A panel discussion at the 2015 Alamo City Film Festival.
A panel discussion at the 2015 Alamo City Film Festival. Credit: Courtesy / Alamo City Film Festival

The second annual Alamo City Film Festival will take place Oct. 27-30 in conjunction with Alamo City Comic Con. The festival will be held at the Lila Cockrell Theatre in the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center, with additional screenings at the nearby Mexican Cultural Institute.

We will be screening 50 independent films from all over the globe, twice as many as last year,” said Festival Director Kerry Valderrama. “We have two world premieres, three Texas premieres, and two San Antonio premieres. Diversity will also be celebrated as we are offering films from the U.S., Spain, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Canada, and Mexico all weekend long.”

Making its world premiere is the sci-fi thriller Stage V, screening Saturday, Oct. 29 at 10:00 p.m. Texas premieres include the Spanish documentary En Transito, which screens Oct. 28 at 10:30 a.m., and Badsville, an action drama screening the same day at 10:00 p.m.

San Antonio also gets its time in the spotlight at the Festival. Elite, a military action thriller directed by local filmmaker Mark Cantu, will reveal itself to the world on Friday, Oct. 28 at 7:30 p.m.

Additionally, the horror thriller Dead Awake, starring Jesse Bradford (Swim Fan), Jocelin Donahue (Insidious Chapter 2) and Lori Petty (Tank Girl), will make its regional premiere Oct. 29 at 7:00 p.m. Filmed in San Antonio, its co-producer and production designer is Kurt Wehner, who currently serves as executive director and scenic designer for the Woodlawn Theatre.

“I was responsible for the locations and art department for Dead Awake,” Wehner said. “This is the sixth film I’ve had a hand in producing in San Antonio, and it’s by far the biggest undertaking that we have tackled.”

Dead Awake (2016) is about a young woman who must save herself and her friends from an ancient evil that stalks its victims through the real-life phenomenon of sleep paralysis.
Dead Awake (2016) is about a young woman who must save herself and her friends from an ancient evil that stalks its victims through the real-life phenomenon of sleep paralysis.

In addition to the feature screenings, there are also several blocks of shorts on the festival schedule, more than a dozen of which were made by San Antonio filmmakers, according to Valderrama. Special guest appearances confirmed to date include writer Jeffrey Reddick (Dead Awake, Final Destination) as well actors Brea Grant (Dead Awake, Dexter) and Tamara Duarte (Badsville, Longmire).

On Sunday, Oct. 30, the filmmakers brunch will feature a panel of judges from the entertainment industry who will be awarding prizes for “Best Feature”, “Best Documentary”, “Best Short” and “Best Shot in Texas.”

Valderrama is enthusiastic about San Antonio’s future in the entertainment industry. “With the new incentive program that was approved by the City Council this week, we will begin to see an increasing number of commercial, studio, and network productions,” he said. “This, of course, will have a great economic impact in job creation throughout the city, not only in the industry, but in all fields.”

Councilman Robert Treviño (D1) is interviewed during the 2015 Alamo City Film Festival.
Councilman Robert Treviño (D1) is interviewed during the 2015 Alamo City Film Festival. Credit: Courtesy / Alamo City Film Festival

$100 VIP badges give attendees access to the festival’s grand opening ceremony on the River Walk on Thursday, Oct. 27th, all film screenings, Friday and Saturday night afterparties, and a three-day general admission pass to the the Alamo City Comic Con.

Two-day badges go for $45, and single day passes for Friday or Saturday are $25. Tickets for individual screenings are also available for $7 each.

More information can be obtained by going to the festival site.

Kurt Gardner

Kurt Gardner is a cultural critic and digital marketing professional. He reviews film, theater, and music for Blogcritics, ArtBeatLA and ArtSceneSA.