Local man showcases Texas Board of Education issues, premieres work in New York City festival

Image courtesy of Scott Thurman

May 3, 2012

Image courtesy of Scott Thurman

BY JAMI JOINER and ANDREA GODOY | Ranger Staff

The films shown at the Tribeca Film Festival have a more natural feel rather than the commercialized and airbrushed quality of blockbuster hits. Tribeca gives artists the ability to show off their craft at the height of its creativity.

Less than 2 percent of the thousands of films that apply to be part of the festival each year make it. This year director Scott Thurman, a graduate of Amarillo High School and Amarillo College, showed the world the product of four years of work with the Texas Board of Education.

But while attending AC, Thurman didn’t always know he one day would end up at the independent film mecca.

“I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do with my life when I started AC,” said Thurman.

“I didn’t really get into film and editing until after I started college.” Thurman said Dr. Paul Matney, now the AC president, made a big impression on him in the mass communication department.

“Dr. Matney was one of my instructors, and I think he saw potential in me and sort of pushed me to pursue something in this field,” he said.

Thurman’s newest project, The Revisionaries, follows the lives of members of the Texas State Board of Education seeking re-election.

Members of the board choose the curriculum that students from kindergarten through the 12th grade will learn.

Thurman’s film focuses on the board members who are more socially conservative and whose Christian values have a strong effect on their politics.

The Revisionaries is not Thurman’s first documentary. In 2008, he produced and directed his first documentary short, titled, Smokey.

Smokey follows the life of Stinnett city employee Smokey Binion Jr., who by day performs maintenance and other support jobs for the city, but in his time off performs as an Elvis impersonator.

While attending AC Thurman, along with other members of the mass communication department, was approached by then professor Matney to produce short ads for KACV-TV.

Thurman would go on to win the Addy award for Rising Star Director/Editor. He said it was because of Matney that he continued on this path.

The Revisionaries premiered in Texas at the Dallas Film Festival and had its world premiere at Tribeca. It has received some positive reviews. Tribeca creative director Geoff Gilmore said, “It’s such an intriguing point-of-view.”

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