights changes of the last 60 years. Tomlinson Hill is one of several programs KLRU is presenting in honor of Juneteenth.

In the mid-1800s just outside of Marlin, Texas, a slave plantation named Tomlinson Hill was founded by James K. Tomlinson. The establishment would have long lasting effects on the rural community. In this powerful documentary, reporter Chris Tomlinson, a descendant of slave owner James K. Tomlinson, confronts the shame and guilt he feels from his ancestry and digs deeper into the real legacy of the area. Featuring NFL player LaDainian Tomlinson and others whose families have a long history in the area, Tomlinson Hill takes a fascinating look at people trying to move on while others idly resist change.

The seeds for the documentary began when Chris Tomlinson met Loreane Tomlinson, a descendant of slaves on Tomlinson Hill, who returned to her hometown with a vision of civic improvement. “After meeting Loreane, I knew I wanted the film to tell the story of my family history as well as her family history,” said Chris Tomlinson.  ”Together, it’s the story of America, as far as I’m concerned.”

The film was produced by Lisa Kaselak of Fosforo Films. Funding is provided in part through a grant from Humanities Texas: the state affiliate of the NEH, Southern Methodist University Research Council, Meadows Foundation and Dallas Women in Film. The film is part of the Voices of Marlin Living Stories of a Texas Town project find out more at voicesofmarlin.com.

 

KLRU Q Saturday at the Movies – 6/1

KLRU Q - Night at the Movies

KLRU-Q’s Saturday Night at the Movies presents a full-length feature film every Saturday night, plus extra content that gives the evening an exciting spin. Each film explores the work of legendary actors and actresses through many important films from their careers. Here is a peek of what this Saturday has in store:

7:00 – Just Seen It Episode #207
Just Seen It is the review show where industry professionals present their takes on current movies and TV shows, and interview Hollywood insiders.

7:30 – On Story James Franco: A Look Inside 127 Hours
James Franco reveals his unique experience working on 127 Hours, including his faith in director Danny Boyle’s vision, and the collaboration approach from cast and crew to fulfill the tension needed to capture this true and tantalizing story. Followed by the allegorical short film, Voice Over, directed by Martin Rosete, about a few extreme situations that literally take your breath away.

8:00 – I Want To Live!
Convicted of murder, drug-addicted shill and prostitute Barbara Graham (Susan Hayward) lands on death row.

10:05 -Mae West … And The Men Who Knew Her
As the first “blonde bombshell,” Mae West reigned supreme and changed the nation’s view of women, sex and race – on stage, in films, on radio and television.

11:05 - Marilyn Monroe … Beyond The Legend
This Wombat production is narrated by Richard Widmark and features Marilyn Monroe’s great moments on film.

Film School Shorts

Film School Shorts showcases short student films from across the country featuring quirky comedies, slice-of-life dramas and hard-hitting thrillers from cutting edge filmmakers. KLRU will present two episodes  of the series featuring films from The University of Texas at Austin on April 30th and May 7th. The series will air on KLRU Q later this year.

Spark airing April 30th:  Two kids try to kill time while the adults have an affair. A short film by Annie Silverstein. Northeast Front airing May 7th:  A single mother must come up with $5,000 before the end of the day to save her family. A short film by Angela Torres Camarena. Both Spark and Northeast Front will be available for a limited time on the Film School Shorts YouTube and PBS Video channels in their uncut, original versions:

Spark is currently available until Sunday, April 28 at 11 pm.

Northeast Front will be available starting Monday the 29th until May 5th.
(Be advised that Northeast Front features profanity in Spanish and English subtitles.)

Complete details for the Film School Shorts episodes airing on KLRU.

4/30 – Fire And Fury
Fireworks (Columbia University) – A group of young teens try to impress some girls. A short film by Victor Hugo Duran.

Pearl Was Here (California Institute of the Arts) – A bratty young girl hides from her mother in a claw machine. A short film by Kate Marks.

Spark (The University of Texas at Austin) – Two kids try to kill time while the adults have an affair. A short film by Annie Silverstein.

