FilmFilm NewsSan Antonio Film Festival

SAFILM 29th Anniversary a Success


SAFILM -The SAFILM-San Antonio Film Festival (SAFILM) wrapped the 29th annual celebration of film on Sunday, August 6th, announcing the 2023 Festival Award Winners, listed below.


Jury Prize for Best Historical Documentary: The Raaby Mystery Director Stian Indrevoll
Grand Prize: Out There: A National Parks Story Director Brendan Hall
Best Narrative Feature:  The Great Distance Delivers Crane Director Lhapal Gyal
Jury Prize for Best Documentary Short: Python Huntress Directors Nicholas Orris, Matt Deblinger
Jury Prize for Best Animated Short: The Torrential Melody Director  José Luis Saturno
Jury Prize for Best Music Video: Dirt Don’t Hurt Director Orlando Torres
Best High School Filmmaker: Well-Dying  Director Junhyeok Kim
Best Food Film: Terroir to Table Director Rasmus Dinesen
Best Screenplay: Grynszpan/Thompson Writer Hal LaCroix
Jury Prize for Best Performance: Jacki Von Preysing for  American Meltdown
Best Children’s Film: The Squonk Director Mike Bonthe
Best Series: Puncher’s Chance Directors Garland Scott, Johnny Rey Diaz
Jury Prize for Best Narrative Short: The Last Dinner Director Marie-Ange Casalta
Best Documentary Feature: Immediate Family Director Danny Tedesco
Jury Prize for Best Performance:  Joshua Koopman for Earlybird
Best Emerging Filmmaker: Strings Director Rodrigo Moreno Fernandez
Best San Antonio Filmmaker: Black is Beautiful Director Marco Antonio Ortega
San Antonio High School Filmmaker Award: Memento Mori Director Ines Wallisch
Best College Film: The Student Film Director Brandon Herrera
Best Short Script: That’s So Gay Writer Dr. Tamecca Rogers
Marcia Nasatir Award: Jennifer Petrini
The Supporter of Cinema Arts Award: Roberto Soto

Director Aitch Alberto (l) and Ernie Zuniga (Duran Photography).


The Texas Premiere of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe on Aug. 2 was followed by a heartfelt Q&A session with director Aitch Alberto and moderator Ernie Zuniga. Based on the book by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, the film is set in 1987 El Paso, Texas, and tells the tale of two teenage Mexican-American loners, as they explore their friendship and the difficult road to self-discovery.

Starring Max Pelayao and Reese Gonzales, along with Eva Longoria (Desperate Housewives) and native San Antonian Kevin Alejandro (Lucifer, Fire Country). Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe opens nationwide on September 8th via Blue Fox Entertainment.

Academy Award Winning Editor: Paul Hirsch (Star Wars, Mission Impossible, Carrie, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Footloose, Planes Trains & Automobiles) and author of A Long Time Ago in a Cutting Room Far, Far Away, joined SAFILM on Aug. 5 to discuss the power of film editing, while SAFILM Programming Director and Award-Winning Filmmaker Cedric Thomas Smith hosted from Script to Screen: Screenwriters Table Read to support writers and the stories we tell on film.

SAFILM is proud to be partnered with the City of San Antonio’s World Heritage Office, UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy with the Food Film Festival programming films that celebrate the culinary arts. In 2017, the City of San Antonio was designated as a Creative City of Gastronomy by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), becoming the second city in the United States to receive this designation. In 2019, SAFILM partnered with the World Heritage Office, which manages the designation in the creation of its Food Film Festival event.

SAFILM rekindled that partnership in 2022, 2023 showcasing  several local chefs and their food  for audiences that reflected the cuisines, themes, and edible elements from films in the Food Film Festival category. This activation fulfills a promise the City of San Antonio made in its successful bid to be designated a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy and is also sanctioned as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy event.

Call for Entries for the 2024 SAFILM-San Antonio Film Festival are NOW open for the 30th Anniversary celebration. For more info:

Feature photo by Duran Photography.