WorldFest-Houston Intl. Festival Wraps 49th Season
“Small Budgets ~ Giant Leaps!”
WorldFest-Houston, the third longest-running International Film Festival in North America, and the Oldest Independent Film Festival in the world, celebrated the conclusion of its 10-day run of film, fun and fanfare in its 49th annual independent film showcase with a 9% increase in box-office. WorldFest opened this year’s edition with record turnouts for Last Man Club directed by Festival Alumn, Bo Brinkman. Barry Corbin was in attendance to receive his well deserved WorldFest Lifetime Achievement Award. Closing night honors went to Charles Irving and Lakisha Lemons for their faith-based narrative entitled Hope.
WorldFest celebrated its Eleventh Annual Panorama Italia in collaboration with Valeria Rumori, Director of The Italian Cultural Institute in Los Angeles, CA. (IIC) and the Italian Consul Elena Sgarbi in Houston featuring six compelling new Italian Independently produced films, two of which are World Premieres. Magic World (Mondo Magico) by Raffaele Schettino and The Invisible Player directed by Stefano Alpini.
WorldFest-Houston is also proud to present The Second Annual Panorama China, a very special initiative in collaboration with the Cultural services of the Consular office of the People’s Republic of China and Dream River Studios in Houston. Many famous directors, producers and talented Chinese film stars and celebrities such as Kang Yue-Sai, Chuan Lu, Haiying Sun, Liping Lv, Zhifei Wang, Dinghan Zhang, Li Yin and Zhigang Wang attended to pay tribute to Lisa Lu, actress, singer and producer whose work has spanned over 5 decades and also pioneered the way for other Chinese actresses to work in Hollywood.( 2012 The Last Emperor & The Joy Luck Club). She won the Golden Horse Awards three times in the 1970 & is an Honorable Lifetime Judge of the Oscar Awards. Mme Lisa Lu received her well deserved WorldFest Lifetime Achievement Award at a special China Night Awards ceremony at the beautifully restored Majestic Metro Theater in Downtown Houston on Sunday, April 17th. Also present was Yue-Sai Kan, Chinese American Emmy-winning television host and producer, entrepreneur, bestselling author and humanitarian. People Magazine has named her "the most famous woman in China" and Time magazine proclaimed her "the Queen of the Middle Kingdom."
Other festival highlights include the buzz-creating, The Blimp Trap, based on a true story of Harwood Taylor and directed by festival artist-in-residence, Shawn Welling featuring his rising star actors, Blaze Tucker and Isabella Blake-Thomas; 3 zany comedies, Adopting Trouble, (Lee Gardner); The Truth About Lies(Phil Allocco); and The Adventures of Paul & Marian, (Jay Stern), a romantic comedic musical. Audience favorites included Rum Runners (William Nelson), a tale of boot-leggers who take to the sky to bring in their illegal cargo, based on true events during the Prohibition Era and Dream Factory (Arun Chidambaram) an inspiration musical drama from Chennai, India. Sold out screenings included Compact Density of Stone, the opening film of Panorama China, the life story of paramount leader Deng Xiao Ping; Until 20 (Geraldine Moriba, Jamila Paksima), the life story of James Ragan, a courageous young man who bravely fought his childhood cancer and outlived his prognosis by almost 7 years; and The Blimp Trap (Shawn Welling).
Closing weekend, April 16 & 17th, included matinee screenings of award-winning Short subjects, a Grand Awards Gala on Saturday night and Closing Day festivities~ a V.I.P Tour of NASA/Rocket Park and The WorldFest/Consular Regatta & Barbecue hosted by The Houston Yacht Club. All events are always open to the public.
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, Leslie Linka Glatter, Randal Kleiser, Ang Lee, Robert Rodriguez, the Coen Brothers, Gavin Hood, 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 special film festival to honor all categories of film and video production continuing his long dedication to “Discovery,” spotlighting emerging independent filmmakers who are to be “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 strong finish with several sold-out screenings despite a torrential deluge on the Closing Night. WorldFest highlights Independently produced cinema from all over the globe with over 37 nations represented and has initiated a new focus called “Emerging Perspectives” an outreach for cinema from remote and undiscovered sectors of the globe. Over 550 filmmakers were on hand at this year’s festivities over the 10 day period.
All film premieres screened at the Flagship AMC Studio 30 Theatres, a 10 year WorldFest-Houston Cinema partner. Other major VIP Partner/Sponsors include Arcodoro Ristorante, Boxer Property, The Houston Arts Alliance (HAA), Doubletree by Hilton at Greenway Plaza, The City of Houston, Avis/Budget Car Rental, NASA/Rocket Park, HBU Fitness Center, and The Houston Yacht Club. Lopez Negrete is the award-winning ad agency of record for the film festival.
The WorldFest Remi Awards Gala opened with Houston’s St. Thomas Episcopal School award-winning Scottish bagpipers featuring Emily Smith piping in Festival Founding Director, Hunter Todd, followed by the enthusiastic filmmakers amidst a bevy of Pastorini Bosby award presenters. Dance entertainment was courtesy of Nelly Fraga’s Ambassador Intl. Folkloric Dancers, Professor Yice Long performing the traditional Chinese Dance “Change Face” with his student Leo Mann - The Zhoujie & Xiaohui Dance Group performing a piece called “MASK”and a grand finale by Shawn Welling’s Planet Funk Academy’s lead dancers.
On April 16, 17, and 18th , WorldFest conducted 9 Film Industry Master/Class Seminars, Nick Nicholson’s ‘Film Critic’s View’, Gary Chason’s Actors Workshop; Mykel McCoslin & Trish Avery’s SAG/Aftra & Casting; Casey Kelly’s ‘Script to Screen;’ Leigh Murray’s “Based on a True Story;” NASA Producer/Director John Streeter, NASA Archivals; Dr. Mitchell Land, Regent Univ. Dean’s “Ethics of Place, Character, Dialogue and Culture in Film” and concluding with An Indie Directors Forum moderated by multi-time WorldFest award winner, Canadian director David Winning.
The WorldFest 2016 Grand Remi Awards went to:
BEST THEATRICAL FEATURE ~ Last Man Club ~ Bo Brinkman, Last Man Film Group, LLC. Houston, Texas, USA.
BEST FILM & VIDEO ~ Go Lucy Go, Vince Williams, Dallas, Texas, USA.
BEST TV & CABLE PRODUCTION ~ Living with Terrorism, Alexander Feist Deutsche Welle-Hauptstadtstudio, Berlin, Germany.
BEST TV COMMERCIAL ~ ATF- The Superbowl Commercial You Missed, George Kenyon, Klutch Creative, Los Angeles, CA.
BEST NEW MEDIA ~ Giuseppe Castiglione: Lang Shining New Media Art Exhibition, Michelle Wang, National Palace Museum. Taipei City, Taiwan.
BEST SHORT SUBJECT ~ The Light Thief. Eva Daoud, Manama, Bahrain.
BEST STUDENT FILM, Chocolate Pudding, Jonatas Da Silva, Regent University, Virginia Beach, VA, USA.
BEST MUSIC VIDEO ~ Zara Larsson, MNEK - "NEVER FORGET YOU", Richard
Paris Wilson, Dallas, Texas, USA.
WorldFest Best Actor Remi Awards went to: Best Actress, Kate French in Last Man Club, director Bo Brinkman, USA; Best Actor, Quantae Love in Popolo director, Edo Natasha, USA; Best Supporting Actress to Brittany Allen in Look Again, director Daniel O’Connor, Canada; Best Supporting Actor to Lee Hyun-Woo in Northern Limit Line, director Kim Hak-Soon, South Korea. WorldFest continues with a new Talent recognition category with its Best Rising Stars: Cristiana Capotondi in Elementary Loves (Amori Elementari) director Sergio Basso, Italy and Julian Feder in Po, director John Asher, USA are this year’s winners.
The Russian-American Business Magazine/Publications sponsored for the Tenth consecutive year, The Best Foreign Film award which went to Compact Density of Stone, directed by Wang Ping with his team of 9 present to receive this accolade.
All other award results from this year’s WorldFest competition & Awards Gala are posted on our website at www.worldfest.org. There were more than 4,300 category entries in all film and video competitions, from 74 nations, and less than 12% of submitted entries placed for WorldFest Remi awards. During the 10-day festival, over 550 filmmakers from more than 34 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.
Dates for WorldFest-Houston 50th are April 21-30th, 2017. Please check our website at https://worldfest.org/remiwinners/2016.pdf for the full winners’ list or call 713-965-9955 for more information.
“Call for Entries” for next year’s event will be E-mailed out in mid August. Entries officially open September 15th, 2016. Main deadline is December 15, 2016. Download official entry forms from our website starting Sept. 15th.