Five Minutes With Chad Mathews, Lone Star Film Festival Executive Director

by Lisa Davis on November 5, 2019 in Entertainment, Film, Dallas/Fort Worth,

The Lone Star Film Festival in Fort Worth continues growing each year.

After graduating from TCU with a Bachelor of Science in Film & Television, Chad Mathews began his career working as an actor in Los Angeles. Soon after, he extended his reach into production work, screenwriting, film festival management and film education.

As a writer-director, the cinema enthusiast produced several short films and wrote a number of feature-length scripts. His most recent short films, ‘Love Sick Lonnie’ and ‘Detention,’ were produced in Texas as well as ‘Where Am I Texas,’ which won countless awards and praise from fellow filmmakers.

As Executive Director, Chad Mathews has helped the Lone Star Film Festival become a destination for filmmakers, cinematic enthusiasts and movie lovers. Courtesy photo

Mathews is the co-founder of the Hill Country Film Festival in Fredericksburg, Texas and, it was this role which led him to the Executive Director position at Fort Worth’s Lone Star Film Festival (LSFF).  

Over the last twelve years, the LSFF has become quite the attraction for filmmakers, producers, industry professionals and film enthusiasts, and has been named a “Top 50 Film Festival” by Movie Maker Magazine.

The documentary “Jump Shot: The Kenny Sailors Story” is the inspiring true story of Kenny Sailors who, at 5’10”, revolutionized the game of basketball. Courtesy photo

 The LSFF features independent and big budget feature films,  documentaries and shorts. A few of this year’s must-see feature films include, “The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open,” “Sleeping in Plastic” and “Animal Among Us,” alongside documentaries including “Cowboy” and “Netflix vs. The World.”

The 13th Annual Lone Star Film Festival is November 13-17 in Fort Worth.

How did the Lone Star Film Festival come about?

Over a decade ago, a group of city visionaries, along with hometown movie star Bill Paxton, decided Fort Worth was in need of a film festival. After a few early iterations, the Lone Star Film Society was established and the Lone Star Film Festival soon followed. 

What do you look for most in submitted films or shorts?

Originality. The story has to be authentic to the filmmaker creating it. Great acting and strong production value also really helps.

One of the films featured at the Lone Star Film Festival is “Pacarette” which tells the story of an aged ballet dancer in the countryside of Brazil who tries to convince the community to include her in a grand celebration despite their negative assumptions. Courtesy photo

What kind of community involvement does LSFF have?

We provide year-round screening opportunities and we also produce film camps for the youth of Tarrant County. These educational programs are the heart and soul of our nonprofit film society.

Do you have one piece of advice for future filmmakers?

If you are making a short film, make it short. Shorter films have an advantage over longers films because there is always room to fit smaller films into a festival. If you make a concise short film, your chances of getting into a film festival increase exponentially.

What’s your favorite film genre?

I’m really enjoying documentaries right now, but my favorite genre would be dramedies.  You can’t go wrong with a comedy that infuses drama or a drama that adds moments of laughter to a story. They seem more life-like.


Cover: courtesy photo

Lisa Davis lives in Austin and is the Editorial Assistant for Texas Lifestyle Magazine and an honors graduate of Concordia University Texas with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and Public Relations