Lad: A Yorkshire Story, a well-made drama from England that screens Saturday and Sunday at Worldfest, is drawn from the personal childhood experiences of its writer-director, Dan Hartley.

Houston's Worldfest International Film Festival likes to boast that it "discovered" Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Ang Lee, Francis Ford Coppola and the Coen Brothers. We haven't asked them, but chances are those revered filmmakers won't quite remember it that way. Nevertheless, early works by those directors were screened at the little Houston festival that has been chugging along since 1961, making it one of the oldest film festivals in the country. Lucas and the Coens may have left the Bayou City as unknown as when they arrived, but locals who caught their budding efforts experienced the thrill of personally discovering promising talent. That's the kind of discovery that festivals like Worldfest are all about.

Worldfest International Film Festival
April 12-21
$7.50-$15
AMC Studio 30
2949 Dunvale, Houston, Tx
713-965-9955
worldfest.org

The 46th annual Worldfest festival kicks off tonight, with Filly Brown, a hip hop drama that stars Edward James Olmos, Lou Diamond Phillips and Gina Rodriguez. Olmos and Rodriguez will be in attendance, along with the film's director Michael Olmos, the actor's son. The festival runs through April 21. In all, 53 independent feature films and more than 100 short films will be shown at the AMC Studio 30 as part of the festival. In many cases, the directors and actors will be on hand for Q&As.  

The festival website has the schedule and details about each movie.

Movies will be shown from Hong Kong, Italy, India, Croatia, Dubai, Germany, France - from all over the world. There also will be quite a few Texas productions. Befitting a truly independent festival, the casts will feature mostly unknowns, but if movie stars are your thing Gary Busey, Edward Furlong, Lee Majors and Margot Kidder are among stars appearing in included features.

 

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