On The Divide follows the story of three Latinx people living in McAllen, Texas who, despite their views, are connected by the most unexpected of places: the last abortion clinic on the U.S./Mexico border. As threats to the clinic and their personal safety mount, these three are forced to make decisions they never could have imagined.
Moondogs is a short narrative film about three teenage girls who road trip across West Texas in order to get their friend to the nearest abortion clinic. Not only do they have to travel hundreds of miles to get to the clinic, Mia, Val, and Izzie have to camp overnight in order to comply with the 24 waiting period between appointments Texas requires. During the trip, the three friends navigate the complex and inaccessible road to abortion in Texas as well as the nuanced landscape of being a teenage girl in our current political climate.
Multi-hyphenate, multidisciplinary artist Saul Williams brings his unique dynamism to this Afrofuturist vision, a sci-fi punk musical that’s a visually wondrous amalgamation of themes, ideas, and songs that Williams has explored in his work, notably his 2016 album MartyrLoserKing. Co-directed with the Rwandan-born artist and cinematographer Anisia Uzeyman, the film takes place in the hilltops of Burundi, where a group of escaped coltan miners form an anti-colonialist computer hacker collective. From their camp in an otherworldly e-waste dump,
Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s unforgettable melodrama is an unforgiving dissection of the imbalanced relationship between a haughty fashion designer (Margit Carstensen) and a beautiful but icy ingenue (Hanna Schygulla). Based on the filmmaker’s own desperate obsession with a young actor, The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant features exquisitely claustrophobic cinematography and full-throttle performances by an all-female cast.
West Germany, 1972, 35mm, in German with English subtitles
In the early 1960’s, a quintet of hopeful young African American men form an amateur vocal group called The Five Heartbeats. After an initially rocky start, the group turns pro, and becomes a top flight music sensation. Along the way however, the guys learn many hard lessons about the reality of the music industry with its casual racism and greed while the personal weaknesses of the members threaten to destroy the integrity of the band.
Still grieving after the murder of her boyfriend, hairdresser Justice (Janet Jackson) writes poetry to deal with the pain of her loss. Unable to get to Oakland to attend a convention because of her broken-down car, Justice gets a lift with her friend, Iesha (Regina King) and Iesha’s postal worker boyfriend, Chicago (Joe Torry). Along for the ride is Chicago’s co-worker, Lucky (Tupac Shakur), to whom Justice grows close after some initial problems. But is she ready to open her heart again?
Four Harlem friends – Bishop (Tupac Shakur), Q (Omar Epps), Steel (Jermaine Hopkins) and Raheem( Khalil Kain) – dabble in petty crime, but they decide to go big by knocking off a convenience store. Bishop, the magnetic leader of the group, has the gun. But Q has different aspirations. He wants to be a DJ and happens to have a gig the night of the robbery. Unfortunately for him, Bishop isn’t willing to take no for answer in a game where everything’s for keeps. » Read more about: Juice »
In post-war Germany, liberation by the Allies does not mean freedom for everyone. Hans has been found guilty for his homosexuality, deemed grounds for imprisonment under Paragraph 175. Over the course of decades, he is spied on and repeatedly jailed as a result.
As Hans returns to prison again and again, he develops an unlikely bond with his cellmate Viktor, a convicted murderer. What begins as revulsion blossoms over time into something far more tender.
Legendary actor Gérard Depardieu plays an aging, jaded superstar who has to adjust to a new bodyguard—a moonlighting wrestler played by the astonishing Déborah Lukumuena. First-time feature writer/director Constance Meyer breathes new life into the odd-couple theme, with Depardieu at his sensitive best and the riveting Lukumuena completely up to the task of playing opposite him. Meyer’s direction lends a subtle empathy to Robust, giving this film about urban loneliness a touching warmth and authenticity.
In this dramedy about love, class, and finding oneself, a handsome 20-something oyster farmer plunges into depression after a botched proposal to his actress girlfriend. To win her back, he immerses himself in dancing lessons with his gorgeous friend. As he gets dating advice from a trio of feisty female relatives, he’s reality-checked by pals. A wryly feminist update on romance, Hard Shell, Soft Shell features stunning Mediterranean scenery and an infectious soundtrack from the French-Arab diaspora.
Sébastien Tulard, France, 2016, 7:29
Axel is passionate about astronomy but his cosmic dreams isolates him from the other children of the neighborhood.
1977 National Women’s Conference is a one-hour wrap-up of the three-day historic gathering on women’s rights held in Houston, November 18-21, 1977. Broadcast nationwide on the last day of the conference, only hours after the final session had concluded, the documentary takes a behind-the-scenes look at the various caucus and coalition meetings as well as major events of the conference itself, both official and unofficial, including a counter-convention seven miles away organized by groups who opposed the NWC.
