San Antonio Film Festival
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SAFILM Executive Director, Adam Rocha.
|Location||San Antonio, TX, U.S.|
|No. of films||145|
|Language||English and international|
The SAFILM – San Antonio Film Festival was founded in 1994 by Adam Rocha as a video festival, which sported a logo of a naughty-looking angel. It was later renamed the San Antonio Underground Film Festival and then finally the SAFILM – San Antonio Film Festival. It is now the biggest film festival in South Texas.
The non-profit festival is held each summer at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. Its mission is to serve as an accessible and inclusive platform for artists in the category of cinema and provide cinematic culture to a diverse audience.
The 22nd annual SAFILM – San Antonio Film Festival was held July 25–31, 2016. 145 films were screened, including a local premiere of Hell or High Water, starring Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine, and San Antonio actor Gil Birmingham, who attended the screening. The festival awarded its 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award to Marcia Nasatir, a San Antonio native and the first woman to become Vice-President of Production at a major motion picture studio (United Artists) in 1974.
After his sophomore year at San Antonio College, Adam Rocha was invited to screen his short film at the San Diego Latino Film Festival in California. The experience inspired him to organize his own film festival. In 1994, the first festival screened a dozen films and awarded low-rider bikes to the best picture.
That year, Fredrick Weiss, the founder of the Texas Music Coalition, encouraged Rocha to develop the festival into a more substantial event. Renamed “The San Antonio Underground Film Festival,” the small festival expanded over the next five years into an event that attracted wider participation, larger audiences, and greater news coverage.
The non-profit's mission statement still drives the organization: “to offer an accessible and inclusive platform for artists and to provide cinematic culture to a diverse audience,” while maintaining a sociable, community-centered atmosphere. For several years, the historic Instituto Cultural de México partnered with the festival to provide a venue.
In 2006, the organization adopted its current name: SAFILM – San Antonio Film Festival.
In 2016, the festival joined forces with the Historic Pearl to offer the very first SAFILM – San Antonio Children’s Film Festival at the Pearl Studio.
Throughout the year, SAFILM volunteers encourage students to appreciate the arts and become involved in filmmaking by visiting high schools to give guest lectures. The festival itself helps students begin film careers, highlights outstanding filmmakers with a variety of awards, exposes rising talent, and reminds the public of the value of art.
Since its inception, SAFILM has also showcased local visual artists. Artists Mig Kokinda, James Cobb, Robert Tatum and Rigoberto Luna are among those who've designed festival posters. The 2009 SAFILM poster created by Rigoberto Luna was selected as a finalist for the 39th annual The Hollywood Reporter Key Art Awards for Theatrical Print - Festival Posters.
2014 SAFILM Award Winners
- Grand Prize: 3:13, Director: David Jaure
- Jury Prize for Best Performance: Kathleen Chalfant, Isn't It Delicious
- Jury Prize for Narrative Short: Fade, Director: Parish Rahbar
- Jury Prize for Best Documentary Short: Kings of BBQ Barbecue Kuwait, Director: John Markus
- Jury Prize for Best Animated Short: Driven, Director: Michael Zachary Huber
- Best San Antonio Filmmaker: Fields Afire, Director: Will Underwood
- Best College Filmmaker: 113 Degrees, Director: Sabrina Doyle
- Best Independent Feature Film: The Wisdom to Know the Difference, Director: Daniel Baldwin
- Best High School Filmmaker: Creatures of the Hidden Realm, Director: Alexia Salingaros
- Best Feature Documentary: Jose Canseco: The Truth Hurts, Director: Bill McAdams
- Audience Choice Award for Best Documentary Feature: Jose Canseco: The Truth Hurts, Director: Bill McAdams