5/7 – Blood Is Thicker Than Mud
The Fighting Kind (Chapman University) – A man with a dark past returns home to make his sister an unwelcome offer. A short film by Nils Taylor.

Northeast Front (The University of Texas at Austin) – A single mother must come up with $5,000 before the end of the day to save her family. A short film by Angela Torres Camarena.

 

New Season of On Story

Celebrate the new season of On Story with KLRU and the Austin Film Festival, airing Saturdays at 7:30 pm starting April 20th.

Austin Film Festival’s On Story is a half-hour series that gives a behind-the-scenes look at the creative process of the country’s most beloved movies and TV shows. The show is a mash-up of footage of screenwriter and film-makers discussing their craft and films. Each episode is thematically paired with one or two short films, with an introduction from the film’s writer or director.

New episodes include:
4/20 – A Conversation With Chris Carter, Creator Of The X-Files

Legendary television writer Chris Carter reveals the secret behind the creation and success of The X-Files and how he stirred audiences using the power of mythology. Lost and Prometheus writer, Damon Lindelof, speaks with Carter on how his use of the paranormal and search for the truth have become staples of popular culture. Followed by Todd Somodevilla and Marysia Makowska’s surreal short film, Sea Pavilion, about a picnic outing by an abandoned seaside dwelling, that ends up encompassing more than just sand dunes and forgotten memories.

4/27 – Explosive Action!
The writers behind Wanted, The Bourne Ultimatum, Con Air, and Snitch discuss how they use action scenes to further the plot, convey tension, and build toward a satisfying climax. Followed by Lucas Martell’s animated short film, Pigeon: Impossible, about a trained CIA agent faced with an unexpected sudden threat to national security.

5/4 – Re-imagining the Classics
The writers of re-imagined classics and popular franchises such as Ghost, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, Twins and Snow White And The Huntsman deliberate how to keep stories fresh while remaining faithful to the original version. Accompanied by Spencer and Lloyd Harvey’s short film Jack & Jill, a fresh take on the classic nursery rhyme that follows a young Australian girl who finds an inventive way to contact her father, a soldier stationed in New Guinea during WWII.

 

Energy at the Movies – 4/18

Discover the ways films influence how we think about energy, and in turn, how we influence energy policy with Energy At The Movies on April 18th at 9 pm. From the gushing geysers of Giant, to the plutonium-powered time machines of Back to the Future, Hollywood has entertained us with unforgettable, often iconic images of energy. Whether intentional or not, films frequently serve as a snapshot of society, capturing sentiments of each time period. Many films have themes that memorialize collective optimism, fears and observations about energy. Using film clips as a historical road map, Energy at the Movies is an entertaining lecture by energy expert and University of Texas at Austin professor Dr. Michael E. Webber.

 

Kind Hearted Woman airs April 1 & 2

In a special two-part series from Frontline and Independent Lens, filmmaker David Sutherland (The Farmer’s Wife, Country Boys) creates an unforgettable portrait of Robin Charboneau, a 32-year-old divorced single mother and Oglala Sioux woman living on North Dakota’s Spirit Lake Reservation. Sutherland follows Robin over three years as she struggles to raise her two children, further her education and heal herself from the wounds of sexual abuse she suffered as a child. Robin’s battles in tribal court with her ex-husband for custody of the children, even after he is convicted of abusive sexual contact with his daughter, illuminates how serious this problem is on the reservation. Her quest to heal her family, find a man worthy of her love, build a career and fulfill her goal of returning to her reservation to help prevent the abuse of women and children, takes her on an intimate and inspiring journey full of heartbreak, discovery and redemption. Episode 1 airs Monday, April 1st at 8 pm and Episode 2 airs Tuesday, April 2nd at 8 pm on KLRU.

PBS Online Film Fest: The Longest Sun

Austin has three locally-made films in the 2nd Annual PBS Online Film Festival. You can vote for the audience award until March 22. Vote at pbs.org/filmfestival

The Longest Sun is a narrative short film inspired by the mythology of the Tewa peoples of northern New Mexico, and is told entirely in the endangered language of Tewa (less than 500 native speakers remain). A blend of fantasy, mystery, and historical fiction, The Longest Sun is a quest story that follows Tahn Pi, a young Tewa boy who sets out on a mythical journey to stop the sun from setting.

