No News is Bad News. Join the SA Current Press Club.

El Cine: URBAN-15’s 5th Annual Josiah Media Festival 

San Antonio desperately needs a new generation of filmmakers to shake things up. And the younger, the better. That’s where URBAN-15’s 5th Annual Josiah Media Festival comes in handy.

Named after Josiah Miles Neundorf, a 20-year-old local media artist who passed away in 2006 from bone cancer, the festival will take place July 7-9 at the URBAN-15 Studio ($5-$7, three-day pass $15, 8pm, 2500 S Presa, tickets at the door or at urban-15.ticketleap.com/josiahmediafestival) and will show 80 films from 17 schools in 17 cities from five states. San Antonio is one of those cities, and 18-year-old Nicolas Wachter is one of the local young directors who, I predict, we’ll hear about in years to come. At the very least, he should be commended for The Receptionist, the short he directed, in which he overcame all sorts of last-minute obstacles and pulled off a nice piece of work with a story that’s no big deal, but is possessed with a gorgeous look, a stunning location (a new, vacant condo building on Huebner and I-10), and a creepy-funny Barton Fink-meets-The Shining atmosphere.

“Once I gained permission for the location, I began to scout for an actor,” said Wachter, who will be a senior at Communication Arts High School (he was a junior when he made the film). “I found one luckily, but he later bailed on me a day before shooting.” He found a replacement at the very last second (Anthony Peterson, who graduated during Wachter’s freshman year), but there was another problem: After shooting the only exterior scene at a cemetery, Wachter — who at that point was on the verge of a nervous breakdown due to the last-minute flake — realized he didn’t have everything he needed to film the original script at the building. That’s when his creative chops took over.

“Immediately, when I spotted the reception at the table, ideas flew into my head,” Wachter said. “Me and Anthony began to come up with the whole story in a matter of 30 minutes.”

The Receptionist won in the Best Narrative category, and you have three chances to see it — it will be shown on all three days of the festival.

“I had a great time shooting it and was completely satisfied with my final product,” said Wachter. “But I hope that in the future I won’t be the only person working as hard as I do just to make a film.”

Don’t worry, kid. Talent like yours is magnetic. Once you’re noticed, you should have no problem sharing the creative burden.

San Antonio Current works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of San Antonio and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep San Antonio's true free press free.

Latest in El Cine

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 23, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

© 2020 San Antonio Current

Website powered by Foundation