The Houston Cinema Arts Festival is an eight-day, multi-venue festival focused on visual, performing, and literary arts that includes over 50 narrative and documentary films, an interactive video installation gallery, live multimedia performances, panel discussions, Meet the Makers workshops, and free outdoor and student field trip screenings.
The eighth annual Houston Cinema Arts Festival, whose complete program will not be released until October 25, is announcing in advance several of the special events, guests and collaborating venues participating in this year’s program. Honky Tonk Heaven: Legend of the Broken Spoke will open the 8th Annual Houston Cinema Arts Festival on Thursday, November 10 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and will be followed by a live performance from popular Texas country artist Dale Watson. The film is a lively documentary from Houston-born director Sam Wainwright Douglas and Brenda Mitchell that tells the raucous history of the Broken Spoke honkytonk in Austin, TX, where it is affectionately known as “the last of the true Texas dance halls.”
The festival will be bookended on Thursday, November 17 with a free outdoor screening of Contemporary Color– a film celebrating the art of Color Guard at a unique concert event organized by legendary musician David Byrne at the Barclays Center in the summer of 2015 – featuring Nelly Furtado, Ad-Rock of the Beastie Boys, St. Vincent, and more. The event will kick off with a boisterous routine from local color guard groups followed by the feature film screening in the Downtown District.
The opening and closing films – both exciting examples of the power of music and community – will buttress a diverse set of films about the visual, performing, and literary arts. “Houston Cinema Arts Festival’s mission is to celebrate the arts of Houston, and this year, we will give audiences the chance to explore, beyond our main venues at Sundance Cinemas and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, different satellite venues throughout the 8-day festival,” said HCAF Artistic Director Richard Herskowitz.
On Friday, November 11, the Houston Museum of African-American Culture will host renowned “L.A. Rebellion” independent filmmaker Billy Woodberry and his landmark 1983 film Bless Their Little Hearts, a bleak yet poignant film that depicts the struggle of a family as it copes with unemployment, desperation, and tremendous adversity set against the backdrop of Los Angeles in the early 1980s. The Billy Woodberry Retrospective will continue at
Sundance Cinemas with his first new film in decades, And When I Die I Won’t Stay Dead.
The following evening, visual artist Amie Siegel will screen and discuss her unique film installation Provenance, exploring the global trade of furniture from the Indian city of Chandigarrh, as a free show at the Menil. The Chicago native’s photography, videos, film installations, and feature-length productions have been shown and highlighted across the country and internationally, including presentations at film festivals such as the Cannes Film Festival, the Berlin International Film Festival, and the New York Film Festival.
Celia Rowlson-Hall – a rising star in the world of choreography, dance, and visual art – will take center stage on Monday, November 14 at Aurora Picture Show and profile several of her short art, fashion, and music videos, including the hilarious project The Audition. On November 13 at Sundance Cinemas, Rowlson-Hall will debut her feature film Ma – a striking piece of cinematic experimentation completely devoid of dialogue featuring Rowlson-Hall as a modern-day symbol of the Virgin Mary traversing the American Southwest. Filmmaker Eryk Rocha’s acclaimed documentary Cinema Novo – a comprehensive look at the eponymous cinematic movement created by Rocha’s father, the legendary Brazilian filmmaker Glauber Rocha –– will be screened at Sundance Cinemas on November 13. The film took home the top documentary prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Rocha will also screen his jazz film Jards at Rice Cinema, home to Rice University’s Visual Arts & Dramatic Department, on Tuesday, November 15.
On Wednesday, November 16 Kate Rigg and Lyris Hung – the uproarious duo known as Slanty Eyed Mama – will give a live performance to complement a screening of Happy Lucky Golden Tofu Panda Dragon Good Time Fun Fun Show at the Asia Society. The pair first met while studying at the acclaimed Juilliard School and have since held residencies at many prominent performing venues across the country. They will be joined by director Carrie Preston, best known for her acting on True Blood and other film and television appearances.