Films About the Arts

Films About the Arts

Films about the arts, artists, films adapted from other mediums including literature, graphic novels and plays, films from multi-hyphenate makers, and films that probe creative solutions to our human problems. Disciplines featured in the festival besides fiction, non-fiction and hybrid film include installations, VR, performance, live music, and fine arts.

Self Portraits

Fear No Gumbo

It’s time that folks be made aware of these real, raw, and powerful stories of New Orleans in the fourteen years since Katrina. As human beings, our lives matter, and the story of New Orleans matters because it’s an important part of America’s past and its future.

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Varda by Agnès

Agnès Varda takes a seat on a theatre stage. This professional photographer, installation artist and pioneer of the Nouvelle Vague is an institution of French cinema but a fierce opponent of any kind of institutional thinking. In this film, she offers insights into her oeuvre, using excerpts from her work to illustrate – more associatively than chronologically – her artistic visions and ideas. 

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Around the World in a Day: Experimental Cinema Now

A collection of films from the past year that use unconventional means to examine nature, history, and the many spaces we occupy. 80 minutes, five countries, one world.

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For Sama

For Sama is both an intimate and epic journey into the female experience of war. A love letter from a young mother to her daughter as well as a filmmaker’s self-portrait, the film tells the story of Waad al-Kateab’s life through five years of the uprising in Aleppo, Syria as she falls in love, gets married and gives birth to Sama, all while cataclysmic conflict rises around her.

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Yuli is the nickname given to Carlos Acosta by his father, Pedro, who considers him the son of Ogun, an African god and a fighter. As a child Yuli avoids discipline and education, learning from the streets of an impoverished Havana. His father, however, has other ideas, and knowing that his son has a natural talent for dance, sends him to the National Ballet School of Cuba

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The Science of Fictions

A man in Indonesia witnesses the faking of the moon landing in 1965, also the year of the Communist purge of Indonesia and Suharto’s take over of the country. His tongue is cut off and he copes perhaps by moving through life in a slow moon walking trance, ultimately invited to join a traveling dance trope.

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Literary Adaptations


A Hidden Life

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.

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Sugar Cane Alley

 An audience pleasure as well as an adventurous work of cinema, Euzhan Palcy’s Sugar Cane Alley established her as a major new filmmaking talent. Set in Martinique in 1931, the film paints a rich impasto of native life under French colonial rule, filtered through the coming-of-age of a bright, sweetly, opportunistic black boy learning to reconcile the value of his shanty-town roots with the educational opportunities that beckon him to the big city.

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Bauhaus Spirit: 100 Years of Bauhaus

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of Walter Gropius’ Bauhaus with this lively and wide-ranging exploration of the movement uniting modern design, art, architecture and performing arts with communal social living to form an academic discipline and utopian way of life.

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Nailed It

In virtually every city, state and strip mall across the U.S., women get their nails done in salons likely owned by Vietnamese entrepreneurs. How did this community come to dominate an $8 billion dollar nail economy? 

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Yellow Rose

Rose, an undocumented Filipino girl, dreams of one day leaving her small Texas town to pursue her country music dreams. Her world is shattered when her mom suddenly gets picked up by immigration and Customs Enforcement. 

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When I Get Home

 Visual artist and singer/songwriter Solange Knowles presents an extended directors cut featuring new scenes and musical arrangements of her interdisciplinary performance art film When I Get Home.

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Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes

Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes explores the unique vision behind the iconic jazz record label. Through rare archival footage, current recording sessions and conversations with Blue Note artists, the film reveals a powerful mission and illuminates the vital connections between jazz and hip hop. 

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Cry of the Third Eye: The Last Resort

Cry of the Third Eye: The Last Resort (2019) is the third and final act of Cry of the Third Eye, a three-act performed opera film by artist Lisa E. Harris that considers gentrification, intergenerational legacy, loss, and the space of dreams. 

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Brokeback: A Shorts Film Program

These five short film engage and examine the notion of the queer cowboy, asking the question “who is the cowboy?”

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Marriage Story

Marriage Story is Academy Award nominated filmmaker Noah Baumbach’s incisive and compassionate portrait of a marriage breaking up and a family staying together.

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Black Rodeo

In 1972 Harlem, a Black Rodeo show rides into Randall’s Island, NY to perform in front of a large crowd of enthralled spectators. This critically acclaimed documentary captures that show, as well as one-on-one interviews with the rodeo performers themselves and various members of the audience.

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Always in Season

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.

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Fine Art


Moon Shot Exhibition Walk Through

The Moon Shot exhibition at the Moody Center for the Arts features works responding to the moon landing by a selection of innovative artists active from 1969 to the present. The galleries will remain open past normal hours from 5:30-7:30pm so film attendees can experience this exhibition.

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Kelly Richardson: Artist Talk

Internationally renowned digital installation artist Kelly Richardson will discuss her past and recent work including her future planetary landscape works, Orion Tide and Mariner 9. 

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Ben DeSoto: For Art’s Sake

The story of Ben DeSoto, a Houston photographer who worked as a photo journalist for the Houston Chronicle and the Houston Post for 30 years. These opportunities allowed him to capture and document diverse genres of the early Houston underground punk scene, major touring acts, rap/hip hop culture, and current events.

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Portrait of a Lady on Fire

France, 1760. Marianne is commissioned to paint the wedding portrait of Héloïse, a young woman who has just left the convent. Because she is a reluctant bride-to-be, Marianne arrives under the guise of companionship, observing Héloïse by day and secretly painting her by firelight at night.

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