A Southeast Texas film professor and director whose works have been featured around the world is set to premiere her latest work at the Prison City Film Festival next week.
The Prison City Film Festival and its three days of activities will allow attendees to catch films from dozens of directors. However, some of the best works are made right here in Texas, including those of Molly Vernon.
Vernon, a Houston-based filmmaker, began her career as a high school theater teacher and moved into filmmaking. She went on to establish the film studies program at San Jacinto College-Central and previously taught at the Art Institute of Houston. Vernon currently works part-time as an assistant director and production manager at Vernon-McGee Productions and teaches filmmaking as an adjunct professor at Houston Community College.
“Technology and the performing arts have been the two greatest passions of my life,” Vernon said. “The technology we see these days was unimaginable when I was coming up, but I was at the forefront of the development, working at IBM for several years. They are really great skills to have in this industry.”
Vernon has directed several short films, which have been featured in film festivals around the world. Several of Vernon’s films can be found on streaming services, including sci-fi feature ‘DROPA’, on Showtime and ‘Into the Light’, streaming on Amazon Prime. Vernon also won a NASA film competition, with the film ‘Red Pearl’, which can be found on the agency’s website.
She continues to build her body of work as a director and is slated to direct the upcoming features 'Trashman’,’ Las Tias’ and ‘Calico Jack.’
“One of the best experiences I have had as a filmmaker is being chosen to have my work chosen to be featured at the Cannes Film Festival,” Vernon added. “That is really the creme de la creme of filmmaking. It is still pretty cool to see my work on streaming platforms that can be seen around the world. It is very rewarding and satisfying.”
‘Lillian’, which will be featured at the Prison City Film Festival, follows a teenager caring for her younger sibling and local orphans in the face of danger after her Grandmother is killed after surrendering to the Mexican Army toward the end of the Texas Revolution. The group eventually takes in a runaway slave and returns to the farm of their youth, fending off impending threats. The film has received 10 nominations from Prison City and has been featured in over 25 film festivals around the country, including some in Arizona, Utah, Mississippi and the upcoming Nacogdoches Film Festival.
“The film is loosely based on my family, who has had land in Texas since 1836 and a great-grandmother of mine,” Vernon said. “This is really the perfect film to bring to the home of Sam Houston as it deals with Texas history and the revolution. I think those who see the film will really enjoy seeing the actors in the period clothing and their great acting ability.
This film festival is such a great opportunity to meet other filmmakers and directors. They really know how to put on a great event.”
For tickets and information on more of the films, entertainment, and events at this year’s Prison City Film Festival, visit www.PrisonCityFilmFestival.com.