The H-Town Multicultural Film Festival (HTMFF) celebrates Houston's diversity through the power of cinema. 14 Pews will screen 19 features and short films over the course of three days. HTMFF is curated by two programmers: Bears Fonte, director of programming at the Austin Film Festival, as the guest curator for the shorts program; and Cressandra Thibodeaux, executive director of 14 Pews, who programmed the feature films.
Opening Night begins at 6 p.m. with cocktails and appetizers for festival badge holders and opening night ticket holders. The event includes beer donated by Saint Arnold Brewing Co. and appetizers courtesy of Whole Foods.
The Shorts Program I event, titled "The View from the Outside," screens Inocente by Sean Fine and Andrea Nix, Unravel by Meghna Gupta and Illegal by John Carey and Diana Espitia. Espitia will be onsite for a talk back.
The screening will be followed by drinks, snacks and music in 14 Pews' backyard for badge holders. From 10:30 p.m. to midnight, the after party moves to the Boom Boom Room, located at 2518 Yale St., which will feature music by Tommie Lee Bradley & Rock Romano and The Shuffle Brothers.
The film tells the personal and vibrant coming-of-age story about a young artist's determination never to surrender to the bleakness of her surroundings. At 15, homeless and undocumented, Inocente refuses to let her dream of becoming an artist be caged by being an undocumented immigrant forced to live homeless for the last nine years. Color is her personal revolution and its sweep on her canvases creates a world that looks nothing like her own dark past.
The film follows the Western world's least wanted clothes, on a journey across Northern India, from sea to industrial interior. They get sent to Panipat, a sleepy town and the only place in the world that wants them, recycling them back into yarn.
Through a series of interviews with undocumented kids, activists, policymakers, nonprofit leaders, educators and members of the clergy, Illegal seeks to raise the consciousness level of the American public regarding the importance of full immigration reform beginning with the Dream Act.