The 2022 Rockport Film Festival Kicks Off at New Rockport Center for the Arts - The Bend Magazine

The 2022 Rockport Film Festival Kicks Off at New Rockport Center for the Arts

The annual festival brings 40-plus film screenings across four days to the heart of downtown Rockport.

"Flying Turtle" is a short film submission from Ukraine and will screen at the Rockport Film Festival on Friday at 11 a.m.

Local film lovers rejoice! The 2022 Rockport Film Festival kicks off Thursday, November 10, and will continue through the weekend with over 40 screenings.

A joint venture of the Rockport Center for the Arts and the Rotary Club of Rockport, the Rockport Film Festival celebrates the power of storytelling in cinema with independent filmmaking from Texas and around the world. The festival features special events and over 40 independent films — 34 from the U.S., 19 of which are from Texas, and six international.

The annual cinematic event is expected to draw over 1,500 attendees to the Rockport community, allowing patrons to enjoy films rarely seen elsewhere without having to wait in long lines or travel to multiple theater venues. Endorsed by the Texas Film Commission, the Texas Commission on the Arts and the City of Rockport, the festival appeals to a local, regional and statewide audience of filmmakers and enthusiasts during a time that is generally considered an off-season for regional tourism.

“While the annual Rockport Film Festival is always well supported in terms of attendees and sponsorships, we are pleased by the apparent increase in interest we are seeing this year,” said Elena Rodriguez, managing director for the Rockport Film Festival. “Part of the excitement is likely attributed to the event being the first held at The Rockport Conference Center, the new home for the festival. It features state-of-the-art audio and visual capabilities, and is located in the heart of downtown where the event can grow and be the better each year.”

Lucky Doug is one of seven feature films being screened at the Rockport Film Festival. Still from Lucky Doug

The opening night event and all screenings take place this year at the Rockport Center for the Arts’ new 8,000-square-foot conference facility on the new Rockport Center for the Arts campus in downtown Rockport.

In addition to showcasing local, national and international cinematic talent, the festival also gives back to the community by funding various free and low-cost programs of the Rotary Club and Rockport Center for the Arts, including humanitarian aid, youth education, scholarships and free/low-cost arts and cultural programming.

The Rockport Film Festival kicks off Thursday, November 10, with the opening night red carpet event at 6 p.m. with local food and cocktails, followed by the screening of a full-length feature film, Deep in the Heart (2022), a stunning celebration of Texas wildlife and landscape narrated by Matthew McConaughey and directed by Ben Masters.

Without Getting Killed or Caught tells the story of musician Guy Clark. The documentary feature is directed by Tamara Saviano and will play on Friday at 7 p.m.

Festivities continue through the weekend with screenings of seven full-length features and five short film screening blocks, with each block lasting around 90 minutes and consisting of six to eight shorts. All films are independently produced outside of the Hollywood studio system, meaning they are privately financed projects that tend to be smaller in scale and budget. This year’s categories include documentary feature, fiction feature, documentary short, fiction short, animated short and student film.

The weekend also features several free events including happy hour socials on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at various downtown locations. Plus, an awards ceremony and brunch, hosted by the Rotary Club of Rockport, will be held Sunday at the Rockport Center for the Arts preceding the final films, with all Sunday events free and open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information on the festival’s programming, a full screening schedule or to purchase tickets, visit the website.