The four-day event wrapped up this past Sunday, June 22 at Instituto Cultural de Mexico. This year’s guest of honor was Luciana Cabarga, an accomplished producer who worked alongside film director and actor John Huston in the 1984 film, Under the Volcano. Huston was known for films such as The Maltese Falcon, Key Largo and The African Queen.
Ari Gold, Los Angles director and recipient of the 2008 San Antonio Film Festival Grand Prize Award, was one of several honorees among the crowd. Gold’s 96-minute movie, Adventures of Power, premiered at the 2008 Sundance Festival, and has earned a number of other international film awards. Adventures of Power tells the story of a man whose considered an outcast by many of his peers, but becomes inspired by his rejection from others. His mission is to bring together other outcasts like him and hopefully change the world.
One of the most memorable films this year was Reborn: New Orleans Schools, directed by Drea Cooper of Mill Valley, Calif. The 88-minute film and winner of the SA Film Festival’s Amateur Award traces the emotional and physical transition of students returning to school in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. The emotionally-charged and thought-provoking film’s plotline centers around a charter school where administrators and families are readjusting to the school system, surpassing the challenges faced by inner city students while trying to align their lifestyles following the natural disaster.
The film festival serves as a stepping stone for many of these directors who are pursing careers as producers and directors. Two main goal they hoped to achieve were whether they connected with spectators through their movies, and taking advantage of the opportunity they had to mingle and network with other producers and directors.