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Mission Statement

Houston Cinema Arts Society (HCAS) celebrates and illuminates the vitality of one of America’s most diverse cities by connecting audiences and artists with public, educational, and career-advancing film and arts programming.


Houston Cinema Arts Society envisions a future where filmmaking, production, and public programming thrive and grow, in step with the city’s ever evolving fine arts and media sector. In turn, by fostering global filmmakers and promoting local film, television and media production, HCAS helps realize and celebrate our city’s diversity and cultural riches.

Who We Are

HCAS engages, enriches, and empowers Houston’s diverse cultures and communities by programming and supporting filmmaking and the arts. Our goal is to uplift the importance of film as an accessible device for storytelling and raising awareness; we work to empower regional and underrepresented filmmakers, and to showcase Houston’s diversity and cultural riches via community programs that highlight the intersection of film with other art forms and global issues. 

HCAS was conceived in 2007 when former Mayor Bill White created a task force of cultural leaders spearheaded by arts philanthropist Franci Neely to stimulate film culture in Houston. HCAS received 501(c)(3) nonprofit status in September 2008 and launched its first large-scale film festival in November 2009. HCAS continues to focus its mission on expanding Houston’s film culture, and making Houston a hub for innovation in film and media. 

The Houston Cinema Arts Festival, which takes place annually in November, is a multi-venue festival that includes over 50 narrative, documentary, and experimental films; innovative video and media installations; live multi-media performances; panel discussions; Meet the Makers workshops; and free student field trip screenings. HCAF accepts submissions for three unique programs; the CineSpace short film competition in collaboration with NASA, Next Gen Cinema Fest, open to high school students, in partnership with SWAMP, and the Borders | No Borders narrative and documentary short film competition. In addition to our Festival programming, HCAS is dedicated to engaging in meaningful partnerships with creative individuals and organizations throughout Houston; including opportunities for filmmakers and film lovers throughout the year, such as our Texas Film Spotlight, Impact Screenings, and quarterly networking events.