WorldFest was founded over 53 years ago as Cinema Arts, an International Film Society in August, 1961. WorldFest became the third competitive international film festival in North America, following San Francisco and New York. WorldFest is the oldest Independent Film & Video Festival in the Whole Wide World. It evolved into a competitive International Film Festival in April, 1968.

WorldFest was founded by award-winning producer/director Hunter Todd to present a quality film festival for the Independent filmmakers. Hunter Todd has been honored with more than 115 international awards for creative excellence in film production, and he has been the producer, director, writer and/or cameraman on more than 300 motion picture and video productions. He has served as the member of the International Jury on more than 25 world-wide film festivals, from Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Croatia, Korea, Ireland and Bulgaria. He is the longest running Film Festival Director in the whole wide world! The mission/vision statement of WorldFest is ~ To recognize and honor outstanding creative excellence in film & video, to validate brilliant abilities and to promote cultural tourism for Houston, to develop film production in the region and to add to the rich cultural fabric of the city of Houston. All members of the WorldFest staff are filmmakers.

WorldFest is one of the oldest and largest film & video competitions in the world, with more than 4,574 category entries received from 74 nations in 2020. Actually WorldFest is 10 Major film & video competitions in one event, unlike Cannes, Sundance and Toronto, which are just 2 competitions for shorts and features only.



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