Kicked off on Monday with an opening night reception and screening at the historic Pearl Stable, the 22nd annual San Antonio Film Festival takes over the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts (100 Auditorium Circle) with a weeklong program comprising panel discussions, shorts, features, documentaries, a children’s film festival and a record 29 entries by San Antonio filmmakers. Highlighted below, nine films to consider checking out before SAFF wraps on July 31. For tickets ($15 per film, $129 for a festival badge) and a full schedule of events, visit safilm.com.
Amir 5 p.m. Wednesday
Starring first-time actor Jorge Guevara as the title character, this black and white drama from Tijuana, Mexico follows a musician who must decide between staying with his pregnant girlfriend Ely (Tania Niebla), who he no longer loves, or Jeanette (Lirio Karina), a young singer who could restore his passion in music.
Requiem for a Running Back 7 p.m. Wednesday
Documentary filmmaker Rebecca Carpenter seeks the truth behind the death of her father, former Green Bay Packers running back Lewis Carpenter, who is found to have Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative neurocognitive disorder linked to head trauma in athletes.
Mile End 5 p.m. Thursday
A chance meeting between a London executive (Alex Humes) and a friendly American (Mark Arnold) leads to murder in this crime thriller by director/writer Graham Higgins. The film won the Best Narrative award at this year’s New York City Independent Film Festival.
Until 20 7 p.m. Thursday
Battling a rare form of bone cancer since he was 13, Corpus Christi native and Rice University golfer James Ragan faces life head on and inspires others when he decides to create a foundation to raise money for cancer research.
Upstairs Inferno 7 p.m. Thursday
Filmmaker and San Antonio native Robert Camina’s documentary tells the tragic story of a gay nightclub in New Orleans that is set on fire in 1973 killing 32 people. Before the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando last month, it was considered the largest gay mass murder in U.S. history.
Nathan East: For the Record 7 p.m. Friday
Go behind the scenes with Nathan East, who is considered ones of the most recorded bass players in music history. Musicians he has jammed alongside include Michael Jackson, Eric Clapton, Stevie Wonder, George Harrison, Daft Punk and Herbie Hancock, just to name a few.
Hell or High Water 7 p.m. Saturday
Two Texas brothers (Chris Pine and Ben Foster) are tracked by a Texas Ranger (Oscar winner Jeff Bridges) after they rob a bank to save their family's home. The crime drama is directed by David Mackenzie (Starred Up) and written by Taylor Sheridan (Sicario).
A Classy Broad 4 p.m. Sunday
Filmmaker Anne Goursaud (editor of The Outsiders and Bram Stoker’s Dracula) explores the life and career of Hollywood trailblazer and San Antonio native Marcia Nasatir, who became the first female vice president of a major studio in 1974 and went on to help champion films like Rocky and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
The Teacher (Uchilka) 4 p.m. Sunday
A desperate history teacher holds her entire class hostage at gunpoint in this Russian thriller by first-time director/writer Alexey Petrukhin.