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Arts & Culture

Weekender: San Antonio Film Fest, My Arab Fall And Beatles Tribute

From a stage production to a film festival to a Beatles Cavern Club tribute, this weekend is full of fun.

First off, Friday and all weekend long, the San Antonio Film Festival.  Adam Rocha created the festival a quarter century ago. 

"When I was a kid there wasn't really much opportunities. And that's why we started this thing," he said.

As the festival grows, so too grows the stature of who comes here to present films. This year, a milestone.

"There's going to be on the red carpet on Friday (for) Entertainment Tonight,” he said. “It's a world premiere of a Paramount picture. It's called I Am Patrick Swayze."

The touching documentary on the late actor is making big waves.

"Patrick Swayze's wife — and his dog — will be here. And on Saturday evening we have Cybil Shepherd's film Being Rose," said Rocha.

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Credit Ramin Samandari
Adam Rocha

Along with the film, Shepherd will be here, too. Over the last 25 years, the film festival has grown exponentially.

"We've come a long way, baby!" he laughed.

The San Antonio Film Festival wraps on Sunday. 

IF YOU GO What: San Antonio Film Festival Where: The Tobin Center When: Friday-Sunday Cost:  varies, see schedule

On Saturday afternoon and evening, a stage production at Northwest Vista with a curious name, and a curious origin.

"I've written this show called My Arab Fall.  And it deals with my experiences in Egypt  in Tahrir Square during their revolution," said Anna De Luna. She and her boyfriend traveled to Cairo the year after the Arab Spring, an anti-government uprising, began.

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Credit Anna De Luna
Kauther Harrak-Sharif and Anna De Luna

"When I arrived they had already overthrown Mubarak, and it was taking a long time for change to happen," she said.

Change was still in the air though, and excitement high.

"The women were really out there and they were very strong and powerful, and they were excited about change… and the men, too," she said.

But the play, like the situation in Cairo, has a dark turn.

"There was a woman in this show that gets sexually assaulted while she was in the square protesting," De Luna said.

My Arab Fall revolves around the experiences of her and another woman in Tahrir. She describes what you will see on stage this way.

"People will see me going as a tourist, a westerner, a chicana with a lot of hope. And they will also see an Egyptian woman fighting for her rights," De Luna said.

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Credit Anna De Luna
Anna De Luna and Kauther Harrak-Sharif

While its premise is a bit dark, she says the play isn't a screed.

"We tried our best to put as much humanity, and even some humor, even with such a difficult subject," she said.

IF YOU GO What: My Arab Fall  Where: Northwest Vista College, Palmetto Center for the Arts When: 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday Cost:  free

Also on Saturday at Sancho's Cantina, what musician Dee Lusk describes as a surprisingly cross-generational music event.

“Young people are familiar with the music — they know the Beatles," he said.

Lusk plays guitar and sings with the Blue Note Ringos a Beatles tribute band. Their Saturday night gig has a special premise.

"In commemoration of the Beatles last appearance in the Cavern Club, the Blue Note Ringos will be at Sancho's," he said.

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Credit Andrew Lozano
Blue Note Ringos

The Cavern Club was the Liverpool hot spot where the Beatles played often as their recording career began. On Saturday, the 4-piece Blue Note Ringos will be doing the music the Beatles played on their last night there, August 3, 1963.

"They did a lot of covers at the Cavern. You'll hear many of those also, along with the originals that they had," Lusk said. "Everybody knows the words to most of these songs and people are singing along."

Karaoke with a live band doing the Beatles. Sounds like fun! 

IF YOU GO What: Blue Note Ringos Cavern Club Concert Where: Sancho’s Cantina When: 8 p.m. Saturday Cost:  free