As the first film told entirely in the Tewa language, The Longest Sun is the culmination of nearly three years of collaboration with the San Juan, San Idelfonso, Santa Clara, Nambe, and Pojoaque pueblo communities and local governments. From conception to translation, the filmmaker and various Tewa community leaders worked together to document and preserve the oral traditions and language of the Tewa people through the medium of film. Peppered with colorful characters and rich in oral tradition, The Longest Sun explores universal perceptions of time, maturation, and death through a modern adaptation of an ancient Tewa origin story.

About the Filmmaker: Patrick William Smith (MFA in Film Production, UT Austin) works as a director and cinematographer between Austin, TX and Seattle, WA. He has directed a number of award-winning fiction and nonfiction films, web-series, and commercials. His documentary, Shades of The Border, toured at over two dozen film festivals worldwide (including SXSW, Media That Matters), garnering a number of awards and DVD distribution.  Patrick went on to direct a reality web-series for internet mogul, Penny Arcade, and later developed a comedy web-series funded through a successful, front-page crowdsourcing campaign on Kickstarter (Kris and Scott’s, Scott and Kris Show), which drew national media attention. Patrick’s most recent endeavor, a narrative quest film told entirely in the endangered Tewa language, is currently touring festivals worldwide. Looking ahead, Patrick has begun development on his first feature. 

PBS Online Film Fest: Mijo (My Son)

Austin has three locally-made films in the 2nd Annual PBS Online Film Festival. You can vote for the audience award until March 22. Vote at pbs.org/filmfestival

Mijo is an immensely personal documentary about the relationship between a young mother who is a professional dancer and her 6-year old son, as she undergoes treatment for breast cancer. The film is a delicate balance between the son’s innocence, the mother’s medical journey and its depiction through dance. Ultimately, the film is an affirmation of love and the purpose of life.

About the Filmmaker: Chithra Jeyaram is an emerging documentary filmmaker and educator with an MFA in Film Production from University of Texas at Austin. Her first exposure to filmmaking began in 2004 with a failed attempt to fund a film about an explosive water-sharing dispute between two southern states in India. Deeply affected by that experience, she quit a decade-long career as Physical Therapist and enrolled in film school.

A diseased human body is a chaotic system and as a filmmaker she is interested in telling stories of the disruptive consequences of illness from unique perspectives. Approximately 30% of women diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States have young dependent children living with them. In Mijo, she highlights some of the difficulties experienced by cancer survivors with young children.

Besides making non-fiction films, she loves to illustrate, animate, take spontaneous trips, cook exotic recipes and work as a physical therapist.

PBS Online Film Fest: Noc na Tanečku (Night at the Dance)

Austin has three locally-made films in the 2nd Annual PBS Online Film Festival. You can vote for the audience award until March 22. Vote at pbs.org/filmfestival

In the late 1800’s, tens of thousands of Czech immigrants settled farmland in Central Texas. They brought with them the tradition of the community dance hall, building over 1,000 halls in little towns from Temple to Anhalt. Fewer than half remain open today. Noc na Tanečku (Night at the Dance) profiles Sefcik Hall, in Seaton, one of the last true Czech dance halls in Texas, and the elderly folk that still come there each Sunday to wax the floor and dance the polka, even as they struggle with old age, illness, and in some cases, death.

About the Filmmaker: Annie Silverstein is an Austin based filmmaker and media educator. She directed the feature documentary March Point (Independent Lens 2008), in collaboration with three teenagers from the Swinomish Tribe and is Co-Founder of Longhouse Media, an indigenous media arts & education organization based in Seattle, WA. Annie has worked internationally as a Producer, Director, Cinematographer, and Editor on films ranging in theme from land access issues in Ethiopia to the experiences of LGBTI refugees living in South Africa. Most recently she produced/directed Noc na Tanečku (Night at the Dance), which screened at festivals internationally, and wrote/directed her first fiction film Spark, which screened at Slamdance and SXSW, where it won a Jury Award for Best Texas Short (2012). Annie is currently earning her MFA at University of Texas-Austin.

