As San Antonio continues to show signs of pandemic recovery, one long-held film tradition is returning this summer, to the delight of movies lovers desperately in need of some (big) screen time.
The San Antonio Film Festival — or SAFILM, if you’re into the whole brevity thing — is once again in the limelight, returning to an in-person event after the pandemic consigned last year’s indie film celebration to a virtual-only fest.
The 27th annual fest lights up the screen at the Radius Center in downtown San Antonio August 5-8. Tickets are currently available through the festival website for the screenings, filmmaker panels, and nightly parties.
“We’re returning to our roots,” says SAFILM founder and executive director Adam Rocha. “It’s time to bring back the intimate screenings — safely — like we did in the old days, and celebrate our filmmakers, who were cheated from showcasing their work to a real audience.”
Official feature selections for the 2021 SAFILM fest include:
- Celeb Feature: The Subject from director Lanie Zipoy features lovable goof Jason Biggs (American Pie, Orange is the New Black) portraying a character who takes a dramatic turn as a successful white documentary filmmaker dealing with fallout from his last film, which caught the murder of a Black teenager on tape. Friday, August 6, 6 pm.
- Award-winning Doc: My Father’s Brothers from director Shawn Kelley chronicles eight survivors of a horrific battle during the Vietnam War. There will be a Q&A with veterans Bill Vose, Woody Davis, and Bubber Fishburne after the screening. Sunday, August 8, 6 pm.
- Jury Prize: Show Me What You Got! from director Svetlana Cvetko is richly filmed in black and white against the cityscape of Los Angeles, where three millennials meet by chance, form a whole-hearted ménage à trois, and subtly challenge social norms surrounding love, sex, and questioning. Friday, August 6, 6 pm.
- Local Filmmaker: The Good Wolf from director Wilfred H. Shipley, made on a $10,000 micro-budget, is a coming-of-age story starring Vic Trevino (Pee-wee’s Playhouse, American Me) as James, a fugitive with an unknown past hiding in the woods, who meets Sam, a 12-year-old boy, and his treehouse. The filmmakers will be in attendance for the screening. Thursday, August 5, 8 pm.
- Horror Flick: Blinders from director Tyler Savage follows the story of a man whose life turns into a living nightmare when he befriends an unstable ride-share driver who becomes obsessed with him. The filmmakers will be in attendance for the screening. Saturday, August 7, 6 pm.
The full schedule of screenings and events is available online.
SAFILM, a collaboration between just about every arts and culture organization and supporting biz in town (San Antonio Film Commission, City of San Antonio Department of Arts & Culture, ARGO Group, Guerrero CPA, Law Offices of Mario Davila, Edible San Antonio, Arts Scene SA, Guerrero Law, UTSA Film Studies, and Thompson Hotel) includes a variety of ticketing options this year.
VIP festival passes run $109 and include full access to all screenings, filmmaker panels, and nightly parties. VIPs also get a commemorative 2021 SAFILM T-shirt. Individual tickets are $10 for daytime screenings and $15 for evening screenings and feature films.