San Antonio, Texas. ART Magazine.
SA Film Festival made its debut at Santikos Theaters this year. For the first time, the Film Festival was brought to the mainstream theaters making it more accessible for the community. The event was very well-organized, attendance increased, and because of the location, the crowd was not limited to the film community. SA Film featured over a hundred screenings throughout a week at the Bijou, Rialto and Palladium Santikos Theaters, the Instituto Cultural de Mexico, and Pearl Brewery, a dozen of free lectures addressing interesting topics for filmmakers, and several networking opportunities. The festival showcased around 40 local talented filmmakers as well as national and international directors coming from many different countries such as Israel, England, Sweden, Mexico, South Korea, Germany, and Australia. The festival kept a big percentage for local films, but it also allowed a national and international conversation with foreign filmmakers.
This year besides the juried prizes and the people choice award, SA Film included the Santikos Award to highlight one outstanding performance at the festival. This year, the feature film Portion by Gisberg Bermudez from Venezuela won the SAFilm Grand Prize while its main actor, Bruno Bichir a renowned Mexican actor and brother of Damian Bichir who was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor this year, won the Santikos Award. Portion tells a love story that is divided by the U.S.-Mexico border. The film narrates the story of a Mexican illegal immigrant Luis (Bruno Bichir), who is married an American woman, Sarah. While he is arranging his immigration status, his mother falls gravely ill on the other side of the border and he is forced to go back leaving everything behind. Even though he is just miles away, the river and the border mark an impenetrable distance that separates Luis from his family with no alternative to come back. The film had its world premier at the San Antonio Film Festival and was very well-received by the jurors.
The SA Film awarded two prizes that went to local talent. The Jury Prize for Best San Antonio Talent went to Sam Lerma for the short film Lilia while Maqui Gaona was selected as the Best High School filmmaker for the short film Cardiac Arrest. It was not surprising that most of the submissions by local artists were short films, since feature films are not very common among local filmmakers. However, contrary to last year, SA Film presented more feature films than in previous years. Also, many of the lectures given during the conference dealt with script writing and other topics that hopefully will spun a productive outcome of local feature films.
2012 SA Film Festival Winners:
SAFILM Grand Prize “Portion”(2012), Director, Gi
Jury Prize Best Performance Actor David Diaan for “Mossadegh” (2012)
Jury Prize Best Narrative Short “Crescendo” (2012), Directo
Jury Prize Best College Filmmaker “Children of the Air”, (2012) Director, Damian Horan
Jury Prize Best High School Filmmaker “Cardiac Arrest” (2012), Director, Maqui Gaona
Jury Prize Best San Antonio Filmmaker “Lilia” (2012) Director, Sam Lerma
The 2012 SANTIKOS AWARD goes to Actor Bruno Bichir for his outstanding performance in “PORTION” (2012)