Sign up to receive news and special offers!


Sign up to receive news and special offers!


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.

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 needed a platform to generate awareness for the film and the importance of organ donation. Josh realized one major issue, there was not a major sports film festival in the US. Josh began to formulate a plan, knowing there were more filmmakers like himself that needed a festival platform 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. In addition to supporting organ donation, HISFF will also have a track of programming that will highlight the importance of racial equality. We will use film as an educational tool to help carry on the conversation as we lead up to the festival 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.


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.

We have partnered with Event Horizon Films to create a script writing contest for the festival. Enter your sports script into our Sports Script Championship!!!

We are also having an art contest for kids! Create a Mini-Mascot for the film festival. Please ask your kids to use their imagination and make a character that represents Sports, Film And Houston!

Enter your kid’s artwork here

Submit your film via Film Freeway today!

Please contact us via email if you have any questions. 




Need to connect with us?


Festival Founder

Josh Merwin –

Festival PR Contact:

Bianca Bucaram – |