International in scope, but local in flavor, the 14th annual Rockport Film Festival once again celebrates the growing power of cinema with some of the best independent filmmaking from Texas and around the world.

Presented by the Rotary Club of Rockport and the Rockport Center for the Arts (RCA), the Nov. 12-15 Rockport Film Festival features 32 independent films, including 10 made in Texas, and nine international films.

All screenings are held at Movies Inc. Aransas in Aransas Pass. This year’s event will comply with health and safety rules, including socials distancing, 50% capacity in theaters and a mask requirement.

The Festival kicks off Thursday, Nov. 12, with the Red Carpet Event being held at a private residence on Copano Bay. Considered the premiere social event of the fall season, the event features a cocktail hour catered by local restaurants and concludes with the screening of a full-length feature. The opening night film, Death in Texas, centers around Billy, recently released from prison and willing to do whatever it takes to save the only person who has stuck by him, his mother Grace, who desperately needs a liver transplant — and she is all out of legal options.

The Festival continues Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at Movies Inc. Aransas (1277 SH 35 North Bypass, Aransas Pass) showcasing films presented in blocks throughout the weekend. This year’s event includes five full-length features with four short-film blocks of five to eight films, each lasting approximately 90 minutes. On Sunday, there will be an awards ceremony following the final block of films.

Tickets are $50 for the Red Carpet Event, which is limited to 125 guests, and $5 for each scheduled individual film block, with a limited number of VIP Passes also available for $100. VIP Passes provide priority entry to all Festival events and reserved seating for all screenings. The Sunday screening and awards ceremony are free.

“We are so excited to be able to come together and experience the art of cinema in the wonderful City of Rockport,” said Elena Rodriguez, managing director for the Rockport Film Festival. “With so many of our favorite activities being cancelled this year, we have worked diligently to organize and plan the Festival in accordance with state safety guidelines to provide an enjoyable experience for all.”

There are six categories -documentary feature, fiction feature, documentary short, fiction short, animated short, and student film. All films are independently produced outside of the Hollywood studio system, meaning they are privately financed projects that tend to be smaller in scale and budget.

Endorsed by the Texas Film Commission and Texas Commission on the Arts, the Festival is an annual retreat providing opportunities for hundreds of attendees, including filmmakers, professionals and enthusiasts from across the state and beyond, to network or just relax and enjoy films rarely seen elsewhere without waiting in long lines or navigating multiple theater venues.

The event also gives back to the community by providing funding to many free and low cost programs of the Rotary Club and RCA, including humanitarian aid, youth education and scholarships, as well as Arts, and cultural programming.

Specially priced rooms for those attending the Festival are available at the Hampton Inn Rockport-Fulton and Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Rockport.

For tickets and more information, including a complete schedule, go to RockportFilmFestival.com.

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