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Arts & Culture

Record Setting San Antonio Film Festival Starts On Friday

A noteworthy local film festival will soon kick into high gear. I spoke to its director, San Antonian Jim Mendiola.

“This is the 37th Annual Latino Film Festival—it’s the longest running one in the United States. We’re going to be running for eight days."

Several films are screened each night of CineFestival.

"We’ve got about 35 films this year from the US and Mexico. Documentaries, narrative films and short films.”

I asked  "Are there any nights you’d describe as just must-come nights?"

“I think opening night and closing night are really going to be special events. We open with a film called Children of Giant, a film by Hector Galan. It’s about the making of the movie Giant in Marfa, Texas back in the 1950s. And then the closing night is a film called Gueros. It’s about four kids who have this nice big adventure in Mexico City.”

He says most films are in English and those have English subtitles.

“Very, very few of these films are in Spanish.”

As a sidebar to the Film Festival, there's also a writing workshop. Its objective is to better empower young writers to complete the circle in their filmmaking objectives.

“We’ve been partnering with the Sundance Institute to run a thing called the Latino Screenwriters Lab.  I think the big challenge is from getting from script to screen.”

Cinefestival is held at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center starting Friday. We’ve more here.