PBS Online Film Festival showcases Austin films

KLRU is a presenting partners in the second annual PBS Online Film Festival. The festival showcases 25 short films that feature a diversity of subjects, voices and viewpoints, accessible via all PBS digital platforms, YouTube and PBS social media channels.

“PBS is committed to providing access to the best in independent filmmaking, in short and long form, online and on-air. The Online Film Festival is a great example of how PBS can leverage the web’s reach to showcase the terrific work of our producing partners, including PBS member stations,” said Jason Seiken, PBS SVP and General Manager, Digital. “We see the Online Film Festival as another example of how PBS and our partners are innovating and experimenting with different formats and platforms to deliver great content.”

Films contributed to this year’s festival by KLRU are:

“Noc na Tanecku (Night at the Dance)”
See a profile of the last days of a Czech dance hall in rural Texas — and the old-timers who go there to polka. Watch and vote at pbs.org/filmfestival
About the Filmmaker: Annie Silverstein is an Austin based filmmaker and media educator. She directed the feature documentary March Point (Independent Lens 2008), in collaboration with three teenagers from the Swinomish Tribe and is Co-Founder of Longhouse Media, an indigenous media arts & education organization based in Seattle, WA. Annie has worked internationally as a Producer, Director, Cinematographer, and Editor on films ranging in theme from land access issues in Ethiopia to the experiences of LGBTI refugees living in South Africa. Most recently she produced/directed Noc na Tanečku (Night at the Dance), which screened at festivals internationally, and wrote/directed her first fiction film Spark, which screened at Slamdance and SXSW, where it won a Jury Award for Best Texas Short (2012). Annie is currently earning her MFA at University of Texas-Austin.

“Mijo”
This is an evocative portrayal of a mother and child’s intimate relationship in the midst of life-altering medical events. Watch and vote at pbs.org/filmfestival
About the Filmmaker: Chithra Jeyaram is an emerging documentary filmmaker and educator with an MFA in Film Production from University of Texas at Austin. Her first exposure to filmmaking began in 2004 with a failed attempt to fund a film about an explosive water-sharing dispute between two southern states in India. Deeply affected by that experience, she quit a decade-long career as Physical Therapist and enrolled in film school.

“The Longest Sun”
A narrative short film inspired by the mythology of the Tewa peoples of northern New Mexico is told entirely in the endangered language of Tewa (less than 500 native speakers remain). The film follows a young Tewa boy who sets out on a mythical journey to stop the sun from setting. Watch and vote at pbs.org/filmfestival
About the Filmmaker: Patrick William Smith (MFA in Film Production, UT Austin) works as a director and cinematographer between Austin, TX and Seattle, WA. He has directed a number of award-winning fiction and nonfiction films, web-series, and commercials. His documentary, Shades of The Border, toured at over two dozen film festivals worldwide (including SXSW, Media That Matters), garnering a number of awards and DVD distribution. Patrick went on to direct a reality web-series for internet mogul, Penny Arcade, and later developed a comedy web-series funded through a successful, front-page crowdsourcing campaign on Kickstarter (Kris and Scott’s, Scott and Kris Show), which drew national media attention. Patrick’s most recent endeavor, a narrative quest film told entirely in the endangered Tewa language, is currently touring festivals worldwide. Looking ahead, Patrick has begun development on his first feature.

Viewers will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite short film through March 22; the film with the most votes will receive the People’s Choice Award.

The featured films  were produced by a number public media partners, including Independent Television Service (ITVS), POV, Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB), Vision Maker Media, National Black Programming Consortium (NPBC) and Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC). This year’s festival also includes films from PBS stations KCTS 9 (Seattle), KLRU (Austin), PBS SoCaL (Los Angeles), WGTE (Toledo) and WCVE (Richmond, Virginia).

