Family, Community, and Shorts: A Project Row Houses / MFAH Collaboration

Friday through Sunday, July 13–15, 2018
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, presents Family, Community, and Shorts: A Project Row Houses / MFAH Collaboration, a weekend film series celebrating the 25th anniversary of Project Row Houses (PRH). The films, co-programmed by Ryan N. Dennis, curator and programs director at PRH, present themes of family, community, and identity. For more details visit,

Personal Problems
(Directed by Bill Gunn, USA, 1980, 165 min. with intermission)
*Introduced by Dr. Alvia J. Wardlaw, MFAH Honorary Trustee and Director of the University Art Museum at Texas Southern University
Friday, July 13, at 7 p.m.
A true discovery, this ensemble piece explores black middle-class lives with candor and emotional intensity. The groundbreaking two-part series, originally made for television, stars Walter Cotton, Vertamae Grosvenor, Jim Wright, and Sam Waymon, with music by Carman Moore, and cinematography by Robert Polidori. Released theatrically for the first time in 2018, the film was called “a rediscovered milestone in independent black cinema” by Bomb Magazine.

(Directed by Spike Lee, USA, 1994, 115 min.)
*Introduced by Ryan N. Dennis, Curator and Programs Director of Project Row Houses
Saturday, July 14, at 7 p.m.
Spike Lee’s funny seventh feature, inspired by his own upbringing, is about a teacher (Alfre Woodard), her stubborn jazz musician husband (Delroy Lindo), and their five children living in a close-knit Brooklyn neighborhood. Life’s inevitable challenges are lifted up by an exceptional soundtrack by Terence Blanchard, with songs from Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield, the Stylistics, Sly and the Family Stone, James Brown, and the Jackson 5.

Short Films
The weekend closes with a selection of new and classic short films followed by a discussion with filmmakers Brian Ellison and Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour, Jr. moderated by Amarie Gipson, Mellon Curatorial Fellow and Eszter Simor, Curatorial Fellow.
Sunday, July 15, at 5 p.m.

black enuf*
(Directed by Carrie Hawks, USA, 2017, 23 min.)
Creatively weaving together family stories, interviews, and a variety of illustrative styles, this animated autobiography explores the filmmaker’s identity as a queer person of color.

Born With It
*Presented by filmmaker Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour, Jr.
(Directed by Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour, Jr., USA, 2015, 15 min., in English and Japanese with English subtitles)
A half-Japanese, half-black boy intends to prove to his new Japanese classmates that dark skin is not a disease.

A Day in the Tr3
*Presented by filmmaker Brian Ellison
(Directed by Brian Ellison, USA, 2017, 7 min.)
This film follows a young man through his Third Ward neighborhood which is rapidly changing due to gentrification. Even in the midst of the changes, he experiences the day to day beauty that hides in plain sight and embraces all that his community continues to offer.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
The Caroline Wiess Law Building / Brown Auditorium Theater
1001 Bissonnet Street

Admission is $10 for the general public and $8 for MFAH members, PRH members, students with ID, and senior adults. Visit to purchase advance tickets.
Film Buffs is the Museum’s membership group for movie lovers. Visit or call 713.639.7861 for more information.

Funding The MFAH film department is supported by Tenaris; the Vaughn Foundation; Franci Neely; Nina and Michael Zilkha; American Turkish Association-Houston; Lynn S. Wyatt; James V. Derrick; ILEX Foundation; and L'Alliance Française de Houston.

Media Contact
Sarah Hobson, publicist
713.800.5345 /

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