It’s only been two months since we wrapped the 2012 festival, but planning for the 2013 festival is already well underway. A lot has happened in the past two months, including loads of cleanup and analysis and write-ups to help process the lessons of 2012 (you’ll find some of my thoughts in the annual yearbook we send our members and supporters, coming in February). We also confirmed a new partnership with the Austin Film Society’s Texas Independent Film Network, enabling us to present more year-round programming, beginning with When I Rise on February 12th at Sundance Cinemas.

But programming the Houston Cinema Arts Festival is a year-long process, and it started during the festival with some early conversations with festival guests and partners about films, installations, and performances that are on the horizon. A conversation with Marian Luntz at the MFAH about a possible collaboration with the Jewish Book and Arts Fair has led rapidly to an exciting music and silent film event we hope soon to be confirming. I also mentioned to Mary Magsamen of the Aurora Picture Show that a filmmaker we both admire, Craig Baldwin, had recommended an animator-musician named Jeremy Rourke. Mary checked him out, was enthusiastic, and is including him in an upcoming animation program she’s planning for March. We’re considering bringing Jeremy and his band to Houston to perform with his animations next November. What do you think?

I’ve already been to one arts fair I attend every year to sample media installations, Miami Art Basel. That art fair has a reputation for being glitzy and exclusive, but I find that the nearby concentration of satellite fairs like Scope, Pulse, Aqua, and Art Miami (and so many more) provides invaluable immersion and exposure to new media art. I saw too much great stuff to summarize, so I’ll zero in on just one satellite exhibition, Seven, where I was blown away by the interactive animations of Brian Knep and by Eva and Franco Mattes’ compilation of reactions to a horrific film, called Emily’s Video. We’ll see what happens, but I may be bringing these to Houston in November.

My next shopping expedition will be to the Sundance Film Festival, and so my next blog posting will report back on the possibilities I discover in Park City.