This year’s Houston Cinema Arts Festival will be, more than ever, a film festival for Space City.

Anchored by a new partnership with NASA for the inaugural CineSpace short film competition, the Nov. 12-19 festival will feature more than 20 space-themed films and programs, highlighted by “CineSpace Day” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, on Friday, Nov. 13.

That day will include a presentation of the top 16 of 194 entries to the CineSpace competition with NASA astronaut Don Pettit, along with an announcement of the five winners – selected by Houston-born director Richard Linklater (Boyhood) and NASA – who will earn a total of $26,000 in cash prizes. Attendees also will vote on an Audience Prize winner.

CineSpace Day also will feature:

  • Texas natives Luke Wilson(The Royal Tenenbaums, Old School) and Andrew Wilson (Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums) presenting Satellite Beach, their acclaimed 2014 short film that follows the unique journey of the Endeavour space shuttle through the streets of Los Angeles to the California Science Center and the final move of the Atlantis space shuttle to Kennedy Space Center
  • A 20th anniversary screening of Apollo 13 with Academy Award-nominated screenwriters William Broyles, Jr. (Cast Away, Planet of the Apes, Jarhead, founding editor of Texas Monthly), a Houston native, and Al Reinert (For All Mankind, An Unreal Dream: The Michael Morton Story) with Jeffrey Kluger (co-author of Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13 on which the film was based)
  • TIME Magazine’s A Year in Spacedocumentary series that follows astronaut Scott Kelly aboard the International Space Station, presented by co-director Marco Grob, producer Jonathan Woods and Kluger, TIME’s Editor at Large for science coverage
  • Apollo XVIII, a stunning video installation by renowned visual artistMarco Brambilla (Demolition Man, Kanye West’s Power music video) that was recently featured in Times Square, at the Museum of Fine Arts’ Cullinan Hall

Throughout the festival, there will be a “Cinema on the Verge” CineSpace Art Exhibition on display at the She Works Flexible gallery in the Montrose neighborhood, featuring five artists who explore space through video, photography, animation and drawing: Jeanne Liotta (Dark Enough), Laura Heit (3D Animation Diorama), Juila Oldham (Farewell Brave Voyager), Kelly Sears (The Drift) and David Janesko (Deep Sky Objects). Liotta will present Desired Constellations, a curated program of short films, at the Menil Collection on Nov. 16. Heit will present Traveling Light: Animation and Matchbook Show, a program of handmade animations including her recent works using NASA footage, at She Works Flexible on Nov. 15.

Finally, Aurora Picture Show will join the festival in hosting Kidlat Tahimik, “the father of the new Filipino cinema,” whose character in the two films he will present aspires to build a Third World competitor to NASA. Aurora’s screening of Tahimik’s 1977 classic The Perfumed Nightmare (Nov. 13) will be supplemented with a live performance and an installation by the director, addressing the situation of Third World filmmakers vis-à-vis Hollywood, and Who Invented the Yoyo? Who Invented the Moon Buggy? (1979) at She Works Flexible (Nov. 14). Visiting Houston will fulfill a lifelong dream for Tahimik, who says the Apollo 11 mission inspired him to drop out of business school in Paris and pursue filmmaking.

The full lineup for the 2015 Houston Cinema Arts Festival (HCAF15) will be announced on Tuesday, Oct. 20. For more information on CineSpace, visit


Houston Cinema Arts Society (HCAS) is a non-profit created in 2008 with the support of former Houston Mayor Bill White and the leadership of 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 vitality and diversity of the arts in Houston and enriches the city’s film and arts community. HCAS sponsors include Premier Sponsor Houston First Corporation, Signature Sponsor Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, Featured Sponsor Levantine Films, Media Sponsor Texas Monthly and many others. HCAS is also supported in part by grants from the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance, National Endowment for the Arts, The Brown Foundation, Inc. and Texas Commission on the Arts. The 7th Annual Houston Cinema Arts Festival will take place from Nov. 12-19, 2015. For more information, please visit

Nick Scurfield,
On the Mark Communications