Self-taught filmmaker and educator Sam Lerma has proven himself a capable director and screenwriter over the past six years, but it's his most recent short film, Squeezebox, that debuted at the 37th Annual CineFestival in February, which confirms his originality, imagination and artistic sensibility. "I believe a good storyteller can entertain their audience while still remaining true to the art of cinema," Lerma told the San Antonio Current. A film production teacher at the Film School of San Antonio at Harlandale High School for five years, Lerma, who is originally from Harlingen, made his first official short film in 2009. Titled Trash Day, the 3.5-minute dark comedy was accepted into the South by Southwest Film Festival. He followed the film with two short family dramas, Lilia in 2011 and Flutter the following year. While Lerma enjoys making short projects, there could be a full-length film in the near future for him. "I have been using the short film format to sharpen my skills ... but it isn't where I want to stay. Shooting Squeezebox has pushed me to that next level." Lerma said he has started outlining concepts for a feature and hopes to "flex [his] filmmaking muscles" and use this summer to write. "I'm excited about exploring the ideas I have and am ready to tackle the next big challenge."
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