As Love, Marilyn producer Amy Hobby strolled down the red carpet for opening night of the Houston Cinema Arts Festival, she couldn't help reminiscing about her days as an intern at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, her formative years as a Will Rice College resident at Rice University soaking in art, art history and film, studying with Brian Huberman and crafting narrative and documentary projects in Super 8 mm film at the Rice Media Center.
She admits her distant connection to the Hobby family proved beneficial in avoiding a few traffic citations. Wouldn't anyone do the same?
When Hobby was approached by Houston Cinema Arts Society artistic director Richard Herskowitz to feature it as part of the opening fete she seized the opportunity.
Love, Marilyn made a splash at this year's Toronto Film Festival, and HBO recently purchased the film. So although the documentary had already broken through the industry's red tape, when Hobby was approached by Houston Cinema Arts Society artistic director Richard Herskowitz to feature it as part of the opening fete she seized the opportunity to return to Houston for a visit.
Moreover, she has a project in the works with a local connection, but she's keeping those details under wraps — for now.
Joining her from the glam of the flickering entrance to a quaint second floor gallery for bubbly and nibbles were filmmakers Lincoln Mayorga, who shared with passersby his three-decade adventure chronicling the life of Jewish pianist Sofia Cosma for what eventually would become A Suitcase Full of Chocolate, Lourdes Portillo, Phil Solomon and Neil Cantwell.
(Freakish weather in New York prevented Love, Marilyn director Liz Garbus from getting to Houston for the opening night festivities.)
Following the jammed-packed, two-hour screening, the 300 moviegoers ascended to the Caroline Wiess Law Building's main hall for live music, flowing beverages, well-stocked montage of hors d'oeuvres and amicable chit chat.
In the mise-en-scène were Franci and Jim Crane, Lynn Wyatt, Minnette Boesel, Diane Lokey Farb, Ceron, Susie Criner, Gracie Cavnar, Ernie Manouse, Toby Kamps, Gary Tinterow and Christopher Gardner, Alton LaDay and Jonathon Glus, Todd Waite, Tod Eason, Dr. Romy Mitchell, Sarah Gish, Roz and Alan Pactor, Cynthia Neely and MFAH's film curator Marian Luntz.
The Houston Cinema Arts Festival continues through Sunday with a packed schedule of movies at several Houston venues.