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16th Annual San Antonio Film Festival

Critic's Pick Release Date: 2010-06-23

Including the shorts shown at last Saturday’s CineMundo screening in Main Plaza, some 134 films are included in the 16th Annual San Antonio Film Festival. Over five days, films ranging in length from 60 seconds (SA-based Lissette Longoria’s PSA Don’t Smoke, Sunday) to 127 minutes (Austin-based Mike Woolf’s documentary Man on a Mission, Friday) will be screened on the Insitituto Cultural de México’s Frida Kahlo, Jose Clemente Orozco, and Auditorium screens. Other than a few repeats, like Eric Fonseca’s creepy labor of love The Fall of the House of Usher `see “Death by inches,” March 10, 2010`, which precedes Sunday-evening’s audience awards presentation, and Dora Pena’s mysterious Dream Healing (also Sunday), most of the films are making their SA debuts. Don’t let the festival’s title fool you; independent films from as far away as Bosnia (Tuzlic Berin’s Les epouvantails `Scarecrow`, Friday), Colombia (Ron Jacobs’s En Tus Manos, Thursday), and Sweden (Hans Montelius’s An Affair with Dolls, Saturday) are mixed in with 45 homegrown flicks, 26 of which were created in San Antonio and the surrounding area (two even have the odd distinction of hailing from Universal City, which has a nice cinematic ring to it). Based on short teasers and impressive-looking film stills, we’re looking forward to The Burning Desire (based on the 1999 Texas A&M bonfire that killed 12 students, Wednesday), Gillface (a sci-fi musical meets office romance, starring an “Aquatic-American,” Thursday), Sapsucker (in which a rare woodpecker is stalked, Saturday), Thomas Comma (a 24-minute animated feature about a comma searching for the perfect sentence to punctuate, Sunday), and Breaking Borders: Cross Dressers & Drag (directed by El Paso-based Diana Cordova, Friday). Five-day pass: $69; night screenings (7-10pm Wednesday-Sunday): $15; day screenings (2-5pm Thursday-Sunday): $10; tickets can be purchased at the door or online at, 7-10pm Wednesday, 2-5pm and 7-10pm Thursday-Sunday, Instituto Cultural de México, 600 HemisFair Park, (210) 227-0123,

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