NASA and Houston Cinema Arts Society (HCAS)’s inaugural CineSpace short film competition is ready for liftoff, opening for submission June 1, with a celebrated Houston filmmaker on board to help select the winners. 

Academy Award-nominated director, producer and screenwriter Richard Linklater – a Houston native who won best director honors at the 2015 Golden Globes and BAFTA Awards for his film “Boyhood” – will help NASA and HCAS judge the contest entries. CineSpace will offer filmmakers around the world a chance to share their works inspired by and using actual NASA imagery available at, with a total of $26,000 in cash prizes up for grabs. Finalists and winners will be announced during the 7th Annual Houston Cinema Arts Festival.

“I look forward to seeing what the filmmakers do with the NASA footage,” Linklater said. “As someone who grew up in Houston during the Space Age, a fun, exciting time to be a kid for sure, I’ve always been fascinated by all things NASA. I’ve been a big supporter of the Houston Cinema Arts Festival from its beginnings in 2009, and I think this competition is a great new component for it drawing on Houston’s Space City identity.”

Linklater was a featured guest at HCAS’ Houston Cinema Arts Festival (HCAF) in 2009, 2011 and 2013. He received the festival’s annual Levantine Cinema Arts Award for his contributions to cinema in 2013 at a 20th anniversary presentation of his cult classic “Dazed and Confused”.

CineSpace is open to all filmmakers, both professional and aspiring. Submissions of all genres, up to 15 minutes running time, will be accepted. Entries must use at least 10 percent publically available NASA imagery and video collected throughout the agency’s 50-year history. Judging criteria includes creativity, innovation and attention to detail, the same hallmarks of spaceflight. The submission period opens June 1 and closes July 31.

Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three submissions and the two films that best demonstrate the themes “Benefits of Space to Humanity” and “Future Space Exploration.”

“CineSpace is a new and untested chance to inspire the next generation of explorers,” International Space Station Program manager Michael Suffredini said. “This unique opportunity allows others to help tell the story of humanity’s place in the cosmos as they see it, with the help of NASA’s vast library of moving and still imagery. Exploration and discovery, which are central to NASA’s mission, are as connected to human psyche as is art, so we are excited to see how artists can help to communicate that mission.”

The Houston Cinema Arts Society is a non-profit organization created in 2008 that organizes and hosts the annual Houston Cinema Arts Festival, an expertly curated festival dedicated to films about the arts and the only film festival of its kind in the United States. The Seventh Annual Houston Cinema Arts Festival will take place from November 12-19, 2015.

NASA’s journeys into air and space continue to power inspiration that encourages future generations to explore, learn and build a better future. The next decade of exploration will be a time of rapid advancement and innovation as humanity stands poised to take the next giant leap to Mars and beyond.

For more information on CineSpace, competition guidelines and the submission process, visit:

To browse NASA video and imagery, visit:

For more information about the Houston Cinema Arts Society, visit:

For more information about the Houston Cinema Arts Festival, visit: