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San Antonio Film Festival Entering Its 20th Year


Lovers of film take note: The San Antonio Film Festival happens July 28-August 3.

“It’s seven days of cinema. We have about 70-plus films, and about half the filmmakers will be in attendance," said Adam Rocha, executive director of the festival.

Noting that the festival is in its 20th year, I noted that the festival is no longer a teenager. He laughed and continued.

“This is our 20th anniversary; it’s growing, growing, growing," Rocha said. "And I can’t wait. I’m looking forward to the next 20.”

We didn't have time to go through the entire schedule, but here are a few things of note.

“First two days are free community screenings," Rocha said. "The first day is at the Josephine Theater; it’s called 'The Kings of BBQ Barbecue Kuwait.' We have two military documentaries. The first one’s a short and the second is a feature film. It’s called 'Gold Star Children.' "

"Gold Star Children" are kids who have lost a parent to war. Then there’s the second night, which is Texas Public Radio night.

“It’s called 'Bottled Up: The Battle Over Dublin Dr. Pepper.' It’s Tuesday, July 29 and that’s free again at the Pearl Stables,” Rocha said.

Quite a few producers and directors will be at various screenings, and even occasional actors.

“We’re screening 'E.T. (the Extra Terresrial)'. It’s Friday night and the actor Peter Coyote will be in attendance,” Rocha said.

He said the film festival also features a lot of San Antonio filmmakers.

"A great filmmaker is Mark Cantu," Rocha said. "His new feature film is called 'Now Hiring.' "

And the festival isn't just films, there is also an awards brunch on Sunday, and panels where industry experts share their secrets.

“Knowledge is power, and so we’re bringing these panelists out from L.A. and New York, and they are buyers of films," Rocha said. "There are reporters and publicists as well.”

He said San Antonio is poised to spring into the next realm of filmmaking: full-blown features that will open nationwide.

“That’s the next frontier, and I’m expecting it to happen, literally within the next three years," Rocha said.

  • For more on the San Antonio Film Festival visit: safilm.com
Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii