Two years ago, The Woodlands resident Jane Minarovic attended a film festival that inspired her so much that she decided to introduce movies that celebrate the human spirit to her hometown through the Inspire Film Festival.
Under Minarovic’s direction, 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 kickoff Feb. 23 with an outdoor short film series that will be free and open to the public. Beginning the night of Feb. 24, 10 feature-length films will be viewed among three movie theaters located inside the Market Street Cinemark and The Waterway Cinemark theaters.
Minarovic said she will announce the festival lineup as the event nears.
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 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,” she said. “And 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 of teens and adults. A children’s event is also in the works for the morning of Feb. 25 at The Woodlands United Methodist Church.
“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,” she said. “I just thought there were so many great films that have gone through other festivals that didn’t get seen.”
Four hundred film festival passes will go on sale in December at www.inspirefilmfest.com. A weekend-long pass will cost $100. However, there will also be a more expensive pass that will include entry to the filmmaker dinner and a less expensive pass which will include four feature-length films.
“I just want anyone who comes to leave wanting to be a better person,” Minarovic said. “I think it will start a conversation with people about how one little act can turn into something beautiful.”