© 2020
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Arts & Culture

San Antonio Film Fest Goes Big By Going Small

adam_rocha_by_ramin_samandari_0.jpg
Ramin Samandari
Adam Rocha

San Antonio's biggest film festival celebrated a quarter century last year. Adam Rocha has been producing the festival that entire time, but this year's been thrown a curve.

"Normally we have the Festival at the Tobin Center. Unfortunately, we can't have that this year,” he said. “This year we're doing the festival online only, because of the COVID situation."

In the process of migrating it online he took the opportunity to, while downsizing, in a very real sense, extending the festival.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pd8-uS328_k

"Instead of just having six days of the festival online, let's just spread it out over five months," he said.

With more than 150 films which have qualified to be shown, spreading their release out actually allows festival-goers greater access. 

"So each month we have specific dates that we're going to screen about 30, between 30 and 40 films a month,” Rocha said. “We highlight them and try to get them as much media attention as possible."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAHoFt04LT0

If you're beginning to tire of Netflix, it's a great new crop of films to treat yourself to. And like watching Netflix, dress code is pretty lax.

"The dress code! You can wear anything you want to wear," he laughed.

Rocha reminds us that the filmmakers of today may well be the award winners of tomorrow.

"We had a kid from NYU, he was a sophomore and he put a film in, and then about four years after that he came out with another film and it got picked up by HBO," Rocha said.

That kid was Todd Phillips. Last year, Phillips' "Joker" was nominated for best picture, and in nine other categories. He’d come a long way since his early San Antonio Film Festival days. Rocha said some of these filmmakers are the real deal.

“Some of them don't actually give up; they go all the way,” he said.

The Film Festival starts On Tuesday, Aug. 4 and passes can be purchased here.

Jack Morgan can be reached at Jack@TPR.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii.

TPR was founded by and is supported by our community. If you value our commitment to the highest standards of responsible journalism and are able to do so, please consider making your gift of support today.