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WorldFest Houston

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The Festival runs April 16-25, 2021 - Ten Great Days in April! @worldfest #Worldfest #FilmFestival #Festival #Houston #Texas  


You are cordially invited to be part of the upcoming 54th  Annual WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival! The oldest Independent Film Festival in the whole wide world! WorldFest gave first awards to giants of the film industry, including Spielberg, Lucas, Ang Lee, the Coen Brothers, Ridely Scott, John Lee Hancock, Guillermo del Toro, Randal Kleiser, Oliver Stone, David Lynch and literally hundreds more! We are happy to accept Online FilmFreeway Screeners! We have Big LG 110" Digital Screens for our juries! Not little laptops. Since we show our Remi Winners on big Cinemark Theatre screens, it seems right that we look at your production on a big flat screen! We do also accept DVD, BLURAY or USB FLASH/PEN/JUMP DRIVE for juding and for Theater Screening. Region Zero, please! (If you win a Remi, you may be screened on big Cinemark Theatre 60-foot screens to 600+ theater audience!! So we need a BluRay or Jump Drive for the DCP screening! Large juries view your entry on a big digital screen, not a little laptop! {Screenplay entries must be bound}! We will personally confirm your entry's arrival. We will personally let you know the jury results, and if you win a Remi Award, we will invite you to attend the 53rd WorldFest, and you will receive a complimentary $1,000 VIP Platinum Festival Pass! We do prefer Premieres! We discovered Spielberg, Lucas, Ang Lee, The Coen Brothers, Coppola and David Lynch, with their Premieres - those many new festivals did not! Therefore WorldFest requires a Premiere of some level, World, USA, South West! If your entry if it has been all over, we reserve those screening slots for true Premieres, but you could still win a Remi Award. 

Script Winners receive an InkTip Script Listing: A listing of your script on InkTip so that producers and reps can find you. 
InkTip helps writers sell their scripts and get representation. Producers have made more than 200 films from scripts and writers they found through InkTip.

WorldFest was founded over 54 years ago as Cinema Arts, an International Film Society in August, 1961. WorldFest became the third competitive international film festival in North America, following San Francisco and New York. WorldFest is the oldest Independent Film & Video Festival in the 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. Hunter Todd has been honored with more than 115 international awards for creative excellence in film production, and he has been the producer, director, writer and/or cameraman on more than 300 motion picture and video productions. He has served as the member of the International Jury on more than 27 world-wide film festivals, from Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Croatia, Korea, Ireland and Bulgaria. 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. All members of the WorldFest staff are filmmakers.


The 51st WorldFest Houston Winners


Grand Remi Winner NINE TO NIRVANA, Directed by Evan Lu, Starring Snow Li





Grand Remi Winner KAZANTZAKIS, Directed by Iannis Smaragdis. 



WorldFest-Houston, the third longest-running International Film Festival in North America, celebrated the conclusion of its 10-day run of film, fun and fanfare in its 51st annual edition with a 23% increase in overall audience attendance!  Kicking off WorldFest’s Opening Night festivities on Friday, April 20th with Ethan Hawke on hand to present his latest film, Blaze, on the life and times of Texas balladeer, Blaze Foley. Ethan Hawke received his Career Achievement Award from WorldFest founder Hunter Todd on Opening Night. Ethan won his very first award for Straight To One at WorldFest in 1993!

    WorldFest also celebrated its fourth annual Focus on China with the largest survey of new Chinese cinema outside of China and many attending directors looking for future joint ventures;  the 13th annual Panorama Italia in collaboration with Valeria Rumori, Director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Los Angeles, CA. (IIC), featuring Raffaella Covino’s Lend a Hand (Dammi un Mano), Giancarlo Iannotta’s My Country, Francesco Paladino’s Accordions and Antonio Padovan’s The Last Prosecco. Closing weekend festivities included the WorldFest Remi Awards Gala on Saturday night (April 28th) that culminated with a Sunday morning NASA Rocket Park visit and Galveston Bay Regatta and barbeque hosted by The Houston Yacht Club. Filmmakers and HYC Skippers alike danced to the tunes of Gary Michael Dahl and his great band with perfect Houston sunshine. 


WorldFest 2018 Grand REMI Awards are: 

Kazantzakis, Iannis Smaragdis, Greece 
Nine to Nirvana, Evan Lu, China.

Slip the Lines, Tom Nitsch, Tom Nitsch Images, Hamburg, Germany

Falling for Vermont, David Winning, Groundstar MDW Entertainment, Calgary, Canada

Formosa 3D, Studio Gene Young 3D Image Company, Taipei, Taiwan

Plicker, ByungJun Kim, Gyeonggi-do, Republic of Korea    

“Carry” Cadillac, Publicis, New York, NY, USA

Laboratory Conditions, Joe Russell, Joe Russell Productions, Los Angeles, CA, USA

A Life Together, Simon Direen, Swinburne University, Hawthorn, Australia

The Modern Lives, Bill Plympton, New York, NY, USA
The Last Game, Phil Kaufman, Nashville, Tn. USA


The 2018 Houston Broadcast Film Critics’ Choice Awards for the 51st WorldFest are: 
Best Picture; If I Could Run, Shawn Welling
Best Actress; Snow Li for Nine to Nirvana
Best Actor; Odysseas Papaspiliopoulos for Kazantzakis
Best Supporting Actress; Emily Landham for Strategy and Pursuit
Best Supporting Actor; Ali Mohammad Radmanesh for Golnesa
Best Young Actor; Luke Colombero for The Divide
Best Young Actress; Preslee Bishop for If I Could Run


The Best International Feature, sponsored by the Russian-American Publication, went to The Little God (Kunju Daivam) and director Jeo Baby, a lighthearted & comedic children’s tale of faith from India with young award winning actor Adish Praveen.


