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06 Nov 2009

Cinema Arts Festival Houston, November 11-15, 2009

Cinema Arts Festival Houston


November 11 - 15, 2009



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HOUSTON, TX (November 3, 2009) – A stellar lineup of artists are participating in Cinema Arts Festival Houston, a jam-packed multimedia event scheduled for November 11-15, 2009. The arts oriented Festival will host photographer Susan Meiselas, members of The Yes Men and the Ant Farm media collective, among many other outstanding presenters.

The only U.S. festival devoted to films by and about artists of all stripes, the 2009 Cinema Arts Festival Houston runs at various cultural locales throughout Houston. It is more than just a film festival; it is a vibrant multimedia arts event breaking out of the confines of the movie theater through live music and film performances, outdoor projections, interactive video installations and more.

'Creative Partners: The Films of Richard P. Rogers and Susan Meiselas' includes several screenings and events exploring the fruitful partnership of filmmaker Richard P. Rogers and photographer Susan Meiselas, including the Houston premiere of one of the year's most original and important documentaries, The Windmill Movie. Directed by Alexander Olch and produced by Pulitzer Prize–winning photographer Susan Meiselas, The Windmill Movie is imaginatively composed from footage collected over many years for an unfinished autobiography by legendary art documentarian, experimental filmmaker and film professor Richard P. Rogers.

Meiselas, who was Rogers' wife, collaborated with him on two classic documentary films made in the 1980s in support of the Nicaraguan people and revolution, Living at Risk and Pictures from a Revolution. Meiselas will be joined by Alfred Guzzetti, who co-directed Pictures from a Revolution and Living at Risk with Rogers and Meiselas, for discussions after the screenings.

Cinema Arts Festival Houston's commitment to multiple and intersecting genres of art is realized with several multimedia events, including media art installations.

One such attraction is H BOX, the portable screening room designed by Portuguese artist/architect Dider Fiuza Faustino and sponsored by the Hermès Foundation. H BOX is stationed at the historic Alabama Theatre through the close of the Festival and features a rotating, diverse program of videos by ten internationally renowned artists including Yael Bartana (Israel), Matthew Buckingham (USA) and Cao Fei (China). H BOX Curator Benjamin Weil will visit Houston and speak in a 'Meet the Makers' series.

Another multimedia attraction is the special preview of What if, Why not? Underground Adventures with Ant Farm, a documentary by Texas filmmakers Laura Harrison and Beth Federici about the 1970s renegade architectural and media collective Ant Farm. Inflatable structures inspired by Ant Farm and created by University of Houston students will supplement the screening. What if, Why not? is the first film to delve into the work of Ant Farm, best known for its iconic land-art piece Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, TX. Guest filmmakers Laura Harrison and Beth Federici and legendary artists and Ant Farm original members Chip Lord and Curtis Schreier will attend the screening.


Andy Bichlbaum of the Yes Men will present The Yes Men Fix the World. Winner of the Panorama Audience Award at the Berlin International Film Festival, the film is a screwball true story about the satirical activist team, the Yes Men. Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno's theatrical performances take place on unusual stages. Dressed in thrift-store suits, posing as top executives of corporations, the Yes Men lie their way into business conferences and parody their corporate targets in outrageous, yet strangely plausible ways.

New media artist Lynn Hershman Leeson will be joined by actress Tilda Swinton for a presentation of their feminist sci-fi cult classic, Teknolust. Swinton will also present her tribute to filmmaker Derek Jarman, Derek, which she wrote and Isaac Julien directed. Swinton is participating in a four-program series entitled 'The Worlds of Tilda Swinton.'

Holly Fisher
will present Everywhere at Once, which she co-directed with fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh. It is the story of a woman recovering her ability to dream and to feel is embedded in a complex, shifting weave of text (by poet Kimiko Hahn), photographic images (by Peter Lindbergh) and music (by Lois V. Vierk). Throughout, the viewer is guided by the magnetic voice of Jeanne Moreau. Fisher will also display her Fundy Blues series of prints, derived from images from her film Bullets for Breakfast, at the Festival Headquarters in the Alabama Theatre.

When It Was Blue, a critical sensation at last year's Toronto Film Festival, is a double-projector performance to be presented by avant-garde filmmaker Jennifer Reeves with live musical accompaniment by Icelandic multi-instrumentalist and composer Skúli Sverrisson. When It Was Blue, which features ecological footage Reeves shot around the world that was then hand-painted, seeks to convey the artist's efforts to preserve the beauty of natural environments and 16mm film, both endangered. Reeves will also present her feature narrative film, The Time We Killed.

Bernice Rose, currently the chief curator of The Menil Collection's Drawing Institute and Study Center, was director of the Pace Wildenstein Gallery in New York when she joined with its owner, Arne Glimcher, to develop an ambitious gallery show on the influence of early cinema on painters Braque and Picasso. Out of the exhibition came this film, directed by Glimcher, Picasso and Braque Go to the Movies, which Rose will introduce and discuss.

'Meet the Makers' is a series of in-depth discussions with featured artists and professionals offering exciting opportunities to peek behind the scenes of filmmaking at its most creative. Sessions include:

Experimental Film and the Visual Arts

The moving image as imagined by two acclaimed artist-filmmakers, Jennifer Reeves and Holly Fisher, will be explored in relation to painting, sculpture and photography.

H BOX: A Conversation with Benjamin Weil

Benjamin Weil, the artistic director of H BOX, an innovative mobile screening hall presenting short films by ten international artists, talks about commissioning video artists and the evolution of this exciting collaboration of art and commerce.

The State of the Arts on Video

This workshop will be an in-depth panel discussion about the distribution possibilities for films by and about visual and performing artists. Panelists include Fredericka Hunter, Patrick Kwiatkowski, Marian Luntz and Kelly Sanders.

Festival Curator Richard Herskowitz combed several sources and festivals, including Toronto and Silverdocs, to bring Cinema Arts Festival Houston the best recent films made by and about artists. Highlights include La Danse: Le Ballet De L'Opera De Paris by Frederick Wiseman, Who's Afraid of Kathy Acker?, Theater of War, Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench and Sacred Places.


Tickets and cost-effective Festival Wristbands and Badges are on sale on the Festival Web site, and at Festival headquarters, located at the historic Alabama Theatre, 2922 South Shepherd, Houston, TX 77098.

A full listing of the Festival's programs, films and events can be found at:

About Houston Cinema Arts Society and Cinema Arts Festival Houston

Houston Cinema Arts Society (HCAS) is a non-profit organization created in 2008 under the direction of a dedicated task force with the support of Houston Mayor Bill White and the leadership of Franci Crane to organize and host Cinema Arts Festival Houston, a ground-breaking and innovative film and multimedia arts festival featuring art by and about artists and celebrating the vitality and diversity of the arts in Houston and enriching the city's film and arts community. HCAS is funded in part by grants from the Crane Foundation, City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance and the City of Houston Convention and Entertainment Facilities Department. Cinema Arts Festival Houston debuts in Houston November 11 – 15, 2009. Tickets can be purchased online at or in person at Festival headquarters, located at the historic Alabama Theatre, 2922 South Shepherd, Houston, TX 77098.