San Antonio Film Festival: Short Films – Part Two – travel film festival reviews

"Tobacco Burn"  Writers: Ajani Jackson and Justin Liberman
“Tobacco Burn”
Writers: Ajani Jackson and Justin Liberman

Of the dozens of shorts screened at this year’s San Antonio Film Festival, some really stood out in terms of execution, creative vision, and dramatic heft.

Here’s another selection of compelling films I saw at the Festival held July 29th through August 2nd, 2015. Click on each film’s title for more information.


Report and reviews by Kurt Gardner.



Writer/Director: Bryan Tan

Director of Photography: Bradley M. Watson

Starring: Hannah Bryan, Tyler Shackelford

This surreal, wordless fever dream of film focuses on a woman who is haunted by memories of a horrible crime perpetrated by a bicycle-riding youth who now seems to be stalking her. Imbued with a nightmarish quality — and strikingly photographed by Bradley Watson — Anomie is stylish and disturbing.



Writer/Director: Teddy Cecil

Director of Photography: Byron Werner

Production Designer: Kurt Braun

Starring: Barrett James, Dennis Keiffer, Dio Johnson, and Derek Chariton

In a post-apocalyptic underground society, citizens work in a mine to eke out a miserable existence until one of them (Barrett James) rebels against the system, sparking a revolution. In what is essentially a 20-minute action movie, the special effects and details here are nothing short of amazing, easily stacking up against fare many times its budget. This is a story that cries out to be expanded into feature length.


Tobacco Burn

Director: Justin Liberman

Writers: Ajani Jackson and Justin Liberman

Director of Photography: Zachary Halberd

Starring: Lawrence Crimlis, Stephen Tyrone Williams, William C. Jackson, and Daralyn Jay

This period drama is set in the years before the Civil War. Plantation owner Sherman (Lawrence Crimlis) has repeatedly been raping Loretta (Daralyn Jay), considering her to be his property, but another slave, Marcus (Stephen Tyrone Williams) wants to punish him for his crime. Photographed by Zachary Halberd in burnished hues and providing a convincing sense of place and time, Tobacco Burn is a mournful reminder of a dark time in America’s history.



Writer/Director: Michael Fodora

Director of Photography: Nicholas Galante

Starring: Malcolm Mills, Daniel Martin Berkey, Al Thompson, and Paul Oddo

Preparing to go out on an audition, a young actor discovers that he’s suddenly been given the power to see into the immediate future. How he adapts to this “gift” and leverages it to work in his favor is the source of the humor in this bright, quick comedy.


San Antonio Film Festival: Short Films – Part One report can be read here.





Kurt Gardner



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