The sixth annual Houston Cinema Arts Festival will start this year's festivities with a screening of Julie Taymor's A Midsummer Night's Dream complete with The Lion King (Broadway version) creator herself.
Another highpoint will be director James Ivory (known for A Room With a View, Howard's End and The Remains of the Day) here to present this most recent film City of Your Final Destination (2009) as well as Mr. and Mrs. Bridge (1990) and The Remains of the Day (1993).He'll also be receiving the Levantine Awards from Levantine Films, previously awarded to Isabella Rossellini, Ethan Hawke, Robert Redford and Richard Linklater.
Academy Award contenders Wild and The Imitation Game will be shown during the November 12-16 festival that is being done once again to celebrate artists in the visual, performing and literary arts.
Alley Theatre Artistic Director Gregory Boyd will moderate a conversation with Taymor on Wednesday November 12, right after her film screens.
In the area of visual art, the festival is presenting an exhibit entitled "Street Scenes: Street Photography and the Moving Image."
Not to be complete homers but we don't quite understand why the only artists in this exhibit are from New York City -- James Nares, Jem Cohen, Ken Jacobs and Cheryl Dunn -- and we suggest that in next year's festival, HCAF could look at bringing in at least some representation from among Houston's many visual artists. The visual art exhibition is being "supplemented" by a video installation by Cary Wolfe and Maria Whiteman at Rice University entitled "Roadside Kestrel/Mountain Pine Beetle" that looks at Texas's bugs.
Actually the festival did decided to do something extra for our locals. It is launching an Instagram contest for Houston street photography.
Winning photos from the contest, dubbed #HCAFstreet, will be displayed at the festival's "Street Scenes" street photography exhibition at the Brandon Gallery from Nov. 12 to Dec. 12, and the top winning photographers will be awarded passes to HCAF 2014.
Contest guidelines: Post an image on Instagram of a scene taking place on any city street in Houston. Images can depict people, street art, objects or any scene that occurs in a Houston street. Share the image on Instagram and tag it with #HCAFstreet. Full rules and regulations are available at houstoncinemaartsfestival.org/stories/social-media-contest. Submissions will be accepted until the contest ends on Friday, Nov. 7, at 11:59 p.m.
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Winners of #HCAFstreet will be selected by Cheryl Dunn, who will launch the "Street Scenes" exhibition with a screening of her film Everybody Street on Wednesday, Nov. 12. The first place winner will be recognized at the launch and receive two All-Access Passes to the festival, valued at $600 apiece. Second place will receive two Weekend Passes ($150 apiece). Remaining finalists will receive two One-Day Screening Passes ($80 apiece).
Contest winners will be announced on Tuesday, November 11 at hcaf14.org and on the festival's social media platforms and blog.
And Miller Outdoor Theatre will host the U.S. premiere of Sons de L'ame (Sounds of the Soul) choreographed by Stanton Welch, artistic director of the Houston Ballet.
Events will take place at a variety of venues including the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and Miller Outdoor Theatre. For more information about the schedule, venues and tickets, check out the festival's website. single tickets: $8-$25 and day passes $80-$600.