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The first annual Houston International Sports Film Festival will debut June 3-6, 2021!

We are looking for stories that go beyond the field and show the relationship between sports and life. HISFF founder, Josh Merwin, is proud to present this game changing festival.

Our mission is to provide emerging filmmakers with a platform to launch and make a positive impact in people’s lives through the power of film.

We will launch in conjunction with the virtual World Transplant Games, to make a major impact for Organ Donor Awareness.

We will launch in conjunction with the virtual World Ransplant Games, to make a major impact for Organ Donor Awareness.

We will also have a programming track that celebrates the history of the Athlete Activists, continuing the conversation of racial equality.

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

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: Mascot@hisff.org

Please contact us via email if you have any questions.

Why we need your financial support…

In addition to funding the festival, your support will allow us to give back by:

  • Continuing the conversation for racial equality, through a track of programming focusing on athlete activists.
  • Helping student filmmakers create short films on the first Black athlete at their university.
  • Hiring filmmakers to give directors a review of their submitted film.
  • Allowing HISFF to be a platform for filmmakers to launch their films and careers.

We are fortunate that we can receive tax-deductible donations through our fiscal sponsorship with the Houston arts organization SWAMP.

Please help us by donating below!!!



Welcome to the 1st Annual Houston International Sports Film Festival! Please join us for one all of our events!
Our first vents is a Charity Golf Tournament at the Golf Club of Houston on June 2nd at 8am. Sign up here: https://hisff.org/our-events/#golf-tournament

You don’t applaud a fish for swimming and you don’t applaud the justice system for providing justice.

But thankfully, today, we can breathe a sigh of relief.

Jackie Robinson's achievements laid the foundation for so many people that followed him in breaking down barriers. On Jackie Robinson Day all MLB players will wear the number 42. Over 100 MLB players are donating their salary to the Players Alliance.

Join us on our Youtube channel as we celebrate National Donate Life month with a new reading series for kids, Story time with Newton! You can catch the premier today at 10:30am on our Youtube page, https://buff.ly/3sRnvxo

Register to be an organ donor at https://buff.ly/HwfTCA

HISFF is excited to celebrate Women's History Month! Stay tuned for our interview series that will be focused on female athletes for March! Check out this kids book on Althea Gibson. Althea set a great example for generations that followed her footsteps. https://buff.ly/2OhSRy4

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Need to connect with us?

Festival Founder:

Josh Merwin – josh@joshmerwin.com

Festival PR Contact:

Bianca Bucaram – bianca@bucaramprg.com | bucaramprg.com