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Media : South Texas Cinema 

News from the greater SA film industry

Ah, summer in Cannes: The films, the stars cavorting on the beach, the air, I assume, sweeter than San Antonio’s by dint of its being French. Unfortunately, unless you’re one of those stars, directors, producers, or other notable wealthy-and-or-famous types, you have relatively little chance of experiencing it yourself.

But who cares? Do you really want to spend two weeks of your summer pretending to give a damn while Roberto Benigni tells you a dirty joke? If you can hold out for a few months, South Texas offers you two separate film festivals that make up for their lack of beachfronts with accessibility.

The Austin Film Festival and Conference doesn’t commence until October 19, but you can ensure your place among the honorees right now by submitting your film, screenplay, or teleplay to the festival’s competition. Screenplays and teleplays can be submitted in two categories, adult/drama and comedy/sitcom; the deadline is June 1. The film competition is a bit broader, with entries falling into the narrative, documentary, or animated categories; it carries a July 15 deadline. Fabulous cash prizes are offered, but the real reward of the competition is attending the festival — a primo networking opportunity — and being recognized alongside this year’s honorees, director-producer-actor Sydney Pollack and screenwriter Shane Black (who wrote The Monster Squad and is thus responsible for the line, “Wolfman has nards!”) For more information and submission details, the website is

Not enamored with what’s happening to the north? Head east, to the second-annual Seguin Film and Arts Festival, October 27-29 at the Palace Theatre in downtown Seguin. Submissions are accepted through September 1, and the winner will be presented with the Golden Pecan Award, which is better than a Palme d’Or in that it can be used later to make a delicious pie.

In statewide news, film commissions from every region in Texas are holding informational meetings about the Texas Motion Picture Alliance, a newly formed nonprofit organization. The TMPA will present a united voice for Texas film communities, in the interest of maintaining the high profile of locations like Austin and, increasingly, San Antonio, and bringing attention to other areas of the state. The San Antonio Film Commission held an informational meeting two weeks ago, but if you missed it, visit for more information.

Speaking of San Antonio’s film profile, and tying this whole column together, congratulations again to Ya’Ke Smith, whose film Hope’s War is screening in the Kodak Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at, yes, the Cannes Film Festival `See “Stories of the ’hood are mine,” May 17-23, 2006.`

- Aaron Block

Send South and Central Texas film news to Brian Villalobos at

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