Father & Daughter Film Report

More than INTERNATIONAL...?  What on earth does THAT mean?

Well, these were the only words we could come up with from the feeling we experienced from being at this truly MASSIVE film festival.

What do we mean by 'massive' film festival? Basically, it has everything (we'll get into that later) and of course there is a unique element and quality due to the fact this festival takes place in one of the most unique and beautiful cities in North or South America: San Antonio (which is were Dad lived during his high school years and where Grandma went to high school too!). 

Plus, how great is it experiencing a film festival at the world-famous 
Tobin Center for the Performing Arts?

Even if you were only mildly curious about San Antonio, GO. This festival gets our MUST ATTEND ranking, either as a film maker or film lover. Also, going will allow your spirit to truly understand & totally grasp what the word fiesta means. 

Among literally hundreds of other attractions, San Antonio's famous Riverwalk has become such an attraction, it has been copied in other American cities...

Now we have to apologize, this report is late.  Dad got invited to India for a month in early 2018 which threw all of our reports & nearly all of our attendances off.

 However, a great festival is still a great festival (and we heard 2018 was even better, which is hard to image), however with people such as Adam Rocha at the helm, and the fact that he as been perfecting this event since 1994, perhaps we can image.

In our first explanation of a massive film festival, one dimension of this concept is this film festival is huge in content, running almost an entire week (from Tuesday through Sunday when we went), with a large number of film AND huge selection categories.  We also like that in the program schedules one automatically gets a link to the trailer.  Very nice for the movie goer when one must choose between several film blocks at any given moment.

For example, check out the schedule program for 2018:

Kinda of lot, and pretty nice, huh...?  It almost takes the entire day just to check out what's on the schedule, not to mention trying to decide which blocks & films you want to check out.

Like we said: MASSIVE.

But in relaxed, friendly, low-keyed kinda way.  A perfect balance of getting a LOT, but not being over-whelmed by it.

Blocks? Kid-flix, High School films, College films, Hollywood Insider's Panel, Mind Trip Shorts, Thrills & Chills Shorts, Local Flavor (San Antonio Shorts), And...Action! Shorts, True Story Shorts, Spice of Life Shorts, Ain't that a Laugh Shorts, Oh! Drama Shorts....we could go on and on....and we haven't even touched upon the feature film categories....

Like we said: MASSIVE

Before we highlight some of the films we saw while we were there, we have to highlight the ENTIRE STAFF at the San Antonio Film Festival for an event such as this can not reach the level of massiveness without a group that is able to dream up and execute such a tremendous event:

San Antonio Film Festival 


Plus they are ALL really wonderful & accommodating human beings. 

Speaking of wonderful human beings, one of Amanda's favorite movies was The Blind Side and ran into Quinton Aaron premiering his new film. Amanda said it was great, but Dad i still waiting for her report on his new film AND about the bar they went to after the showing...

Here's a few of the films we saw at the San Antonio Film Festival a while back that we thought were massive in impact, entertainment & innovation:

There are no words to describe this film except for 


Luckily Juanjo Haro has made it public so you can see it, check it out:

30 Minutes with Laura

 You may have already seen this, or heard about it since it has played in or won about every film festival out there. We first saw it here at SAFF....excellent. 

 We're sure you're going to be hearing the name Romina Schewedler a lot more in the future as well...

Click the image for more info..

This incredible documentary features Rita Vidaurri, Perla Tapatia, Beatriz Llamas, and Blanca Rosa, famous singers of San Antonio from another era, who are making a big comeback today and if you click below you can see the


 & hear some of their music, you will see why this was a hit at the festival, made more special since all four of these ladies were present. 

Of course their is a fabulous story of changed lives and obstacles to overcome - which were greatly inspiring - with producers Janet Vasquez, Jorge Sandoval, James Borrego, and Alex Avila certainly doing an excellent job of creating something more than special.

If you liked the Alfred Hitchcock Hour from years past then you will love Wendy Keeling's story that in several ways exceeds the show & master that set the standard for creating all different shades of horror in the late 1950's & 60's.  As you can see from all the awards from this film, many other people have somewhat of a similar opinion as well.  Click on the image to see more info on the film.  

Or better yet, check out 7 Mile Bridge Productions to see what this Tennessee group has cooking currently...and give them your support.  It is certainly difficult and rare to see film genius develop in what we can say is not exactly a film friendly state.


We're going to bet you haven't seen a "boy-meets-girl" story quite like this:

"North Korean girl meets North Korean boy...in China" 

Writer / Director Kaicey Chae got the nod from the jury for Best Narrative Short, which we totally agree with.

Considering the contrast of culture between those of the same nation with different political upbringing, this was educational, thought-provoking as well as entertainment.

Was it films such as this that were a factor in the two Koreas coming together in our time now....?

You may have seen this at your local major chain theater.

Yes, this was a big name film with big named actors, yet it premiered here at the San Antonio Film Festival.

Seeing Jeremy Renner in a dramatic role outside of the Marvel Universe was a reminder on how a role can type cast a personality, which has happened to many starts throughout film history.

However, Jeremy with Elizabeth Olsen do a fantastic job in Taylor Sheridan's story that was quite refreshing, and shows that independent films can have a major film feel....but we all knew that...

The Boy by the Sea

The given description for this beautifully filmed story is:

"The story of an unlikely friendship between a young boy who throws stones in the sea and an old lighthouse keeper nearby."

Take it from us, it is far more PROFOUND than that. The story offers a perspective of life that may change how you live now on earth, and how you will in the world after this one.


But of course, all of Vasily Chuprina's films do that...

Vasily Chuprina' s IMBd Page

Created Equal

This was the film all of San Antonio was excited about, and nearly all of San Antonio came out to see the premier. Of course local hero Lou Diamond Phillips being in the film and there in person had something to do with that.


 Bill Duke's film is an insightful look at the Catholic Church and the changes & conflicts this institution is going through with itself and the society it serves.

Certainly a story that takes the ordination of woman as a start and uses this as a vehicle to explore other issues.

Every Tuesday

When Lisa Belcher makes a film, you know its going to be thought provoking and...well, just plain excellent.


Excellent in all the categories that are listed at the end of the film: lighting, art direction, etc. etc. 

We see a mother visiting her son's grave - every Tuesday - and encounters a young woman visiting her mother's grave. 

The relationship that develops unfolds a healing journey that not only appears on the screen, but may start to form in your heart as well.

* * * * * * * * * * * * 

Speaking of even more wonderful human beings, of course such a massive festival is going to have even more fabulous stars than you'd expect outside of Hollywood to show their films & be a part of  the daily workshops/panels. After the premier of  Created Equal, Lou Diamond Phillips was kind enough to chat with Dad for a bit.  In the interview we found out they both alumni from the University of Texas at Arlington. Mr. Phillips also shared the types of characters he'd like to play in the future.

These are just a few of the moments and glimpse of many, many great films to this massive, and what we feel is an important film festival.

Again, if you love films, this is a MUST ATTEND event, if you are a film maker, this is a MUST ATTEND festival - so get your submission in early for 2019...

...and make sure you set aside at least a week; to explore the festival, yourself, and of course beautiful San Antonio.