Two years ago, The Woodlands resident Jane Minarovic attended a film festival that inspired her so much, she decided to bring that same celebration of the human spirit to her hometown through the Inspire Film Festival.
Under the direction of Minarovic, the inaugural Inspire Film Festival will take place Feb. 23-26 along The Woodlands Waterway and Market Street. The event will showcase 10 feature-length films and seven short films, based on true stories.
“I live in The Woodlands and I thought we were kind of primed for a big cultural event like this,” Minarovic said. “There’s not another of the 4,000 film festivals in the world that just focuses on movies that inspire you.”
The festival will kick-off with an outdoor short film series Thursday evening that will be free and open to the public. Beginning Friday night, 10 feature-length films will be viewed between three movie theaters located inside the Market Street Cinemark and The Waterway Cinemark.
Minarovic said she will announce the festival lineup closer to the event.
“I realized I had a whole list of films that celebrated the human spirit, but you would probably only see them if you were going to film festivals because they’re not the kind of films that would make it to the theatres,” Minarovic said.
Throughout the weekend, each film will be shown twice and will be followed by a panel discussion and accompanying live entertainment. All of the films have been previously screened at other film festivals and were released in the past five years.
“It will just kind of remind people how cool it is to go into a dark room and be surrounded by image and sound and experience something together, rather than just watching Netflix on your phone,” Minarovic said. “And then when the film is over and the actual people walk out in front of you—it’s unbelievably exciting.”
All of the films are rated PG however, due to subject matter the festival is geared toward an audience teen-aged and older, Minarovic said. Minarovic is also working on a children’s event for Saturday morning, which would take place at The Woodlands United Methodist Church.
“We’re hoping to grow it each year,” Minarovic said. “This year we’re not taking film submissions but we’re going to start gradually doing that so that brand new films will come in. I just thought there were so many great films that have gone through other film festivals that didn’t get seen so there’s kind of a wealth of films to choose from.”
400 film festival passes will go on sale in early December online at www.inspirefilmfest.com. A standard weekend-long pass will cost $100, however there will also be a more expensive pass which will include special events, such as the filmmaker dinner and a less expensive pass which will include four feature-length films.
“I just want anyone who comes to just leave with a great feeling and wanting to be a better person,” Minarovic said. “I think it will just start a conversation with people about how one little act can turn into something beautiful.”