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Why start a festival like this?

Our founder, Josh Merwin, has a background in sports photography and filmmaking. While looking for an interesting and impactful story about an athlete, he found the story of Carson Kainer, a University of Texas baseball player who needed a kidney transplant to save his life and allow him to chase his dream of playing professional baseball.

What started as a photo essay quickly grew to become a feature length documentary film. Josh documented Carson and his family’s life for over 6 years and then again once Carson’s son started playing baseball. Hoping to make a major impact for organ donor awareness, he came up with ideas on how to show the film in unique ways to generate added awareness for the film and its cause. After working so long and hard on the film and knowing how impactful it would be, he wanted to have the correct venue to share this story.

Josh was forced to take a break from the project while he and his wife went through IVF and fought to bring their premature twins into this world. Thankfully, they now have adorable, healthy twins!

It was during this time away from the film that Josh began thinking about how he could have a successful forum for the film. While thinking about the next steps, he realized one major issue, there was not a major sports film festival in the US. Josh then began to formulate a plan, realizing there were more filmmakers like himself that needed a platform like he did to launch their projects. Josh is a Houston native and once he decided to start a sports film festival, he knew that Houston would be the perfect place to host. Even better is that Houston is hosting the World Transplant Games in 2021! 

Josh wants the festival to open opportunities for other filmmakers and show films that make an impact on the audience and the world! With your help and support, we can make this dream come true for generations of filmmakers.

Sign up to receieve news and special offers!

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Submissions for the inaugural Houston International Sports Film Festival are now open!!!

 

One of the reasons HISFF founder Josh Merwin wanted to take submissions now is so that we can give back by hiring those people in the film industry to watch and review the film submissions. It is our hope that this opportunity will give filmmakers a reason to look to the future with excitement and positivity for what is to come. Our goal will be to give filmmakers who are making submissions in the early submission deadline, an actual review of their film. We will do our best to extend this through the rest of the submission calendar, if possible. We know the film festival submission process can be an uncertain investment and the HISFF looks forward to giving filmmakers a more substantial return on their invested time and money.

 

Submit your film via Film Freeway today!

Please contact us via email if you have any questions.