Waco Chat

Having a Drink With Louis Hunter & Samuel Thomas

By Kevin Tankersley

Co-founders of Deep in the Heart Film Festival

“It’s got this grander story with a personal story tucked into it.”

Our festival is mostly short films. There are feature films, which is the traditional movie-going experience, 90 minutes of one story. But the magic of short film is that you get to dive into the experience. It can be a moment. — LH

We have one as short as 30 seconds. We have films that are just a brief moment of time, and you get to see what happens to that person. — LH

The only two blocks we have that are specific genre blocks are so far apart on the spectrum: horror and family. We have a late-night horror block and a 10 a.m. Saturday family block. The other ones are across the spectrum. — ST

You’re going to have a comedy and a documentary and a drama and a sci-fi in the same block. A block is going to be about an hour-and-a-half, plus a Q&A if the filmmakers happen to be coming in. Last year, we had about half of our filmmakers come. — ST

That’s a lot of fun, being able to interact with the filmmakers. One of the questions I like to ask is, ‘Why this film, and why at this point in your career?’ You’d never be able to find out any other way if you saw it on YouTube or wherever. You can find out why they made this film and how it fits with other stories that they’ve told. — LH

We have some great animated films. We’re really blessed because we have documentaries that have premiered at South by Southwest, at Sundance [Film Festival]. — LH

We have one [film] that’s going to premiere with us. You know ESPN’s 30 for 30 [documentary series]? It could be one of those. It is that good. It’s got this grander story with a personal story tucked into it. I’m an editor by trade, so to see something edited so well and to see it all woven together. It’s one of my top three. — ST

[Jim Tucker] scored the fastest triple-double in NBA history. What’s interesting is that he isn’t an everyday, name player, but he had this record that has stood for almost 70 years. It’s fascinating. A guy you never heard of. You learn more about him. He played for the Syracuse Nationals. His personal story is woven in, and what an interesting life he’s lived. — LH

To give a spoiler alert, the tragedy of it is he’s dealing with memory loss. These things he sees in pictures, he doesn’t fully remember all the time. It’s like this great thing he did, coupled with other great things about his team, that is slowly fading from his memory. — ST

It’s truly a memorable life that he’s forgetting. — LH

Louis Hunter and Samuel Thomas are co-founders and co-directors of the Deep in the Heart Film Festival, which will be March 22-25 at the Waco Hippodrome and Cultivate 7twelve. Tickets — starting at $8, with a VIP pass at $100 — are available at the Hippodrome or at deepintheheartff.com.

The Drink: At the Waco Hippodrome, Louis Hunter ordered a Long Island Iced Tea because of its sweetness and “it’s a great value for the money.” Also, the drink reminds him of the short films in the festival: “You get a little of this, a little of that. It blends together so nicely.” Samuel Thomas had Balcones Baby Blue whiskey on the rocks. “I’m watching my sugar intake, so I can’t have an Old-Fashioned,” he said.