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Choice documentary

WHILE OTHER TEENAGERS WERE GOING TO THE MOVIES to enjoy the latest releases from large Hollywood studios, Kathleen Thompson ('01) was watching foreign and independent films that didn't receive much attention from the average moviegoer.

When she entered UNT's film production program and had the chance to make her own film, however, she chose to do a documentary.

"Real life is really more interesting than most fiction I've seen," says Thompson.

The resulting film, Our Story: Abortion Providers Speak Out, was selected to be shown at the 14th annual Dallas Video Festival in March as part of the 2001 Texas Show, a juried compilation of short works made by Texans.

Thompson decided to create Our Story while taking RTVF 4760 - Documentary Pre-Production.

"In this class, you write a screen treatment and learn about research, grants, directing and editing, but don't actually complete a film," she says. "I knew at that time that I wanted to make a film about abortion providers. I got permission to take a graduate-level documentary film class, where you actually complete a film, in Spring 2000."

With assistance from Charles Cook ('96, '99 M.S.), a UNT master's student in film who has a minor in oral history, Thompson interviewed six physicians from across the United States and included their voices in the film.

She says the biggest challenge of making Our Story was building trust with the physicians.

"It took the longest time," she says. "They had to have an actual validation that we were from the University of North Texas and not here to harass them."

Thompson received her bachelor's degree from UNT in May.


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