I don’t necessarily believe San Antonio filmmaker Sam Lerma when he tells me he might’ve been impulsive enough to rob a bank back when he was living paycheck to paycheck as a photo journalist for a local TV station. But Lerma, who now teaches film at Harlandale High School, would know better than me. I don’t have kids yet, so I’m not quite sure what would push me to commit a crime on their behalf.
In Lilia, the once-imagined heist is played out when Anthony (Alfredo Lomeli), husband, father, and local news photog, is faced with foreclosure and few options. If you can convince yourself his lack of sense is actually blinding desperation, you might be able to jump on board with the robbery. If not, there’s still plenty more in the 18-minute short to admire, starting with the incredible work of cinematographer Yuta Yamaguchi, who helps Lerma emphasize the strongest parts of his script with inspired imagery and a soft palette creating an impression of both innocence and anxiety.
Already screened at the L.A. and N.Y. Latino International Film Festivals, Lilia has been a project fueled by Lerma’s enthusiasm. That faith and energy helped him raise more than $6,800 in online donations this year to produce the short. It’s more than the sharp production value, however, that should impress festival-goers. Lerma’s recognition of the filmmaking process and the correct way to go about making a movie — not to mention the attention he pays to the emotional aspects of every scene — propel him toward the inevitable future feature.
Writ. and dir. Sam Lerma; feat. Alfredo Lomeli, Aisa Palomares, Clint Hansen
7:30pm Wed, Sept 21
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Park North
618 NW Loop 410
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