A year ago, Slim Pickins Outfitters was in financial dire straits. The pandemic had left the beloved Stephenville retailer — which proudly holds the designation of the first Black-owned outdoor gear shop in the country — struggling to keep the doors open.
The Outbound Collective, a Seattle-based organization that promotes diversity in nature, stepped in with a fundraiser and commissioned a short documentary, Slim Pickins, that details the Erath County business and its unique cultural legacy.
The 15-minute film, directed by Justin Michael Jeffers, will be among a handful of short documentaries with Texas ties to screen at Thin Line Fest, the annual Denton music and cinema showcase that will host free screenings both in person and online through this weekend.
The GoFundMe effort in early 2021 raised more than $172,000 for the family-owned purveyor of outdoor gear and vintage clothing that proprietor and fly-fishing enthusiast Jahmicah Dawes started in his dorm room at Tarleton State University more than a decade ago.
Dawes and his wife, Heather — along with their basset-hound mascot B!ll Mvrray — launched the brick-and-mortar shop in 2017 in downtown “Stephenchill, TX.” Beneath the laid-back vibe, Dawes “strives to help foster diversity not only in the outdoors but on the water,” he says on the company website. “The overarching goal is to diversify the outdoors by way of the outdoor industry.”
Thin Line will spotlight more than 50 nonfiction features and shorts from around the world over five days as part of its film lineup. Tickets are free, but you must register in advance. Other projects of local interest on the bill include:
Daniel & Nate — The latest project from University of North Texas film professor Lauren Cater focuses on a teenager who also is a caregiver for his younger brother.
Honk — The relationship between Dallas filmmaker Cheryl Allison and a wayward goose is the basis for this heartwarming lookat a story that went viral.
The Middle of the World — Dallas director Andrew Quinton Holzschuh chronicles endurance runner Daniel Garcia’s rim-to-rim conquest of the Grand Canyon.
Turtle Beach — Denton’s Charlie Collier offers a front-lines exploration of sea turtle conservation on the Pacific coast of Mexico, one of the most threatened habitats on the planet.