7 film festivals every Houston movie buff should add to their calendar

I’ll get the popcorn, you get the candy

Movie lovers in The Woodlands gather around an outdoor screening at Inspire Film Fest.
Movie lovers in The Woodlands gather around an outdoor screening at Inspire Film Fest. (Inspire Film Fest)

HOUSTON – Whether you’re a major cinephile or just want to try something new, film festivals can be enriching events full of enlightening information and interesting people. While the movies are the main event, many film festivals include an array of other attractions like panel sessions with cast members, workshops for filmmakers and social mixers. Wondering when one is coming to a theater near you? Here are seven film festivals happening in and around Houston that are sure to appeal to audiences of all sorts.

1. Wild & Scenic Film Festival

Event description: “Join the Citizens’ Environmental Coalition (CEC) for two nights of environmental inspiration as we host a Houston screening of the Wild & Scenic Film Festival on Tour. A selection of films from the Wild & Scenic Film Festival, North America’s largest environmental film festival, will bring two hours of beautiful, educational, and inspiring films to the big screen at River Oaks Theatre. We will show a different selection of films each night. It is our hope that the festival will increase community understanding of the connection we share with the planet and our roles as stewards of our natural heritage. We will also show a local environmental film each night to highlight the work of CEC’s 130+ member organizations.”

When: Jan. 28 - 29

Where: Landmark’s River Oaks Theatre 2009 W. Gray St., Houston, TX 77019

Website: www.cechouston.org

2. Inspire Film Fest

Movie lovers in The Woodlands attend a panel discussion at Inspire Film Fest.
Movie lovers in The Woodlands attend a panel discussion at Inspire Film Fest. (Inspire Film Fest)

Event description: “Come as you are to the 4th Inspire Film Festival in the beautiful, walkable spaces of The Woodlands, Texas. Our five-day festival is dedicated to entertaining and inspiring audiences with films, speakers, performances and special events that celebrate the human spirit. Centered around the theme, “Visionaries,” the 2020 Inspire Film Festival will showcase 30 feature-length and short documentary films that highlight local and international visionaries who inspire the world. Screened in multiple venues, from an outdoor Shorts Night to five Cinemark and state-of-the-art pop-up theaters, these incredible films can’t help but inspire attendees to leave different - whether sparking new conversations or connecting with organizations whose causes are underscored in the films. Come, watch amazing films, share stories of inspiration and generate creative ideas for how to help others. Come as you are. Leave different.”

When: Feb. 13 - 17

Where: 2005 Lake Robbins Dr. The Woodlands, TX 77380

Website: www.inspirefilmfest.com

3. Reelabilities Houston Film & Arts Festival

Event description: “ReelAbilities Houston Film & Arts Festival is a FREE citywide event that promotes inclusion and celebrates the lives, stories and talents of people with disabilities, making an impact that lasts far beyond the Festival.”

When: Feb. 16 - 19

Where: Edward’s Cinemas at Greenway Plaza 3839 Weslayan St., Houston, TX 77027

Website: www.reelabilitieshouston.org

4. Nacogdoches Film Festival

BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW for the 9th annual Nacogdoches Film Festival on February 20-22, 2020 at the iconic Fredonia Hotel...

Posted by Nacogdoches Film Festival on Saturday, January 18, 2020

Event description: “Join us for the 9th annual Nacogdoches Film Festival in the oldest town in Texas. Highlighting our Friday evening schedule will be entrepreneur and former world heavyweight champion George Foreman and legendary comedienne and actress Ruth Buzzi. In addition to our lineup of films, we also feature a variety of panel sessions with film industry professionals, in addition to competitions for best short film, best independent feature film, best documentary, best music video and best high school short film. All profits (after film festival expenses) go toward scholarships for film students. All of our staff are volunteers.”

When: Feb. 20 - 22

Where: The Fredonia Hotel & Conference Center 200 North Fredonia St., Nacogdoches, TX 75961

Website: www.nacogdochesfilmfestival.com

5. Prison City Film Festival

A HUGE Shout-out to all of these great indie filmmakers and the wonderful guests who attended last year's (2019) Prison City Film Festival. Thank you all for making PCFF a festival worth remembering!!!

Posted by Prison City Film Festival on Friday, January 10, 2020

Event description: “GET READY FOR THE 2020 PRISON CITY FILM FESTIVAL – A four-day international Independent Film Festival based on 12th Street, at the Old Town Theatre in Huntsville, TX! Its four-day roster will be packed with seminars, workshops, Q&As, networking, parties & live entertainment and of course, feature films, shorts and documentaries selected from the various categories of submissions with an exciting build-up towards a world-class awards celebration! PCFF is well worth the consideration of all indie filmmakers and film enthusiasts alike.”

When: Feb. 26 - 29

Where: Old Town Theater 1023 12th St., Huntsville, TX 77340

Website: www.prisoncityfilmfestival.com

6. Houston Latino Film Festival

Our poster for #HLFF2020 is here! We are grateful to collaborate with different artists from all around the world and...

Posted by Houston Latino Film Festival on Thursday, January 23, 2020

Event description: “We invite you to join us for a weekend to celebrate and enjoy compelling films from some of the brightest, emerging and established filmmakers from the U.S., Latin America, Spain and Portugal! The weekend follows with a fantastic lineup of short and feature films from all around the world! Expect more films and workshops for the 5th edition of HLFF! The Houston Latino Film Festival enjoyed another sold out festival in 2019, so make sure to get your badges today!”

When: March 19 - 22

Where: MATCH - Midtown Arts & Theater Center Houston 3400 Main St., Houston, TX 77002

Website: www.houstonlatinofilmfestival.org

7. WorldFest - Houston Independent Film & Video Festival

Event description: “WorldFest is the oldest Independent Film & Video Festival in the whole wide world. It evolved into a competitive international film festival in April 1968. It was founded by award-winning producer/director Hunter Todd to present a quality film festival for the independent filmmakers. The mission/vision statement of WorldFest is to recognize and honor outstanding creative excellence in film & video, to validate brilliant abilities and to promote cultural tourism for Houston, to develop film production in the region and to add to the rich cultural fabric of the city of Houston.”

When: April 17 - 26

Where: WorldFest Houston 9898 Bissonnet St. #650, Houston, TX 77036

Website: www.worldfest.org

You and your bestie at the film festival:

About the Author: