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About Our 2021 Sustainable Stories Film Fest

The inaugural edition of our Sustainable Stories Film Fest & Gallery Exhibition at the University of Houston Clear Lake included two live film screenings, panel discussions related to sustainability, an expo of vendors and organizations involved in local sustainability projects and a juried art gallery exhibition from Nov 4 - Dec 10th.  In seven screening locations, we screened a total of 86 short films from local and international submissions. Just under 40 of the screened submissions are from local & campus submissions, just under 50 of the screened submissions were sourced internationally through, coming from a total of 24 countries, including places like the UK, France, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, China, Taiwan & Iran, to mention just a few. The line-up included documentary films, animations, live action films, experimental films and video art pieces. The longest film is 25 minutes, the shortest one 53 seconds. We gave out one Best of Fest Award, 12 awards for best of a category, 12 awards for second place of category, six awards of third place of category & seven honorable mentions.


The two live screenings took place in our state of the Art 500-seat Bayou Theater on Wednesday, November 17 & Friday November 19. These two 90-minute screenings consisted of 13 short films sourced from the local call for submission and 13 submissions from international participants, altogether 26 films were screened.


The other submissions selected to participate in our festival were screened in our Black Box Cinema adjacent to our UHCL gallery space, as well as in our main gallery space. 

Our 15ft x 20ft (4.5m x 6.7m) Black Box screened in two separate loops, a total of 24 films. The screening was an immersive experience on an HD projector and a Bose sound system. Films were screened for the duration of the gallery exhibition Nov 4 – Dec 10. Like the gallery exhibit as a whole, this Black Box Screening received a constant stream of visitors, mostly students and faculty members. It was visited very well during our Gallery opening reception on Thursday, November 17 from 5:00pm – 7:00pm.


The screenings in the main gallery space were divided into a 4-TV Animation Cube Loop, a Video Art TV and separated screening corner. The selected animation films were looped 24/7 on four synced 42” TVs facing in four directions. This synced animation loop consisted of 12 individual films with a total running time of 26:16. The films were visible from inside and outside the gallery space in the main hallway of the University of Houston-Clear Lake campus. The Gallery is in a prime location in the lobby of our Bayou Building, the heart piece of our 10,000-student university. This animation cube was an attraction that enticed many students and faculty members walking by the gallery to come into the gallery. 


The selected Video Art pieces screened in a loop on a 42” TV in a central location as part of our SSFF Gallery Exhibition. The loop consisted of 9 pieces altogether with a total running time of 34:05 minutes. 


A separate screening area of our gallery was called Mark Kramer Korner in honor of the former chief naturalist of the Armand Bayou Nature Center adjacent to our university, with whom we had a video collaboration with our Digital Media Students to create video content for many years. This space screened the best of this collaboration work as well as a selection of videos from UHCL documentary Production and Video art classes.  


In the non-film part of our gallery exhibition, we had on display over 40 pieces from over 20 local artists. The exhibit included one wood sculpture, seven ceramics pieces, 21 photographs (9 printed & 12 projected), three prints, ten paintings, five jewelry pieces and five mixed media pieces. The pieces were submitted to the gallery through personal invitation, a call for submissions for UHCL students and faculty, including to the Art School for Children at UHCL, as well as a Houston-wide call for submission through the Texas online visual art magazine Glass Tire. 

2021 Sustainable Stories Film Fest Screenings

What Participants Say

"What a worthy festival! Thank you so much for selecting our film 'A Place at the Kauri Table' and awarding it second place in its category. It was very exciting for us to be part of such a wonderful event. We loved the public reach and connection with art - our film began in an art exhibition and was returned to it with augmented pride. The festival looked very well organised and we wished we could have been there in person to enjoy it, as I know we would have. Kia kaha (stand strong) from Aotearoa New Zealand. The world needs more of what you are doing."



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