Houston is home to many film festivals but some of my favorites are its short film festivals (maybe it’s my attention span?!). This month the fourth annual “LITERALLY SHORT FILM FESTIVAL,” (www.literallyshort.com) takes place June 14–18. Literally Short is an event created by Literal Magazine (www.literalmagazine.com), a publication dedicated to shining a light on new voices in all areas of the arts with a focus on Latin America. Literal began when Rose Mary Salum moved to the United States from Mexico City because she wanted to break the stereotypes about Latin Americans and to show the amount of talent and richness these cultures embraced. Their shorts festival has the same mission as the magazine but with a bigger goal of bridging different cultures to dissolve all geographical boundaries and create one global voice. It’s a lofty goal but one so important in these xenophobic times.
The festival director is Lorís Simón Salum, a busy filmmaker and the creative director of the magazine. This year Literally Short’s programs include “International Voices” (international shorts); “México Lindo y Querido” (Mexican shorts); “Local & Fresh” (Texas shorts); and a new “German Showcase” which is the result of a collaboration with the Rice University Department of European Studies. The jurors are Carlos Gutierrez from Cinema Tropical; Ya’Ke Smith, an award-winning filmmaker from Texas; and Izzy Lee, curator of the New Directors program at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. The opening night will be on Thursday, June 15, at 6:30pm at their headquarters at 5425 Renwick Drive. Tickets are available online for the entire festival, for select nights or just for the opening.
Houston’s other annual shorts film festival is hosted by the Aurora Picture Show (www.aurorapictureshow.org), a Houston microcinema. Their annual “EXTREMELY SHORTS FILM FESTIVAL” takes place in May and, like the “Literally Short Film Festival,” is open-call and juried. Over the past two decades, the festival has been a fun and funky Houston event, showcasing a wide-ranging collage of new films from local, national and international artists. Last month they celebrated its 20th year, and the jurors were M.M. Serra of Film-Maker’s Cooperative and local fave Marian Luntz of The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, who selected films for the main and youth programs from more than 400 submissions from 37 countries!
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)