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About Our 2022 Sustainable Stories Film Fest

Our festival is is kicked off by a 4-day event, scheduled for November 9 – 12, 2022. During these four days we will not only have film screenings  and performances in our 500-seat UHCL Bayou Theater and the 90-seat Armand Bayou Nature Center Lecture Hall, both of which have recently been renovated and optimized for film screenings. We will also have the official opening of our gallery exhibition in the UHCL Art Gallery, which will consist of a Black Box Screening Theater, several other screening spots throughout the gallery, as well as sustainability-related physical art, such as framed photographs, paintings, graphic design pieces, pottery and sculptures. (The UHCL gallery exhibition will be open to the public from November 7 - December 9.) During the 4-day event, we will also conduct several panel discussions, a vendor exhibit of local sustainability organizations as well as a concert of the Houston band the Free Radicals and a workshop by Houston up-cycle artist Charles Washington. This intense four-day event is followed by an ongoing bi-weekly screening series of long and medium format films at UHCL and ABNC.


We accept films and physical artwork for the theater screenings and the gallery show in a variety of categories until August 25. All films and still images for projection should be submitted by Filmfreeway. For the submission of physical art pieces for the gallery exhibit, please send up to three photographs + an artist statement to by August 25. 

All participating pieces have to be about an aspect of sustainability. This does not only include environmental sustainability, such as sustainable water usage, sustainable energy usage, sustainable city planning, sustainable agriculture & gardening, resilience, etc., but also social sustainability and social justice, economic sustainability and educational sustainability. Films about sustainable outdoor fun and recreation and sustainability-themed music videos are also invited to participate. This year's festival has two special focus areas: 1) Sustainable Use of Water and 2) Environmental Activism. Particpating productions can be documentaries, narrative films, animations, VR / AR productions, experimental films, video art, etc. Still imagers are also accepted. Films and other artwork of our 2022 SSFF edition are judged by Mary Magsamen, long-time curator at the Houston-based Aurora Picture Show. Confirmed participants for our panel discussion on environmental activism are at this point Chanté Davis and Bryan Parras, both of which have extensive and impressive records advocating for environmental sustainability in the local Houston area and beyond.


Our festival partners with several local sustainability-focused organizations, among which are the Armand Bayou Nature Center (ABNC) and the Houston Citizens' Environmental Coalition (CEC). The ABNC is a direct neighbor to the university. It is one of the largest urban wilderness preserves in the United States & contains 2500 acres of the natural wetlands forest, prairie and marsh habitats, housing over 370 species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. The CEC was founded in 1971 to foster dialogue, education, and collaboration on environmental issues in the Houston / Gulf Coast region. It connects concerned citizens and community leaders with well over 100 diverse environmental organizations. CEC shares, supports, and enhances people's efforts and environmental advocacy. Among other things, the ABNC will host several of our screenings, the CEC will help building a local sustainability-focused audience for the festival.


This second edition of our festival builds on a successful inaugural edition in 2021, which screened over 80 films in altogether 7 screening locations and was attended by over 1000 people.

All Film, Digital Photography, VR and AR submissions must be made through our Film Freeway Site. For Artwork submissions (sculptures, framed photography, potter, etc. Please Email:

SSFF 2022 Categories


Super Extremely Short Films - films up to one minute long

Extremely Short Films - films from one to three minutes long

Short Films - films up to seven minutes long

Medium Length Films - between eight minutes to 45 minutes long

Long Format Films - between 45 and 90 minutes long

Local Films (Houston/Galveston Area) - films must be either made by filmmakers from the Houston/Galveston area or ABOUT the Houston/Galveston area

Photographs and other non-time-based projects - digital photos, AR and VR

Special Festival Focus #1: Environmental Activism

Special Festival Focus #2: Responsible Use of Water

Experimental Films & Video Art

VR & AR films & Installations

Indigenous Films - Films made BY members of indigenous groups of films ABOUT indigenous causes

SSFF 2022 Rules

1) Every participating film or artwork has to be about an aspect of sustainability  
2) By submitting to this festival, each filmmaker grants the festival the permission to use still frames & up to 30 seconds of each film for promotional purposes on the festivals website & associated social media accounts. 
3) By submitting to this festival each filmmaker ensures that he / she has all necessary rights to do so. 

SSFF 2022 Judging

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Mary Magsamen, MFA

Mary is a curator, educator and artist. She is currently working as an independent curator on large scale public art video projects. From 2008 – 2022 she was the Curator at the Aurora Picture Show in Houston, Texas, a media arts organization that specializes in experimental film, video and art. She is the recipient of an Andy Warhol Foundation Curatorial Fellowship and a FACE Curatorial Fellowship. For the Aurora Picture Show, Mary curated, among other things, their annual Extremely Shorts festival. She also judged for the Ann Arbor Film Festival, the New Orleans Film Festival, Houston Arts Alliance, University of Houston, Sam Houston State University, Kingwood Community College, and Texas Commission on the Arts. Prior to Aurora Picture Show, Magsamen curated independently and taught in University programs at The New School University, University of Toledo and University of Houston. Magsamen has a collaborative interdisciplinary artist practice with her husband, Stephan Hillerbrand, as Hillerbrand+Magsamen. Mary holds an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan,

All Film, Digital Photography, VR and AR submissions must be made through our Film Freeway Site. For Artwork submissions (sculptures, framed photography, pottery, etc. please email: