The CineMarfa Film Festival Celebrates Its Fifth Year this May 7 - 10 in Marfa, Texas

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The full lineup of the 2015 CineMarfa film festival will be announced on March 1st on, and on the CineMarfa Facebook page.

The Crowley Theater is the home of the CineMarfa film festival. Photo by Alberto Halpern

Film Comment magazine recognized CineMarfa as one of a small group of "forward-looking" festivals that take a cutting-edge approach to programming by eliminating the notion of categories.

This May 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th, the CineMarfa Film Festival will celebrate its fifth continuous year of bringing avant-garde cinema to light in far West Texas. Focusing on films made by visual artists and rarely screened cinematic gems of all formats and genres, CineMarfa has been called "the best film festival in the state" by Glasstire magazine: "Being small, independent, and way out of the way allows the festival’s head chef David Hollander and his handful of collaborators the freedom to create a good cinematic experience without having to explain, justify, categorize, or hype their adventurous, eclectic programming."

In 2013, Film Comment magazine recognized CineMarfa as one of a small group of "forward-looking" festivals that take a cutting-edge approach to programming by eliminating the notion of categories. "Our approach to programming the festival is really to think of it as one continuous program that evolves and expands rhizomatically from year to year." says Co-Director David Hollander. "Each year's program revisits certain thoughts, themes, and artists explored in previous years -- it's like extending and deepening an ongoing conversation."

The adventurous and somewhat underground organization - a 501c3 - has recently expanded its board of Advisors and board of Directors as part of a slow, careful growth plan. The newest director is Louis Black, co-founder of The Austin Chronicle (where he is editor) and SXSW (where he is a director). A founding board member of the Austin Film Society, Black’s involvement with CineMarfa began in 2011, when he brought Eagle Pennell's newly restored 1978 indie classic The Whole Shootin’ Match to screen at the first edition of the CineMarfa film festival.

CineMarfa began as the brainchild of a group of artists and other creative people who are all full or part-time residents of Marfa, including artists Christopher Wool, Jeff Elrod, and Rob Weiner (who is Associate Director of the Chinati Foundation). The visually stunning landscape and laid back vibe of the artists' community in Marfa have added to CineMarfa's reputation amongst the cognoscenti as one of most unique film festival experiences in the US. The transcendent, art-saturated desert setting has attracted a loyal audience of artists, cineastes, and other adventurous souls who are willing to make the long journey to Far West Texas each year for a next-level film-going experience.

Over the years CineMarfa has hosted a diverse array of talent, including Harmony Korine, Mark Flood, Cat Power, and Larry Clark. The freeform nature of the festival gives participating artists the leeway to try new things -- Flood gave the first public presentation of his videos there, Korine premiered a performance featuring a live monologue as he screened his favorite YouTube clips, and Cat Power live-scored The Passion of Joan Of Arc. And the informal, small-town setting offers a unique set of conditions for artists and audience to interact. Black wrote about the festival in the Austin Chronicle in 2013: "CineMarfa is damn well programmed, but what makes it so unique and outstanding is the same thing that so defines Marfa: the people. The discussions after the screening combined with the often impressive projects locals are working on keep the air electric."

While it maintains close ties with the New York art world and the Austin film scene, CineMarfa is also committed to incubating and nurturing new local talent, and each year the work of Marfa based artists is featured at the festival. Screenings can include everything from work made by local high school students to films made by West Texas artists that have gone on to win awards at larger international festivals. They've also offered several free film making workshops to the community, where participants are enabled to make new films using techniques like Direct Animation, found footage, or shooting with Super-8.

The full lineup of the 2015 festival will be announced on March 1st on CineMarfa's website,, and on their Facebook page. For more information, call Jennifer Lane at 432-295-0752.

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Jennifer Lane
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