MountainFilm Festival Guide

Man with 84 kids, family that refuses to buy from China are highlighted in Houston's most profound film festival

Man with 84 kids highlighted in Houston's most profound film festival

Mountainfilm Festival
Mountainfilm Festival brings exciting new documentaries with its return to Houston for the fourth year. Courtesy photo.

The MountainFilm festival is roaring back into Houston for the fourth time, bringing the Bayou City a lineup of 15 new captivating films and documentaries. Mountainfilm on Tour returns to the Asia Society Texas Center on Friday and Saturday for two nights of gourmet food, drinks and worldwide thought provoking movies. 

Jack and Shushana Castle, who fell in love with the inspiring films, brought the traveling version of the Mountainfilm Festival in Telluride to Houston more than three years ago.

“The festival has been very welcomed by the Houston community, the Houston people are very intelligent caring group of people who want positive change for the better,” Shushana Castle tells CultureMap.

Shushana describes the lineup as adrenaline packed films geared toward inspiring viewers to get up, get involved and affect change.

The Castles started Mountainfilm through a non-profit organization,, which is dedicated to the discussion of worldwide issues, cultures and environments worth sustaining.

Shushana describes this year’s lineup as adrenaline packed films geared toward inspiring viewers to get up, get involved and affect change. The films range from four-minute shorts to full length documentaries, but cover topics that will raise awareness and stimulate conversation.

“I hope that at least one film that touches the hearts of everyone and that they will be thought provoking inspiration call to action somewhere in the person's life and provoke inspiration that creates a call to action," Castle says.

Out of the 15 films showing in this year's festival, Shushana highlighted three to particularly watch out for this weekend.

Xmas Without China

Xmas Without China is an eye opening film about an American family who chooses to remove everything in their house that is made in China, and refrain from buying anything with the label during the holiday season. Xmas without China is both entertaining and educational and portrays the valuing and devaluing of globalization in our world.

Tashi and the Monk

Set in a remote community in the Himalayas, Tashi and the Monk is a deep, profound movie highlighting the journey of a former monk who runs and orphanage for abandoned children. The 40-minute film is a story about a man who has dedicated his life to uplifting his family of 84 children.


This film explores how the thousands of dams in the United States are ultimately damaging the ecosystem. This intense documentary, directed by Telluride veteran Ben Knight, ventures into the heart of the Condit Dam in Washington State and will open the eyes of many to the environmental issue caused by dams.

The festival will take place on Friday and Saturday nights, starting at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $25 for members of Asia Society, $30 per for nonmembers, or $55 for both nights and can be purchased here.