The second annual International Sports Film Festival Houston will be Feb. 3-6, 2022!
Throughout his career Festival Founder, Josh Merwin has passionately told stories through the mediums of photography and film. While looking for an interesting and impactful athlete story he found Carson Kainer, a University of Texas baseball player who needed a kidney transplant to save his life and allow him to chase his dream of playing professional baseball.
Josh documented Kainer and his family for over 10 years. Hoping to make a major impact for organ donor awareness, Josh knew he needed a platform to generate awareness for not only the film, but also the importance of organ donation. Josh realized one main issue… there was not a major sports film festival in the U.S. Knowing there were more filmmakers like himself that needed a festival platform to launch their projects, Josh decided to start a sports film festival in his hometown of Houston as it was the perfect location to launch this endeavor. In addition to supporting organ donation, the ISFFH (International Sports Film & Festival) will have tracks of programming that will highlight important topics in the world of sports. We will use film as an educational tool to help carry on the conversation as we lead up to the festival in 2022.
Josh Merwin has always viewed the world through different eyes. Weighing 4 pounds at birth, he was always smaller than his friends and constantly looking up at the world around him. At 8-years old, Merwin found a $20 bill on the ground and was looking for the perfect toy to spend it on. Disappointed that he couldn’t find the perfect toy, Josh’s eyes lit up seeing a Polaroid camera. Since that moment, Josh has captured the world from his unique perspective.
Merwin brought his passion for photography to the University of Colorado by studying Journalism & Film. Moving forward he combined his mom’s passion for photography and his dad’s love of sports to build his own passion for telling sports stories. This would define both his career path shooting for Sports Illustrated, ESPN the Magazine and the New York Times. Most people would think that Josh’s story would end there because he had achieved his dreams, but he just kept dreaming bigger.
After spending 15 years as a photographer and filmmaker in NYC, Josh returned to Houston in August of 2020 to launch the International Sports Film Festival Houston. It would also allow him to help other creatives chase their dreams. The platform we have created will celebrate stories of athletes in a way that can not only benefit the community, but also be a way to encourage movement through sports entertainment.