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Cinema Arts Festival Houston Draws Stellar Guests

Of the hundreds of film festivals held each year in the U.S., Cinema Arts Festival Houston, held November 10-14, 2010, is the only festival specifically programmed to celebrate films by and about visual, performing, and literary artists. With support from city leaders, enthusiastic patrons and a highly developed network of arts organizations, the festival is a truly civic project, conceived to highlight one the most vibrant and diverse arts communities on earth.

Joining for the festival's sophomore year are silver screen icons Isabella Rossellini, Shirley MacLaine, and John Turturro. Ms. Rossellini will present her own short works produced for the Sundance Channel, Green Porno and Seduce Me at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, where she will receive Houston-based Levantine Entertainment's Levantine Cinema Arts Award. At the Rice Media Center, co-founded by her father Roberto Rossellini 40 years ago, Ms. Rossellini will present a special screening of Viaggio in Italia, the 1954 film directed by her father and starring her mother, Ingrid Bergman. Ms. MacLaine will be on hand to accept the Texas Film Award at a screening of the classic Houston, Texas film, Terms of Endearment. Actor and Director John Turturro will kick things off on opening night with a screening of Passione, his new "musical adventure" about Neapolitan music and dance. Alex Gibney, who directed the Academy Award-winning Taxi to the Dark Side, will present My Trip To Al Qaeda (2010), and his current project, Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer (2010); he will be joined by collaborators, and award-winning authors Lawrence Wright and Peter Elkind. Bill Plympton, the king of independent animation, will present his masterful new feature, Idiots and Angels, and the winning films he selected for this year's Independent Exposure 2010.

The 2010 Cinema Arts Festival has assembled a first rate program of the very best international films by and about artists. Featured films include Fox Searchlight's Black Swan, a psychological thriller set in the world of New York City ballet starring Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, and Winona Ryder; Lions Gate's Rabbit Hole based on David Lindsay-Abaire's 2007 Tony Award-winning play of the same name starring Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart and directed by John Cameron Mitchell; the literary adaptation Memories of Overdevelopment (2010), introduced by Cuban-American director Miguel Coyula; Sundance Audience Award-winner Waste Land; International Festival of Films on Art Jury Award-winner The New Rijksmuseum (2008); and Silverdocs Sterling Feature Award-winner Woman with the Five Elephants (2009) among many, many others. In a special, free-to-the-public screening, Mark Landsman's multi-award winning Thunder Soul (2010) - a documentary about Houston's Kashmere High School Stage Band - will be presented at Discovery Green and accompanied by a live performance by the Kashmere Reunion Band. More live music and film performances are slated for the Frenetic Theater, where Brent Green and his band will accompany Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then and The Quavers will perform with Danny Williams: Factory Films and Sam Green and Dave Cerf's Utopia in Four Movements.

The festival will also celebrate the growing tradition of Texas films with selections including lens-based artist Robert Ziebell's 1990 experimental This State I'm In – a Wizard of Oz-inspired tale featuring a cast of Houston art world notables – and The Texas Filmmakers Showcase, a special screening event consisting of the best of Texas short films and videos. French filmmaker Frederic Laffont and Houston's own world-class rodeo superstar Clint Cannon will be on hand to present two of Laffont's works about Cannon and his family, Ballad for a Cowboy (2006) and the work-in-progress Cowboy Solitude.

ABOUT HOUSTON CINEMA ARTS SOCIETY

Houston Cinema Arts Society is a non-profit organization created in 2008. With the support of former Houston Mayor Bill White and the leadership of Franci Crane, HCAS organized and hosted the 2009 Cinema Arts Festival Houston, a groundbreaking and innovative film and multimedia arts festival featuring films and new media by and about artists in the visual, performing, and literary arts. The festival celebrates the vitality and diversity of the arts in Houston and enriches the city's film and arts community. HCAS is funded in part by grants from the Crane Foundation, The Brown Foundation, Inc., Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, City of Houston Convention and Entertainment Facilities Department, Houston Arts Alliance, Houston Film Commission and Texas Film Commission. The second annual Cinema Arts Festival Houston will be held November 10-14, 2010. For more information and a complete schedule of events, please visit HCAS at www.cinemartsociety.org.

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