I’m in the planning phase of shooting my first short documentary. To fuel my creative thinking, I attended the oldest Latino film festival in the United States, Cine Festival, right here in San Antonio, Texas at the historic Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center.
What a great experience. This is a smaller festival but it was packed with great content. The premiere event on opening night was the film “Dolores” from producer Carlos Santana. Now, not having grown up in San Antonio, before moving here 10 years ago, I had never really heard of Cesar Chavez and certainly had never heard of Dolores Huerta, the co-founder of the United Farm Workers. The film of her life and her work with the UFW and Cesar Chavez was inspiring to say the least. At this screening a number of Latino political figures were present, including Julian Castro, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Obama, his mother Maria “Rosie” Castro, another strong Latino woman who as a single mother, brought her twin sons up to be a voice for the Latino people in politics and government, and Dolores herself was at the screening and gave a great Q&A at the end of the screening.
I also viewed “Brewed in the 210” about the craft beer revival in San Antonio with interviews from local brewery owners and even some politicians speaking about “why craft beer matters”. I had a chance to chat with the director/writer Marco Ortega, who graciously agreed to do a screening for my workplace, so I’m super excited for the opportunity!
The last flick that I had a chance to view was “El Hombre Que Vio Desmasiado” or “The Man Who Saw Too Much”. This was an unflinching look at a tabloid photographer Enrique Metinides and his life of photographing crimes, corpses, and wrecks. While seemingly just a tabloid photographer, a retrospective look at Metinide’s work, work from a man who had no formal training, makes you realize that his photography instinct and skill produced images that were not just ugly and grueling, but also artistic and thoughtful. This film and Metinide’s photographs force us to remember how fragile our lives are. My favorite line from the film (Paraphrased) “Societies that are not litigious rely on two principals: Violence and common sense”.
I’m looking forward to my next film festival, SXSW Film, where I will catch the last 1/2 of the festival! Posting to follow!