Fall is a time for film festivals across Texas. Coming up in November of 2018 is the 10th anniversary of the Houston Cinema Arts Festival and the 12th annual Lone Star Film Festival, and kicking off on October 25 and 26 are festivals in two other cities: the Austin Film Fest in Austin, and Umbria in Sugar Land.
Founded in 1993, the Austin Film Festival brings together directors, writers, and others involved in filmmaking for a jam-packed few days of panels, screenings, and networking opportunities. This festival is particularly known for its focus on screenwriters and the myriad events it hosts involving work-in-progress scripts and writing workshops. The 2018 festival runs from October 25 – November 1, and this year features films starring Mickey Rourke, Natalie Portman, Liam Neeson, Bernie Mac, Melissa McCarthy, and many others.
The 2018 Austin Film Festival also received a FilmCraft grant from the The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The grant was established to “identify and empower future filmmakers from nontraditional backgrounds, cultivate new and diverse talent, promote motion pictures as an art form, and provide a platform for underrepresented artists.” This award will help the festival continue to present programming as diverse as its 2017 iteration, which featured more than 100 panelists who were women and/or people of color.
Also running from October 26 – 28 is the second annual Umbria in Sugar Land, a festival featuring Italian films. Hosted by the City of Sugar Land and the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the Sugar Land Cultural Arts Foundation, the festival will include five films from the 2018 Festival del Cinema Città di Spello ed i Borghi Umbri, which ran in February and March of 2018 in the town of Spello, Italy. For a full schedule of films, which will all be screened at the Sugar Land Auditorium (226 Lakeview Drive), please go here.