The Houston Cinema Arts Society (HCAS) is launching a new regional short film competition. Borders | No Borders is open to short narrative and documentary films with strong ties to Texas, the states bordering Texas, and Mexico. The competition will open on June 11th and close on August 14th 2020. Finalist films will be announced with the Houston Cinema Arts Festival 2020 lineup in mid-October and will be screened at the festival.
Cultural exchange is often thought of as happening between countries, but it can also take place between cities, states, and even neighborhoods — anywhere a border is perceived or imposed. Houston is the most diverse city in the United States, and Texas, in addition to being the largest state in the continental U.S., shares borders with Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Mexico, which each have their own distinct cultures and identities. These regions inform Houston’s past, present, and future with their cultures, histories, cuisines, ancestral and contemporary sacrifices, injustices, unceded lands, art, music, dance, theater, film, and storytellers. As we cling to home these days, HCAS is taking this opportunity to celebrate the complexity of Houston and its neighboring communities, all of which contribute to H-Town’s je ne sais quoi.
Borders | No Borders invites residents of Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Mexico as well as filmmakers with meaningful ties to these areas to submit narrative and documentary short films. Films in all languages are welcomed and encouraged, but we request that films that are not in English be submitted with English subtitles to ensure that the translations best represent the filmmaker’s vision. The winners for Best Narrative Short Film and Best Documentary Short Film will each be awarded a prize of $1,000. There will be two additional Jury Prizes of $500 selected by a panel of six jurors. Jurors include filmmakers Damon Davis and Kimberly Rivers Roberts for the Documentary Jury Prize and filmmakers Bassam Tariq and Giorgio Angelini for the Narrative Jury Prize. HCAS will be announcing the two remaining jurors soon.
Damon Davis is an award-winning, post-disciplinary artist who works and resides in St. Louis, Missouri. In a practice that is part therapy, part social commentary, his work spans across a spectrum of creative mediums to tell stories exploring how identity is informed by power and mythology. Davis seeks to empower and give voice to the powerless and combat systems of oppression, focusing not only on pain but also on the joy of the Black experience. Davis co-directed the critically acclaimed film Whose Streets? with Sabaah Folayan, on the Ferguson Uprising. Davis is a 2015 Firelight Media Fellow, 2016 Sundance Music and Sound Design Lab Fellow, 2017 TED Fellow, and 2017 Root100 Honoree. His work is featured in the permanent collection at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, and he has exhibited at Art Basel Miami, the Museum of Contemporary African Diaspora Arts, and the San Diego Contemporary Museum of Art.
Kimberly Rivers-Roberts (Queen Blackkoldmadina) is a New Orleans born and bred director, producer, rap artist, film star, and inspirational speaker who currently lives in the lower 9th ward. She is the director/producer of Fear No Gumbo (2016), which is the follow up to Best Documentary Feature Academy Award nominated Trouble the Water (2008). Kimberly starred in, co-directed, and created the soundtrack for Trouble the Water. Fear No Gumbo won the best documentary awards at the 2018 Hip Hop Film Festival in Harlem, NYC and the LA Femme Interational Film Festival in Los Angeles.
Bassam Tariq is a Houston and NYC bred documentary and narrative filmmaker, screenwriter and producer born in Karachi, Pakistan. His debut fiction feature Mogul Mowgli, starring Riz Ahmed, premiered at Berlinale 2020 and won the International Critics Prize. He is a TED Fellow and was named Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film.” His previous film Ghosts of Sugar Land (2019) won the Short Film Jury Prize at Sundance and was released as a Netflix Original. In 2015, he was a fellow of Sundance’s Art Of Non Fiction Residency and participated in the 2017 Sundance Screenwriters’ Lab for his first narrative feature. In 2019, he accepted the Field of Vision Fellowship helmed by Laura Poitras. His work aims to uncover the diversity of Muslin life and experience.
Giorgio Angelini came into film from a multi-faceted career in the creative arts. After touring in bands like The Rosebuds and Bishop Allen for much of his 20s, Giorgio enrolled in the Masters of Architecture program at Rice University during the 2008 real estate collapse, planting the seeds for Giorgio’s directorial debut, OWNED: A Tale of Two Americas. Following graduate school, Angelini began working with the boutique architecture firm, Schaum Shieh Architects, where he designed the White Oak Music Hall in Houston, Texas, as well as the headquarters for The Transart Foundation for Art and Anthropology. Giorgio launched a production company (Ready Fictions) in 2019 with his producing partner, Arthur Jones. Giorgio served as executive producer for the feature film My Friend Dahmer (2017) and directed a documentary-short for celebrated performance artist Mary Ellen Carroll entitled My Death is Pending…Because. Giorgio is also the Executive Producer for the upcoming coming-of-age drama, Shoplifters of the World.
For more information, visit: https://www.cinemahtx.org/borders-no-borders/
To submit a film, visit: https://filmfreeway.com/BordersNoBorders
About Houston Cinema Arts Society
Houston Cinema Arts Society (HCAS) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to presenting unique and innovative film programs, multimedia installations and performances, and educational opportunities to engage, enrich, and empower Houston’s diverse communities and cultures. HCAS flagship programs include the Houston Cinema Arts Festival held annually in November, the Cinespace short film competition (a collaboration with NASA challenging filmmakers to create films from the NASA archives), and the Black Media Story Summit (a collaboration with Black Public Media, the Austin Film Society, and the Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation). HCAS is dedicated to serving Houston filmmakers and film lovers and engaging in meaningful partnerships with creative individuals and organizations at the intersection of cinema with the visual arts, music, theatre, literature, dance, culture, science, and the humanities. HCAS is generously supported by Houston First Corporation, Levantine Films, Franci Neely Foundation, Petrello Family Foundation, Cabrina & Steven Owsley, Carrin Patman & Jim Derrick, Catherine Asher Morgan, Sara and Bill Morgan, Louisa Stude Sarofim, Nina & Michael Zilkha, Mark Wawro, Amegy Bank, Kinder Foundation, Brown Foundation, Texas Film Commission, Houston Film Commission, Texas Commission for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, and Houston Arts Alliance. The 2020 Houston Cinema Arts Festival will take place from November 12-16.