The 14th Annual SA Film Festival

As I walked up to the Instituto Cultural de Mexico for my second night at the SAFF, I noticed something quite different than the evening before: mas gente!

While Thursday’s premiere of the impressive documentary Crawford should have brought out dems in droves, it still was a Thursday night, which probably had something to do with the empty chairs in the screening room (Hey, some people work, you know!)

Friday night was an entirely different story. Spilling out the front door, attendees waited to see if they were going to be able to get into the screening of Garrison, directed by local filmmaker and screenwriter Kerry Valderrama.

Apparently tickets for the screening had sold out (lucky for me I had my press pass, which, like my charm and good looks, gets me in anywhere*).

So, I got in and waited around for the prior film to finish up and was greeted by a few filmmakers with flyers inviting me to a couple of their events. (Shameless plugs: “The Alvarez Vietnam Story” Benefit Party on July 4 at 8 p.m. at the Blue Bubble Ballroom. San Antonio Horrific Film Fest Aug. 28-31 at the Instituto).

Then I watched Garrison.

The best thing about the film – hands down – is the fantastic score composed by Douglas Edwards. I searched out Douglas, a graduate of Churchill High School and the University of North Texas, after the screening to let him know how much I enjoyed his contribution to the movie.

We talked about his instrumental compositions in the film and how he was able to generate some of the haunting sounds as a one-man orchestra (the guy plays the piano, violin, viola, guitar, and electronic pads). He is the winner of the Best Movie Soundtrack at the 2008 Bare Bones Film Festival and the winner of the Best Impact of Music in a Feature Film at the 2008 Park City Film Music Festival.

I ask him about his favorite composers, but interjected before he can answer:

“Cliff Martinez. That’s what your sound reminds me of.”

His face lights up and we become as giddy as schoolgirls talking about how we both think Solaris is one of the best musical scores in the history of cinema. Yes, it’s that good!

I go home and visit Douglas’s website ( where he has more audio clips of his work. I listen for about half an hour and fall asleep happy.

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