A brief, poetic 16mm film on a simple sculptural action. An experimental film in which the simplicity of the image is offset by the sonic implications.
What becomes apparent is the humor possible in material interactions and the tender and sometimes melodramatic symbolism of cut flowers. What begins as a reverence for natural beauty ends up pointing towards the abstract expressionism and color field work of high modernism which, in many cases eschewed the banality of such ‘natural’ beauty.
Milda Baginskaite, Lithuania, 2019, 6:43
A great discovery regarding seven Earth-sized planets near our solar system has been made. This is a story about one girl’s lifelong obsession with the discovery and her struggle to be understood.
A Conversation with Academics about Selena is an examination of the life and mythology of Selena through an academic lens. Five prominent feminist scholars, Sandra Cisneros, Ruby Rich, Cherríe Moraga, Yvonne Yarbro-Bejarano, and Rosa-Linda Fregoso engage in a lively cultural analysis of Selena, the Tejana pop star who was killed in 1995 by a friend who was the president of her fan club. As the academics try to separate the mythology of Selena from the young woman pressured by her father into a singing career,
Surf the glittering channels of Xenia’s mind in this highly saturated, musical spectacular in which anti-blackness is examined through the intimate lens of young love. This film is a true labor of love. Created in the isolation of the pandemic, Matthews uses fragmented form and innovative visuals to assess both the internal and external forces affecting her perception of the world and herself.
Based on real events, from writer-director Terrence Malick, A Hidden Life is the story of an unsung hero, Franz Jägerstätter, who refused to fight for the Nazis in World War II. When the Austrian peasant farmer is faced with the threat of execution for treason, it is his unwavering faith and his love for his wife Fani and children that keep his spirit alive.
Drawn largely from actual letters exchanged between Franz and his devoted wife Fani while Jägerstätter was in prison for his refusal to pledge an oath of allegiance to Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich,
Lisset Mendoza, United States, 2015, 5:13
A little boy uses his imagination to escape the difficulties and realities in Mexico by using space as an escape.
To return again. To re-align is the object of these visits, perhaps. Geography of origin becoming catalyst for an inner re-alignment with the secret, private, unspoken work of one’s being.
Peering into layers, sliding planes of windows and time, the fragmentary gesture of the dance. A series of rapid contrasts, a synthesis of elemental and everyday experience. Structures shift and intermingle, two worlds become one.
In a search for the mythological Cities of Cibola, a horseman finds himself in a race against another rogue seeking the valuable metals of the New Mexican desert.
In the Bolivian capital of La Paz, a city that sits 13,000 feet above sea level, an ambitious and unlikely culinary project has connected three people from vastly different backgrounds and is forever changing their lives. Kenzo, a hunter raised in the wild of the Bolivian Amazon, and Maria Claudia, a native of the Andean altiplano, are far from home. They have come to La Paz for Gustu, a groundbreaking fine-dining restaurant and cooking school for the country’s underprivileged youth.
A live documentary with the Kronos Quartet.
Oscar-nominated filmmakers Sam Green and Joe Bini team up with Grammy-winning Kronos Quartet for a wildly creative multimedia performance piece that blends live music and narration with archival footage and filmed interviews with such prominent artists as Philip Glass, Tanya Tagaq, Steve Reich, Wu Man and Terry Riley.
As Green tells the multi-decade and continent-spanning story of the groundbreaking string quartet, Kronos revisits its extensive body of work,
Set in 1992, Acid Test is a coming-of-age rebellion story fueled by Riot Grrrl music, a dysfunctional family, and LSD. Against the backdrop of the presidential election between Bush, Clinton, and Perot, a girl of mixed-descent – her mother is Mexican and her father is white American – enters her senior year with life-long plans to attend Harvard, just like her Dad. But she gains new insight into her father’s volatile behavior as she discovers Riot Grrrl,
Environmental justice and race are inextricable, particularly given the history of our city, state, and country. The goal of this film is to illuminate and activate people around this history so we can build a better present and future for communities that have for far too long borne the brunt of the compounding impacts from systemic racism like redlining, which has exacerbated disasters like COVID, Hurricane Harvey, climate change, and though not documented in the film,
Along the scorching southern desert border in Arizona, it is estimated that only one out of every five missing migrants are ever found. This film is the story of one group of searchers, the Aguilas del Desierto, themselves largely immigrant Latinos. Once a month these volunteers—construction workers, gardeners, domestic laborers by trade—set out to recover missing loved ones referred to them by word of mouth, phone calls, or Facebook message.
