Sam Lerma’s Lilia screens at Los Angeles International Latino Film Festival 

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Kudos to local filmmaker Sam Lerma, whose short Lilia had two screenings at the Los Angeles International Latino Film Festival in July and screens August 17 and 18 at the New York International Latino Film Festival. After that, the short (about a man struggling to keep his family together after losing his job) will be shown at the Dallas Video Festival in September.

“I plan on screening here in San Antonio soon, but the other fests popped up, and then I got busy editing Wolf for Ya’Ke [Smith],” Lerma told the Current. “So once we are wrapped with Wolf, and we screen in New York, I will start setting up something here, either at the Drafthouse or the Aztec. We need a place that can screen it in full HD.”

It must be nice to have your film screened in its entirety at a movie theater without interruptions, right? If you like that notion, then stay away from Gong Shorts #2 at the Alamo Drafthouse on Sept. 29 ($9, 7:30pm, 618 NW Loop 410). The first edition was a success, that is, if you don’t mind someone yelling “Gong!” after three minutes, thus eliminating your film from the competition. (All films are guaranteed three minutes, after which a light flashes and anyone attending can express their dissatisfaction and ask for the film to be gonged-out to move on to the next film.)

The good thing about the show is that it is a great chance to have local films shown on the big screen — and you get immediate feedback. But best of all: After you have made the necessary edits, you can present the same film again to see if you have better luck.

All you have to do is send your film (any genre, except porn, 3-15 minutes long, DVD or Blu-ray) to Kimberly Suta at NiffNot Productions (1214 Townsend Ave. #102, San Antonio, TX 78209). Please label the film properly (name of the film, your name, run time, phone number, email). There is no fee to submit your film. For more information, write to or find “The Gong Shorts” on Facebook.

Finally, this gig is unpaid but so cool: Devil Deal Blues, a reinterpretation of bluesman Robert Johnson’s recordings in San Antonio in 1936, will be shot locally in November. The 17-to-20-minute short will be an adaptation of Willie Holtzman’s play San Antonio Sunset. New York actor/filmmaker Robert Brink will direct, and he’s looking for local actors and crew (local donations are also welcome). If you like the fundraising promo ( as much as I did, you’ll probably be interested in joining the project. You can contact him at


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