HOUSTON –– Houston Cinema Arts Society’s sixth annual JULYDOSCOPE – a free evening of music, dance, and film at Discovery Green Park on Saturday, July 16 – will showcase the powerful and award-winning human rights film Sonita. JULYDOSCOPE 2016 will begin with high-energy, multi-dance company performances at 7 PM on the Anheuser-Busch Stage followed by the screening of Sonita at 8:45 PM.

The entertainment at JULYDOSCOPE will kick off with scintillating and energetic performances from dance companies Sonkiss’d, Urban Souls, Holding Space Dance Collective, and Flamenco Room/Sirrom Studio, as well as performances by Houston rapper Genesis Blu and spoken word artist Natasha Carrizosa. Immediately thereafter, the audience at Discovery Green will be treated to the Houston premiere of the moving film Sonita, which profiles aspiring young Afghan rapper Sonita Alizadeh as she fights to rise above the restrictive gender norms in her homeland to fulfill her dream of becoming a hip-hop artist.

Sonita is an intimate portrait of the unique journey undertaken by Sonita Alizadeh in her native country of Afghanistan. From Iranian director Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami, Sonita poignantly shifts from observer to participant, altering expectations and revealing the intimate connections a new generation of women directors are making with their subjects. Winner of both the Word Cinema Jury Prize: Documentary and the Audience Award: World Cinema Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival, Sonita is a film that has inspired and moved audiences as it documents Sonita’s pursuit to become a hip-hop artist juxtaposed against her battle to prevent being sold by her family as a child bride.

“I am thrilled that Houston Cinema Arts Society is able to bring JULYDOSCOPE back to the Houston community for a sixth year with a film as powerful and uplifting as Sonita,” commented HCAS Artistic Director Richard Herskowitz. He added, “The audience will love the young protagonist from the moment she bursts onto the screen with her infectious passion for hip-hop and her undeniable will to rise above the gender roles in Afghan society.”

JULYDOSCOPE Homepage: http://cinemartsociety.org/events/event/JULYDOSCOPE-2016-free

“Sonita” Trailer: https://youtu.be/B47MbpPuz7A 


Houston Cinema Arts Society (HCAS) is a non-profit created in 2008 with the support of former Houston Mayor Bill White and the leadership of Franci Neely. It organizes and hosts the annual Houston Cinema Arts Festival, a groundbreaking and innovative festival featuring films and new media by and about artists in the visual, performing and literary arts. The festival celebrates the vitality and diversity of the arts in Houston and enriches the city’s film and arts community. HCAS sponsors include Premier Sponsor Houston First Corporation, Signature Sponsor Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, Featured Sponsor Levantine Films, Media Sponsor Texas Monthly and many others. HCAS is also supported in part by grants from the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance, The Brown Foundation, Inc. and Texas Commission on the Arts. The 8th Annual Houston Cinema Arts Festival will take place from Nov. 10-17, 2016. For more information, please visit hcaf16.org.


Discovery Green is a 12-acre park created by a public-private partnership between the City of Houston and the non-profit Discovery Green Conservancy. Since the park opened in April 2008, it has welcomed more than 5 million visitors and hosted more than 2,000 public and private events. The Discovery Green Conservancy works with hundreds of programming partners to present three dynamic programming seasons each year most of which are FREE and open to the public. As a non-profit organization, the Conservancy raises all the funds needed for the programming that Houstonians enjoy. Learn more at www.discoverygreen.com.