FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
HOUSTON – On the heels of a successful 2013 festival that featured an array of notable actors, directors, producers, live performances and Academy Award-nominated films, the Houston Cinema Arts Society (HCAS) announces today that its 2014 Houston Cinema Arts Festival (HCAF 2014) will take place from Nov. 12-16.
HCAS has received a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to help support the HCAF, which is the only U.S. festival dedicated to films by and about the visual, performing and literary arts. HCAS was one of seven institutions in Houston and 22 in Texas to receive a 2014 grant from the NEA, an independent federal agency that funds and promotes artistic excellence, creativity and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities.
“We are so pleased with the success of the latest Houston Cinema Arts Festival and the outpouring of positive feedback from across the city,” HCAS Executive Director Trish Rigdon said. “With the generous support of the NEA and other partners, as well as our passionate volunteers and supporters, we fully expect 2014 to deliver our best festival yet and truly establish it as an integral part of Houston’s cultural fabric.”
HCAF 2013 presented 68 films, exhibitions and live performances during its five-day run, hosted primarily at Downtown and Museum District venues including Sundance Cinemas Houston and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH).
The 2013 festival launched in spectacular fashion at the MFAH with the red-carpet Houston premiere of Oscar-nominated documentary Cutie and the Boxer, followed by a Q&A with Houston-born director Zachary Heinzerling and film subjects Ushio and Noriko Shinohara.
HCAF 2013 closed with the world premiere of Houston Ballet: Breaking Boundaries, presented by international star Debbie Allen, director John Carrithers, producer Delicia Harvey and former/current Houston Ballet Artistic Directors James Clouser, Ben Stevenson and Stanton Welch; and An Unreal Dream: The Michael Morton Story, with an emotional post-film discussion featuring Morton, director Al Reinert and Houston attorney John Raley.
Among the highlights of the festival were a special 20th anniversary screening of Dazed and Confused with Houston-born director Richard Linklater, who received HCAF’s annual Levantine Cinema Arts Award; a sneak preview of Lucky Them with Oscar-nominated actor Thomas Haden Church, director Megan Griffiths and producers Emily Wachtel and Amy Hobby; Nebraska (nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture) with actor Will Forte and producer Ron Yerxa; and August: Osage County – whose stars Meryl Streep (Best Actress) and Julia Roberts (Best Supporting Actress) both earned Oscar nominations – presented by screenwriter, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Homeland star Tracy Letts.
HCAF’s Film Festival Field Trip program hosted over 600 middle school and high school students free of charge at interactive daytime screenings of Oscar-nominated Ernest and Celestine (Best Animated Film), Chasing Shakespeare, An Unreal Dream: The Michael Morton Story and Jamel Shabazz: Street Photographer.
“Artistically, it was an especially exciting year for us,” HCAF Artistic Director Richard Herskowitz said. “We had a tremendous programming lineup of not only well-known Hollywood actors and directors, but legendary experimental filmmakers like Jonas Mekas and Barbara Hammer as part of our Cinema on the Verge series, international guests like Argentine director Matias Piñeiro and the Chinese director and actors accompanying The Love Songs of Tiedan, and four outstanding live music and film performances.”
The Houston Cinema Arts Festival – a program of HCAS – could not do all it does for the Bayou City without its slate of first-class sponsors who have been with HCAF for multiple years, such as Anadarko Petroleum, Houston First Corporation, Levantine Films, Champion Energy Services, Amegy Bank and the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance.
ABOUT THE HOUSTON CINEMA ARTS SOCIETY
Houston Cinema Arts Society is a non-profit organization created in 2008 with the support of former Houston Mayor Bill White and the leadership of Franci Crane. HCAS organizes and hosts the annual Houston Cinema Arts Festival, a groundbreaking and innovative arts festival featuring films and new media by and about artists in the visual, performing and literary arts. The festival celebrates the vitality and diversity of the arts in Houston and enriches the city’s film and arts community. HCAS sponsors include the Crane Foundation, a grant from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, Levantine Entertainment, Houston First Corporation, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, Champion Energy Services, Amegy Bank of Texas, The Brown Foundation, Inc. and others. The project is also supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Texas Commission on the Arts. The 2013 Houston Cinema Arts Festival was held Nov. 6-10. For more information, please visit HCAS at www.cinemartsociety.org.