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The 14th Annual SA Film Festival 

It was the final day of the festival and I went out to the Instituto to see one last film during the late afternoon. The film, Twelve, was a dozen shorts fashioned together into a 110-minute anthology; each segment was directed by a different filmmaker. All the directors hailed from Salem, MA, so I thought it might follow the same rules as 2007’s Paris je t’aime, just on a smaller scale and maybe set in the Boston area.

If you haven’t seen Paris, je t’aime, the film allows 20 directors to shoot a short narrative set in Paris. (My favorite is Alexander Payne’s contribution).

Each director (including the Coen Brothers, Alfonso Cuaron, and Gus Van Sant) has the freedom to choose his or her own genre and storyline. It’s basically what Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, and Woody Allen did with 1989’s New York Stories and what next year’s New York, I Love You will do with directors like Joshua Marston (Maria Full of Grace), Brett Ratner (Rush Hour), and Mira Nira (The Namesake) at the helm.

Anyway, Twelve was nothing like what I thought it would be (although I did like the crime-drama musical and the short documentary on honeybees), but it got me thinking about San Antonio’s tightly-knit film community and what they could do if they got together and produced something similar to Paris. It could be a feature film that captures the essence of the Alamo City in 10-15 shorts. There could be a romantic comedy about a tourist falling in love with a chubby bajo sexto player on the River Walk, a horror movie about a brujeria on the Westside (I think the ghost tracks and La Llorona are basically played out), and a documentary on ice cream truck drivers and their life-long passion for raspas. Well, overall, it was a satisfying four-day movie marathon for me and I really hope the festival has found a permanent home at the Instituto.

P.S. Get a good night’s sleep Adam Rocha and Susan Ranjel. Ya’ll deserve it.

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