Other short films featured in the PBS Online Film Festival include:

Independent Television Service (ITVS)
“Brionna Williams”
Meet Brionna Williams: At 14, she was suffering from health problems and chronic asthma. Now a 17-year-old senior at Kansas City’s Central High School, Brionna has become healthier and has found focus as a highly recruited student athlete.

“Can’t Hold Me Back”
The film follows Fernando Parraz as he becomes the first in his family to earn a high school diploma — his ticket out of the struggles of inner-city poverty and violence. With a mountain of roadblocks stacked against his educational achievement, Fernando finds support from an unlikely figure: his father — a former gangster who has suffered the costs of his own mistakes.

“Story of an Egg”
Can learning the meaning of a single term actually help change the food system? David Evans and Alexis Koefoed think so. These poultry farmers explain the real story behind such terms as “cage free,” “free range” and “pasture raised” so that consumers can make informed decisions when they go to their local supermarket.

POV
“Ars Magna”
Nominated for a News and Documentary Emmy® Award, “Ars Magna” enters into the obsessive and fascinating world of anagrams with a man who took the first three lines of Hamlet’s “To Be or Not to Be” and created what has been called “the world’s greatest anagram.”

“CatCam”
An engineer straps a camera on a stray cat in North Carolina and inadvertently creates a media sensation.

“Sound of Vision”
A blind musician spends his waking hours confronting the hurdles and embracing the cacophony of “The City That Never Sleeps” — New York — which he will never see.

Center for Asian American Media (CAAM)
“Verses in Exile: Why I Write”
Vehement Khmer-American spoken word artist Kosal Khiev delivers a passionate personal narrative in this engaging, head-on collision between the political and personal.

“Indian Summer”
This short documentary brings together first-generation Indian-American youth with similar feelings of alienation to document their religious and cultural point of view.

POV and Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB)
“Sin País” (Without Country)
Winner of a 2012 Student Academy Award®, “Sin País” explores a family’s experience as members are separated by deportation.

Vision Maker Media
“Hoverboard”
After watching Back to the Future 2, an imaginative young girl and her stuffed teddy bear try to invent a real working hoverboard.

Vision Maker Media and ITVS
“Injunuity: Buried”
“Injunuity” is a unique mix of animation, music and real thoughts from real people exploring our world from the Native-American perspective. “Injunity: Buried” shares Oblone activist and educator Corinna Gould’s reflection on the destruction of sacred shell mounds in the San Francisco Bay Area of California.

National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC)
“Asylum – Bisi”
Bisi Alimi describes coming out as a gay man — on national television — in Nigeria.

“Asylum – Skye”
Skye Tenevimbo stood up to Robert Mugabe, and her actions brought unwanted attention to her family back in Zimbabwe.

Pacific Islanders in Communication (PIC)
“Lina’la’ Lusong”
Unshaken by centuries of colonial conquest and the changing tides of occupation, the lusong has endured to heal and feed the people of the land, and to impart a sacred lesson of survival.

KCTS 9 (Seattle)
“Capsule”
Two astronauts struggle to stay alive as their crashed space capsule slowly runs out of oxygen.

“Honor the Treaties”
A portrait of photographer Aaron Huey’s work on the Pine Ridge Reservation features Shepard Fairey.

“The House I Keep”
In this short film, observe a young woman’s emotional struggle to come to terms with her miscarriage.

PBS SoCaL (Los Angeles)
“Breathe Life”
The Montelone family must fight cystic fibrosis every day, but their passion for love, life and surfing allows them to get through the uncertainty.

“Still”
Dive into the world of Carlos Eyles, ocean photographer, to discover the powerful connection between humankind and the seas that surround us.

“Worlds Apart”
A young Native-American woman copes with the struggles of college away from her reservation.

WCVE (Richmond, Virginia)
“Live Art”
View a groundbreaking educational program and concert event, created and led by the School of the Performing Arts in Richmond, Virginia.

WGTE (Toledo)
“Heel”
From the theater stage to the wrestling mat, this is the surprising story of a young woman’s journey to be a wrestler.