San Antonio.- Just over a week ago, seven days of independent cinema and star-studded red carpet events culminated in 11 filmmaker awards at the SAFILM-San Antonio Film Festival. In spite of fighting for audiences during the seventh game of the Spurs run for the NBA title on Thursday night, the 19th year of the film festival was a huge success. Photo: Joe and Justine Medeiros pause for a moment on the red carpet with their SAFILM-San Antonio Film Festival prize for Best Historical Doc. (Photo by Angela Covo)
“The San Antonio Film Festival was a great success this year – we doubled our attendance and without a doubt, this is the premier film festival in this city, one that filmmakers from across the county, across the country and around the world have taken notice of,” Executive Director dam Rocah said.
The SAFILM-San Antonio Film Festival is 100 percent volunteer=powered and a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
“We were also very pleased with the quality of films submitted this year – the competition seems to gets tougher and tougher every year, and I congratulate all the winners,” Rocha added.
“We received a number of film submissions that were historical documentaries – we felt it was enough to suggest a trend and created the new award category for the 2013 film festival,” he explained.
The inaugural winner for Best Historical Documentary Film was “The Missing Piece,” a film written and directed by Joe Medeiros and produced by Justine Medieros. The movie uncovers the truth behind the robbery of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre in 1911 – and the Medeiros traveled the globe to bring the true story to audiences.
You can learn more about this terrific indie by visiting the filmmakers' website at monalisadocumentary.blogspot.com
Prizes were awarded to beginning filmmakers and established pros.
The jury prize for Best Animated Short is from Canada and was directed by James Stewart. Best College Filmmaker, director Haley Anderson, won the jury prize for the film “Martha.”
The jury prize for the Best Documentary short went to “Cavedigger” directed by Jeffrey Kardiff. And the Best High School Filmmaker Jury award was taken by director Max Montoya for “Craft and Courtship.”
Three more jury prizes were awarded. “Hasat” directed by Ayda Erbal won the Best Narrative Short. “Tu Seras un Homme” won for Best Performance by actor Aurelio Cohen; and director Daniel Maldonado won for best San Antonio filmmaker with “Strange Luck.”
Audience participation this year was also huge, Rocha said. The audience award for Best Documentary Feature went to “Comedy Warriors,” a film about healing through humor with our very own local star, Bobby Henline – a great comedian in his own right – who was in house to receive the award Sunday night – and had time to crack a joke or two for the crowd.
Local filmmakers win audience award for Best Narrative Feature with "Sanitarium" featuring Robert Englund (Photo by Frederic Covo)
The audience award for Best Narrative Feature went to San Antonio filmmakers Bryan Ortiz, Bryan Ramirez and Kerry Valderama for “Sanitarium” with John Glover, Robert Englund and Chris Mulkey who were all in attendance at the film festival. The movie was filmed entirely in San Antonio – and should be in theaters later this year. Several screenings of “Sanitarium” had to be added and quickly sold out.
The Grand Prize went to ”The Story of Luke” directed by Alonso Mayo and starring Lou Taylor Pucci and Seth Green, who also walked the red carpet at the Santikos Palladium Wednesday night.
The film festival is already accepting submissions for the 2014 SAFILM-San Antonio Film Festival. To learn more and for more information about all the films and the filmmakers, visit SAFILM.com.
Angela Covo is Managing Editor, Senior Writer and Film Critic at La Prensa San Antonio. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.