Many know the name Alvin Ailey, but how many know the man? Ailey’s commitment to searching for truth in movement resulted in pioneering and enduring choreography that centers on African American experiences. Director Jamila Wignot’s resonant biography grants artful access to the elusive visionary who founded one of the world’s most renowned dance companies, the Alvin Ailey American DanceTheater.
Alien Abduction follows Missy, a young science prodigy, and her childhood best friend Yesenia. When Missy finds out she’s pregnant, she becomes distant and shifts her focus to the stars. Yesenia discovers an almost full term Missy secretly laying in a crop circle, for reasons that threaten to separate them forever. Together, they must confront whether their friendship can transcend space and time.
Alien Abduction, written by Candice D’Meza and directed by Nate Edwards,
In the small town of Bladenboro, NC, seventeen-year-old Lennon Lacy, was found hanging from a swing set on August 29, 2014. Despite inconsistencies in the evidence, local officials quickly ruled Lennon’s death a suicide, but his mother, Claudia, believes Lennon was lynched.
Directed, produced, and written by Jacqueline Olive, Always in Season explores the lingering impact of more than a century of lynching nearly 5,000 African Americans and connects this form of racial terrorism with racial violence today.
In 1800s England, acclaimed but unrecognized fossil hunter Mary Anning (Kate Winslet) works alone on the rugged Southern coastline. With the days of her famed discoveries behind her, she now searches for common fossils to sell to tourists to support herself and her ailing mother. When a wealthy visitor entrusts Mary with the care of his wife Charlotte Murchison (Saoirse Ronan), she cannot afford to turn his offer down. Proud and relentlessly passionate about her work,
Literary titan Amy Tan analyzes her life, her work, and her family—in the present and past tense—in this longitudinal biopic directed by James Redford. As Tan traces her childhood through The Joy Luck Club and her later compositions, she dissects issues of representation, multigenerational trauma, and the stigma and challenge of illness. Forcefully matrilineal in focus, this film moves through generations of Tan’s family, revealing listening as the heart of Tan’s creative practice and contextualizing the patience with which Tan broke through barriers and waited on the other side,
Sarah Hickey, United States, 2018, 6:38
A human pilot and his alien biologist companion embark on a mission to discover the mystery behind a strange shape in the stars. Along the way they grow closer, sharing commonalities, understanding their differences, and working together to keep their spaceship floating, all while pushing beyond known boundaries into the darkness.
Film Best Depicting the Benefits of Space to Humanity
Alex Moreno, Mexico, Documentary, 7:36
Without high-tech and with limited resources, a group of teenage girls from Apizaco, a small rural town in Mexico, learned math, science, and robotics together with the passion and dedication of their middle school teacher, and managed to win the top prizes at NASA’s Mars Trekker Global Teen Summit.
Gabriela Iancu, Romania, 2019, 7:58
From director Gabriela Iancu comes a documentary that celebrates the dedication of NASA’s space program to the successful landing of the first man on the Moon in July 1969, and the values that contributed to this historic moment: science, expertise, ingenuity, and hope. Drawn from thousands of hours of footage and original audio recordings from NASA’s archives, we witness the Apollo 11 mission to land on the Moon. The cinematic event unfolds from sunrise on launch day to splashdown with immersive sound design.
From director Todd Douglas Miller (Dinosaur 13) comes a cinematic event fifty years in the making. Crafted from a newly discovered trove of 65mm footage, and more than 11,000 hours of uncatalogued audio recordings, Apollo 11 takes us straight to the heart of NASA’s most celebrated mission—the one that first put men on the moon, and forever made Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin into household names. Immersed in the perspectives of the astronauts, the team in Mission Control,
Apollo to Air: How NASA Engineer Frank Rudy Shaped Modern Athletic Footwear explores the inventive mind of engineer Frank Rudy. Rudy supported NASA’s Apollo Program from the 1950’s up until the completion of Apollo 11. Soon after, Rudy retired and developed a patent for an air-inflated running shoe sole: a design that utilized a technique used to manufacture Apollo space helmets.. The patent would later become the cornerstone of Nike AIR Technology, which debuted in the 1978 Nike Tailwind.
Kamil Dymek, Poland, 2018, 6:14
On a distant planet, the last descendant of a dying race awaits his demise when a mysterious life-giving creature crash lands in his world and gives him another chance at survival.
Archie Bell is comprised of interviews conducted by Houston entrepreneur, DJ, and filmmaker Flash Gordon Parks with 5th Ward living legend Archie Bell of Archie Bell & the Drells. Songs from the Drells include the sublime 1968 track “Tighten Up,” one of the earliest funk hits in music history. Bell moved to Houston when he was a toddler with his family and began singing at the age of five in church in Houston’s 5th Ward.