Local Filmmaker Kerry Valderrama was instrumental in the creation of “Sanitarium,” a feature film anthology that consisted of three tales based on particular patients of a mental institution. The project attracted well-known stars, including Malcolm McDowell, Lou Diamond Phillips, John Glover, Robert Englund, David Mazouz, Lacey Chabert, and Chris Mulkey. With elements from “Creep Show,” “The Twilight Zone,” “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” and “Tales from the Crypt,” “Sanitarium” explores different narratives of the insane patients – tales which led to their crazed states of minds, according to the movie's Facebook page. All three tales were directed by local directors, Bryan Ramirez, Bryan Ortiz and Valderrama. The screenplay was co-written by Valderrama, C.M. Bratton, Scott Marcano, Evan Boston, James Hartz and Ortiz. Remy Carter co-produced.
A prolific Taylor James Johnson and his production company, Taylor Trash Productions, won an all-expense paid trip to the MTV Movie Awards for winning a video contest spoofing Ryan Gosling. They also were featured on JoBlo.com, interviewed by the National Geographic Channel for their documentary work, and won multiple categories in the Summer Remake Challenge, which was screened at the San Antonio Film Festival, South Texas Underground Film Festival and SA Local film festival. Video Dance TV featured their film “Black Cracker” as the “Dance Video of the Day,” won Best Alternative Video at New Vistas in Media for “This is Keith Rolyat,” and screened a documentary at Blue Ocean Film Festival in Calif.
"Symphony of Silence"
Cedric Thomas Smith wrote and directed the short film, “Symphony of Silence,” starring Anthony Guajardo, Ben Carlee, Veronica Orosco and George Cisneros. The film – which depicts a gay teenager whose bully is his own brother - made its premiere at the South Texas Underground Film Festival and won the Best LGBT Short Award. The film also won the Grand Jury Prize at the San Antonio Local Film festival. Smith also wrote and directed a short titled, “Brackenridge Park: A Love Story,” as part of the San Antonio Neighborhood Film Project. The film went on to be selected as an official selection of the Yuma Film Festival. Starring Jamye Cox and Jose Corres, it is the story of a female soldier who comes back from Iraq with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and does not remember her husband.
Filmmaker Mark Aaron Cantu was busy in 2012. He produced his first feature, “Now Hiring” – about an out-of-work husband who accidentally lands a job as a superhero - is in production. “Fuse,” a sci-fi short film that tells the story of a not-so-distant future where a group of survivors and mercenaries fight for the only cure to a man-made virus. It stars San Antonio talent, Alejandro Vargas Lugo, Jason Scarbrough, Stacie Reyes Kidd, and Kris Kidd. He also produced “Love For Life,” a music video for Nadine Mansour.
This year, Filmmaker and Screenwriter Michele Ryan's award-winning screenplay, “Second Lives,” added two more screenwriting awards to the four the script won in 2011, including Fade In Awards quarterfinalist and WriteMovies Contest finalist. Ryan also co-organized the first year of the San Antonio Screenwriters Guild. She also produced a short film called “The Cure” that is in post-production, and started production on her first feature, “Zombie Prombie.”
Rogelio Salinas’ short film, “Tyler’s Gift,” had a successful Kickstarter campaign, which funded a local premiere screening and submission into several film festivals. The film is about a grieving military widow who then loses her only child and donates the child’s heart. Salinas and Odyssey Creative Entertainment screened 18 additional shorts including a music video for renown piano prodigy, Reuel, featuring the talents of local fire troupe, Nocturnal Sol. They also produced another music video called “Stand” by a rising Christian hip-hop artist named Poetic Soulja.
Scott Langford was also quite busy in 2012. He produced a one-hour comedy pilot written by Joshua Thomas called “Watching You” that went on to premiere at Santikos Palladium Theater in June 2012 in front of a sold-out crowd. He also produced a short film titled “Unknown Caller,” directed by Chris Kruse and shot by award-winning filmmaker Clay Liford. The film premiered at the San Antonio Film Festival 2012, and was later selected as part of the Texas Indies series and played at the Bijou Theater. Langford also produced and co-wrote a 48 Hour Film Project in July 2012 called “Mudslingers,” that went on to win the audience award. His 48-Hour Film Project - San Antonio Experience short film, “Kendall County Hunters,” that went on to win First Place for Best Film, “Best Actor” (Brant Bumpers), and “Best Actress” (Lara Shah). In addition to his production work, Langford also served as the Feature Film Programmer for the San Antonio Film Festival.
Filmmaker Patsy Whitfield won the East Side division of the San Antonio Neighborhood Film Project 2012 with her short film called “Rebirth.” She also co-produced with Cedric Thomas Smith several shorts including "Symphony of Silence."