Artistic Director 2018
Reports To: Board Chairman
Works With: All Staff

Our founding Artistic Director, Richard Herskowitz, is retiring from HCAS after the end of this season. We wish him well as he heads to lead and program the Ashland International Film Festival. Thanks for 10 years of fantastic programming!


The Houston Cinema Arts Society seeks a visionary and experienced film programmer to join this dynamic organization as it embarks on its second decade. The ideal candidate does not have to be based in Houston, but will be available to spend time here as the position requires, including full-time during the two weeks prior to the November 2019 festival.
The Houston Cinema Arts Society (HCAS) has put the nation’s fourth largest city on the map among film industry professionals, artists, and film aficionados as a premier showcase for the moving image and the creative process. The organization celebrates and illuminates the vitality and diversity of the city of Houston by programming innovative cinema, mixed-media performances, new media, and installations.

HCAS launched its inaugural five-day Film Festival in 2009. In addition to its now-annual Houston Cinema Arts Festival (HCAF), held in November, HCAS presents a variety of initiatives and programs, including a growing schedule of year-round screenings, events, and performances, HCAS is proud to collaborate on many of its programs with a number of Houston’s finest arts, cultural, and other nonprofit organizations.

Houston Cinema Arts Festival is the most ambitious of the HCAS programs. This multi-day, multi-venue festival includes over 50 narrative and documentary films by and about the visual, performing and literary arts, an interactive video installation gallery, live multimedia performances, panel discussions, and free outdoor and student field trip screenings. In its relatively short history, HCAS has brought notable guest artists to Houston for HCAF. Past guests include Guillermo Arriaga, Abigail Child, Alex Gibney, Barbara Hammer, Ethan Hawke , James Ivory , Lynn Hershman Leeson, Richard Linklater, Shirley MacLaine, Barbara McCullough , Robert Redford, Isabella Rossellini, Tilda Swinton, Julie Taymor, John Turturro, Billy Woodberry and Lawrence Wright, among many others.

The most recent initiative related to the Festival is the CineSpace short film competition, a collaboration between NASA and Houston Cinema Arts Society that offers filmmakers around the world a chance to create work inspired by and using actual NASA imagery. The fourth edition of CineSpace will premiere at the 2018 HCAF.


Principal Programming Duties and Responsibilities of the HCAS Artistic Director:

  • Lead the annual process of programming films and guests for the five-day Houston Cinema Arts Festival that takes place in November. Identify and solicit a wide pool of media works by and about visual, performing, and literary artists. Work within program and guest artist budget to present the strongest and most artistically and culturally diverse program possible.
  • Arrange special screenings with major distributors for prime nighttime slots in festival program, including advance previews of upcoming major releases.
  • Facilitate the participation of special guests, such as leading actors or directors, to accompany their films.
  • Identify and help to confirm recruitment of suitable venues throughout Houston for special screenings.
  • Recruit guest artists to accompany the films and participate in Festival discussions.
  • Nurture and expand existing network partner organizations and individuals in the Houston arts community who will collaborate in the presentation and promotion of festival programs.
  • Within budgetary limits, facilitate “live” and interactive components to enhance screenings, including installations and live music, dance, and other performances.
  • Book films with artists and distributors, following up with HCAS office on the official confirmation of booking, payment, and shipping.
  • Conduct Q&A’s and arrange the participation moderators.
  • Cultivate and maintain relationships with key individuals, representatives, and groups in the independent film industry, and stay current on trends and issues within the industry.
  • Works as part of the staff team by participating, in person and remotely, in meetings and events, contributing to newsletters & social media, recommending HCAS year-round programming, participating in organizational planning and program development.
  • Is available to consult on CineSpace.

Other Duties and Responsibilities

  • Prepare and deliver presentations at HCAS events (e.g. Launch), to service and business organizations, at industry gatherings, and various festival training sessions.
  • Coordinate with HCAS staff to facilitate the highest quality film viewing experience.
  • Provide written blurbs for catalogue and website and publicity ideas and materials to support the promotion of films.
  • Be available for media interviews, remotely and in person, prior to the Festival.
  • Supervise the development and content of programming sections of catalogue, website, annual yearbook, writing and editing as needed.
  • Attend regional & national conferences and film festivals.
  • Work to continue to develop & engage diverse audiences, expand income sources, and build national recognition for HCAF.
  • Other duties as required.

The successful candidate is expected to spend one-third of his or her time annually on this position.


  • B.A. or M.A. in film or art, or equivalent professional experience.
  • 5+ years working as a film programmer, preferably at a festival.
  • Proven ability to thrive in a deadline-driven environment, while working both independently and as part of a team.
  • During the Houston Cinema Arts Festival, working long hours is a requirement. During the Festival we have an “all hands on deck” mentality where all staff does what it takes, no matter how unrelated the task is to the normal routine.

Salary and Benefits

  • Competitive salary commensurate with experience level.
  • Travel stipend including accommodations when in Houston.


Please send resume, one writing sample, and three references to

For more information visit

HCAS is a 501 (c) 3, equal opportunity employer. HCAS will not discriminate and will take “affirmative action” measures to ensure against discrimination in employment, recruitment, advertisements for employment, compensation, termination, upgrading, promotions, and other conditions of employment against any employee or job applicant on the bases of race, creed, color, national origin, or sex.  HCAS is committed in all areas to providing a work environment that is free from harassment. Harassment based upon an individual’s sex, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, religion or any other legally protected characteristics will not be tolerated. All employees, including supervisors and other management personnel, are expected and required to abide by this policy. No person will be adversely affected in employment with the employer as a result of bringing complaints of unlawful harassment.