HOUSTON — The 9th Annual Houston Cinema Arts Festival, which takes place Nov. 9 – 13, has a renewed sense of purpose in the wake of Hurricane Harvey’s devastating impact on the City of Houston. HCAF17 will continue to thread all of Houston’s arts through film in fresh and exciting ways, including the activation of unique partner venues and a firm commitment to Houston’s independent filmmakers. To that end, this year’s festival will showcase portraits of artists by Houston filmmakers. Two of the films will be world premieres by Houston directors, whose subjects are important Houston visual artists.

Filmmaker Wayne Slaten, whose short film “Red Pearl” was a prize-winner in HCAF’s first CineSpace competition in 2015, will present Ash: The Art of Wayne Gilbert, an in-depth look at the Houston-based artist whose work is created with cremated human remains.

Jesse Lott: Artist in Action recounts this legendary artist’s amazing life and starts as Mr. Lott is busy preparing for his upcoming show at Art League Houston, where he’s presented the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award by his childhood friend, the great Mel Chin. The documentary is directed and edited by Cressandra Thibodeaux and produced and shot by 14 Pews Film Academy. Many of Houston’s arts leaders are interviewed in the two films, including Jim and Ann Harithas, Allison Greene, Bill Arning, Toby Kamps, and Nick Flynn.  

Houston-raised Sam Wainwright Douglas, whose Honky Tonk Heaven: Legend of the Broken Spoke was the opening night film at HCAF16, will present his latest film Through the Repellent Fence.

The film follows art collective group Postcommodity as they strive to construct Repellent Fence, a two-mile long outdoor artwork that straddles the U.S. – Mexico border. Postcommodity consists of three Native American artists who “put land art in a tribal context.” Scenes with other artists and intellectuals working in the land art realm provide context and insight as well.

With its overarching mission to support Houston’s artistic community, Houston Cinema Arts Society will spotlight local artists during its annual Cinema Arts Celebration, which will take place for the first time at White Oak Music Hall.  Singin’ in the Rain: A Houston and Cinema Arts Celebration will not only commemorate the iconic film’s 65th anniversary, but will serve as an artistic expression of a city defined by its diverse population, collective strength, unwavering resilience, and unconditional support of the arts.

The Cinema Arts Celebration will take place on Saturday, November 11th and will include celebrated artists’ unique interpretations of songs and dance numbers from the film, including renditions by Houston Hero Bun B of hip-hop group UGK, and additional high profile artists representing wide-ranging musical and dance genres that will be announced at the Houston Cinema Arts Festival Kick Off event on Monday, October 23rd at Chapman & Kirby in East Village.  

With many downtown sites in the theater district crippled during Harvey, the 2017 Houston Cinema Arts Festival will supplement its core Museum of Fine Arts, Houston screenings with a wide array of alternative venues, including Rice CinemaAurora Picture ShowDiverseWorks, and the Cafe Brasil patio.

“Houston Cinema Arts Festival, a collaborative creation of many of Houston’s best film and arts organizations, is in the unique position to give back in a way that few entities can,” commented Houston Cinema Arts Festival Artistic Director Richard Herskowitz. He added, “HCAF17 will allow people to laugh, cry, and cheer as they experience the amazing ability of great film and performing art to work as a cathartic release from the immense pain Hurricane Harvey has inflicted on the city. This community can and will bounce back, and in the end, it will come out on the other side better than ever.”


Houston Cinema Arts Society (HCAS) is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization dedicated to presenting innovative films, media installations, and performances that celebrate the artistic process and enrich Houston’s culture and urban vitality. Created in 2008 with the support of former Houston Mayor Bill White and philanthropist Franci Neely, it organizes and hosts the annual Houston Cinema Arts Festival, a groundbreaking and innovative festival featuring films and new media by and about artists in the visual, performing, and literary arts. The Festival celebrates the diversity of the arts in Houston and elevates the city’s film and arts scene. Houston Cinema Arts Society sponsors include premiere sponsor Houston First Corporation, signature sponsor Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, and featured sponsor Levantine Films. HCAS is also supported in part by the Franci Neely Foundation; the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance; an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, Art Works; the Brown Foundation; and a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts. The 2017 Houston Cinema Arts Festival will take place from November 9-13, 2017.

Tickets will go on sale for the 2017 Houston Cinema Arts Festival in October. Please check http://houstoncinemaartsfestival.org/box-office/buy-tickets for updates.

For more information about the Houston Cinema Arts Society, visit:


For more information about the Houston Cinema Arts Festival, visit: