The indie film fest will take place April 21–30 at the AMC Studio 30 Dunvale Theatre. This year’s special features include the 12th Annual “Panorama Italia,” with six new titles by Italian indie filmmakers; the 3rd Annual “Chinese Panorama,” with emerging talents from Beijing and Shanghai; and a special review of 128 new short films and student films. There will be around 60 feature films (selected from entries from over 70 countries), as well as the winners in the competition in TV production; documentary, corporate and business films; student and experimental films; music videos; new media; and much more. The mission of WorldFest is to recognize and honor outstanding creative excellence in film and video, to validate brilliant abilities and to promote cultural tourism for Houston, to develop film production in the region and to add to the rich cultural fabric of the city of Houston. To purchase tickets and get more information, please visit www.worldfest.org.
Hunter Todd founded Cinema Arts in 1961 as an International Film Society that screened independent, foreign and art films. In 1968, the Film Society evolved into the official competitive, nonprofit International Film Festival that it is today. It is one of the three original film festivals in North America (alongside San Francisco and New York), and it is the oldest independent film festival in the world. It’s a family affair at the Fest office – Todd has been the executive director and founder since its inception and his wife, Kathleen Haney, has been the Program and Artistic Director since 1983 while their daughter, Katy Lea, has helped along the way. All members of the WorldFest staff are filmmakers.
WorldFest has given top honors to many industry greats before they were famous, including Stephen Spielberg, George Lucas, The Coen Brothers, Ridley Scott, Robert Rodriguez, Gavin Hood, Jon Lee Hancock, Michael Cimino, Brian de Palma, Oliver Stone, Ang Lee, Atom Egoyan and David Lynch, among others. This year’s films were still being determined at press time but here’s a quick peek at four of them: “Ministry of Love” is about an out-of-work biologist stuck in a dead-end marriage who gets a job spying on war widows to cut off their pensions if they are in new relationships but have not remarried. “The Girl, The Mother and the Demons” is about a mentally ill mother and her 8-year-old daughter who is having to deal with her mom’s rapidly switching moods and bizarre outbursts. “One Penny” is the story of Dylan, who is forced to leave his privileged life and live on the streets with a homeless community. And “Sicixia” is about Xiao, a sound engineer whose job takes him to Costa de Morte (Galicia) to record the most representative sounds of people and nature in the westernmost point of Europe. That is just a sampling of many more to come.
WANT TO SEE MORE ART FILMS?
CHECK OUT THESE VENUES
14 Pews (www.14pews.org)
Alamo Drafthouse (www.drafthouse.com)
Asia Society (www.asiasociety.org/texas)
Aurora Picture Show (www.aurorapictureshow.org)
Blaffer Art Museum (www.blafferartmuseum.org)
Café Brasil (www.cafe-brasil.net)
Contemporary Arts Museum (www.camh.org)
Discovery Green (www.discoverygreen.com)
Holocaust Museum (www.hmh.org)
Jewish Community Center (www.erjcchouston.org)
Landmark River Oaks Theatre (www.landmarktheatres.com)
Menil Collection (www.menil.org)
Miller Outdoor Theatre (www.milleroutdoortheatre.com)
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (www.mfah.org/films)
Orange Show (www.orangeshow.org)
Rice Cinema (www.ricecinema.rice.edu)
Sundance Cinemas (www.sundancecinemas.com)