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Upcoming documentary to include Fiddlers' Frolics

By Sonny Long
April 20, 2010 at 5:01 p.m.
Updated April 20, 2010 at 11:21 p.m.


Fiddlers' Frolics, the Texas State Championship fiddlers' contest in Hallettsville, will be featured prominently in an upcoming documentary film.

The film, "The Devil's Box: The Rise of Texas-style Fiddling," includes footage and interviews from the 2009 Fiddlers' Frolics and will also include this year's contest, said filmmaker Jason Hammond, a Dallas native. Beth Jasper of Illinois is the film's producer.

"We are very excited," Hammond said. "It has really grown on us. We think we have a special film."

Hammond said he and Jasper heard some amazing fiddle playing and met some great people during the past year.

Hallettsville's Kenneth Henneke planted the seed for the film when Hammond bought a couple of catfish from him for another film project. Henneke, Fiddlers' Frolics co-chairman, also owns a hatchery near Hallettsville.

"Kenneth thought it would make a good subject and that got the ball rolling," Hammond said. "I didn't know anything about fiddling. It's a great subject. It's very Americana, a good slice of American life."

Hammond said one thing that surprised him about the Fiddlers' Frolics contest is how much fiddling the winner has to get through to be crowned state champion.

"It's more grueling than I expected," he said.

Hammond said the Fiddlers' Frolics is the first part of the documentary and that it opened up a whole world of Texas fiddling to the filmmakers.

Among featured performers in the film will be Mia Orosco, the 2009 freshman division champion in Hallettsville.

"We are hoping to do some additional pieces with her and her instructor. She is as talented in the classical world as she is fiddling. That's fascinating," Hammond said.

Hammond hopes to have the film completed and ready to submit early this summer to be included in October's Austin Film Festival.

In the coming weeks, the website dogonfirefilms.com should be up and running with information about the film, Hammond said.

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