- Audience Choice Award for Best Narrative Feature: The Wisdom to Know the Difference, Director: Daniel Baldwin
2012 SAFILM Award Winners
- Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature: Along Recovery, Director Justin Springer
- Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature: A Schizophrenic Love Story, Director Glenn Levy
- Grand Prize: Portion, Director Gisberg Bermudez, Producers Juan Villarreal, Adrian Falcon
- Jury Prize for Best Performance: David Diaan, Mossadegh
- Jury Prize for Best Narrative Short: Crescendo, Directed by Alonso Alvarez
- Jury Prize for Best Documentary Short: Innocente, Producer Albie Hecht
- Jury Prize for Best Animated Short: World’s Apart, Director Michael Zachary Huber
- Jury Prize for Best College Filmmaker: Children of the Air, Director Damian Horan
- Jury Prize for Best High School Filmmaker: Cardiac Arrest, Director Maqui Gaona
- Jury Prize for Best San Antonio Filmmaker: Lilia, Director Sam Lerma
2011 SAFILM Award Winners
- GRAND PRIZE: Crime After Crime, Director: Yoav Potash
- Jury Prize for Best College Filmmaker: After the Shearing, Director: Vanessa Rojas
- Jury Prize for Best High School Filmmaker: She is..., Director: Amber Cordova
- Jury Prize for Best San Antonio Filmmaker: Katrina’s Son, Director: Ya’Ke Smith
- Jury Prize for Best Narrative Short: Homecoming, Director: Lorian James Delman
- Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature: Beautiful Silence, Director: Jorge A. Jimenez
- Audience Award for Best Documentary Short: Operation: Hands On, Director: Gary Logan
- Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature: The Harvest, Director: U. Roberto Romano
- Audience Award for Best Animated Short: Martyris, Director: Luis Felipe Hernandez
- Audience Award for Best Performance: Beautiful Silence, Director: Jorge A. Jimenez
2010 SAFILM Award Winners
- SAFILM Grand Prize - Twenty Five Hundred & One, Dir: Patricia Van Ryker
- SAFILM Jury Prize for Best Narrative Short - Efrain, Dir: Matthew Breault
- SAFILM Jury Prize for Best Documentary Short - the Last Elephants in Thailand, Donald R. Tayloe & Michelle Mizner
- SAFILM Jury prize for the Best Animated Short - Closed Zone, Dir: Yoni Goodman
- SAFILM Jury prize for the Best San Antonio Filmmaker - the Fall Of the House Of Usher, Dir: Eric Fonseca
- SAFILM Jury prize for the Best High School Filmmaker - No Pity, Dir: Drew Goldsmith
- SAFILM Jury Prize for Best College Filmmaker - Mashed, Dir: Adam Fisher
- SAFILM Jury Prize are for Best Performance in a Short - An Affair With Dolls, Alexandra Chalupa
- SAFILM Jury Prize Best Performance in a Feature - Fanny, Annie, & Danny, Jill Pixley
- SAFILM Audience Award for the Best Narrative Feature - Go For It!, Dir: Carmen Marron
- SAFILM Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature - Last Survivor, Dir: Michael Pertnoy
2009 Award Winners
- SAFILM Grand Prize - Funeral March for a Marionette, Dir: Eric Fonseca
- SAFILM Jury Prize for Best Performance - Cruzando, Michael Ray Escamilla
- SAFILM Jury Prize for Best Narrative Short - La Tangente, Dir: Vincent Vesco
- SAFILM Jury Prize for Best Documentary Short - In His Blood, Dir: Vianna Davila
- SAFILM Jury Prize for Best Animated Short - Funeral March for a Marionette, Dir: Eric Fonseca
- SAFILM Best High School Filmmaker - La Memoria de Amor, Dir: Andie C. Flores
- SAFILM Best San Antonio Filmmaker - Death Rattle, Dir: A. J. Garces
- SAFILM Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature - Doctor "S" Battles the Sex Crazed Reefer Zombies, Dir: Bryan Ortiz
- Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature - Beyond the Call, Dir: Adrian Belic
2008 Award Winners
- SAFILM Grand Prize - Adventures of Power, Dir: Ari Gold
- SAFILM Auteur Award - Crawford, Dir: David Modigliani
- SAFILM Auteur Award - Reborn: New Orleans Schools, Dir: Drea Cooper
2007 Award Winners
- SAFILM Grand Prize – Get Thrashed: The Story of Thrash Metal, Dir: Rick Ernst
- SAFILM Indie Auteur Awards – Zombie Love, Dir: Yfke van Berckelaer
- SAFILM Indie Max – Tijuana Makes Me Happy, Dir: Dylan Verrechia