The full WorldFest Awards Remi list is available online at 
WorldFest-Houston 52nd Annual Independent International Film Festival will be held April 5-14, 2019. Entries officially open August 1st, 2018. Main deadline is December 15, 2018. Final Brick-Wall entry with late fee penalties is January 15th, 2019.


To wrap up, WorldFest offered a tiered closing bill of Houston Filmmaker Shawn Welling’s most recent offerings including a full length feature, Strange Bird, coming attraction of American Ghost Tail in one full theatre; Official Closing China feature, The Lord of Shanghai in its North American Premiere with Director Sherwood Hu on hand to present his opulent period piece of Shanghai at the end of the Opium wars. Director Hu won a Special Jury Award for his film as well as Best Director of 2018, Best Special Effects & Best Art Direction. The final and Official Closing Film was Sebastián Lelio’s Disobedience which went into a second theatre due to its great audience turnout!

On April 26, 27 and 28th, WorldFest conducted Nine Film Industry Seminars concluding with the Indie Forum of WorldFest feature film Directors. Nick Nicholson kicked-off with the ever popular So You Want to Make a Movie? followed by Shawn Welling’s Cut to the Dog, then Norman Ray Fitts’ Scriptwriting Tips, SAG-AFTRA & Casting session, Gary Chason’s Actors’ Workshop for the Cinema, Jon C. Scheide’s Producing in the Trenches, John Streeter’s NASA Clips, Duncan Johnson’s All about Drones, and last but certainly not least an Indie Directors Forum moderated by multi-award Remi and 2018 Grand Remi winner in Television, David Winning from Calgary, Canada.

WorldFest’s Remi Awards Gala on Saturday, April 28th was held in The Marriott Westchase Hotel, VIP partner and official host hotel for the 51st annual WorldFest.  Festivities began with a cocktail reception hosted by Boxer Property.  Two members of the 5-time World Champion Bagpipe Band of Houston’s St. Thomas Episcopal School launched the awards segment by piping in festival founder, Hunter Todd. Pastorini Bosby Talent provided the award presenters. Dance entertainment was presented by Singer DAI Ying Xuan “If I Ain’t Got You,” Chinese Traditional Dance “Rainbow” by Diana Feng, and mesmerizing dance performance by Yubin Song and Eric Tong with Bellaire High/Emotion Dance Team “Money on My Mind” with a grand finale by Shawn Welling’s Planet Funk Academy’ and Mecca Dance Project premiere dancers who performed a high-energy dance mix created especially for the gala.

     All film premieres screened at the recently renovated with Leather Luxury Reclining Memorial City Cinemark Theatres and brand new cinema partner headquartered in Plano, TX. Other major VIP Partner/Sponsors include Boxer Properties, Lopez Negrete Communications, Memorial City Mall, Maggianos Little Italy, Marriott Hotels, The City of Houston, The State of Texas, Action Limo, Masterpiece International, The Houston Arts Alliance, Avis/Budget Rent a Car, NASA, , The Wellness Center, The Houston Yacht Club, Regent University.


WorldFest history: WorldFest, founded as an International Film Society in August 1961, became the third competitive international film festival in North America, following San Francisco and New York.  WorldFest evolved into a competitive International Film Festival in April 1968 and has a long list of “discovered” film greats such as Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, David Lynch, Ridley Scott, Oliver Stone, Atom Egoyan, Randal Kleiser, Ang Lee, Robert Rodriguez, the Coen Brothers, John Lee Hancock and many others from their beginning efforts for film submissions early in their careers.  Multi award-winning producer/director, Hunter Todd, founded this film festival to honor all categories of film and video production continuing his long dedication of “Discovery,” spotlighting emerging Independent filmmakers as “the Spielbergs & Ang Lees of tomorrow.”

    WorldFest’s mission is to recognize and honor outstanding creative excellence in film & video, validate brilliant abilities and promote future filmmaking in Texas as well as enhance cultural tourism for Houston and environs.  The 10-day festival ran to a smooth finish with 15 World Premieres, 12 women directors and several sold-out full houses.

              All other award results from this year’s WorldFest competition and photos from the Awards Gala are posted on our website – There were more than 4,300 entries in all film and video categories; only 12-15% of submitted entries placed for WorldFest Remi awards. During the 10-day festival, over 650 filmmakers from more than 43 nations around the world were in attendance to personally accept their various awards from this year’s WorldFest’s competition of thousands of submitted category entries.


The WorldFest Remi Award is named for the brilliant artist Frederic Remington, who captured the Spirit of Texas and the West with his remarkable paintings and sculptures.
instagram: @worldesthouston
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About WorldFest Houston

Haney Kathleen
(WorldFest-Houston Intl Film & Video Festival)

Kathleen Haney is the Artistic & Program Director of the  52th Annual WorldFest-Houston. She has been associated with WorldFest since 1983 and has been the Program Director since 1998. She was born in Mexico City, speaks Spanish, English and French and graduated from the Univ. of Houston in 1979 cum laudi.
She has served on several international juries and also directs the WorldFest Screenplay Competition.

Hunter Todd is the Chairman & Founding Director of WorldFest-Houston. A former filmmaker, he produced, directed and shot more than 300 films of all types - from features to TV Commercials, and was awarded 117 Intl Awards. He is a retired USCG/Merchant Marine Captain and still sails as much as possible, including the annual HYC Regatta at WorldFest. Married with a 21 going-on-29 daughter who is attending Mary Baldwin College in Virginia. He has served on the Intl juries of more than 25 festivals, most recently was President of the Intl Jury of the Concorto Intl Film Festival in Italy and The Golden Bell TV Festival in Seoul, Korea...
Fun, Fun Fun! Great Films, Great wine, wonderful food, super people! 


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