Film Contests


The San Antonio Film Commission hosts a #FilmSA Contest each year with the mission to tell the story of the people, places and shared experiences that make San Antonio a vibrant and celebrated city for visitors, residents, and filmmakers. This contest allows filmmakers to compete for cash prizes, a screening at Mission Marquee Plaza, and to be included in the City of San Antonio's marketing efforts (where applicable).

In 2018, the #FilmSA Contest featured three entry categories. The categories, and their winners, are detailed below.


In the fall of 2017, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated San Antonio a Creative City of Gastronomy, making the city part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN). San Antonio is only the second city in the U.S. to earn this distinction, and the first in Texas. UNESCO's Creative Cities Network promotes international cooperation and encourages the sharing of experiences and resources to promote local sustainable development through culture and creativity. San Antonio’s culinary heritage evolves out of its history as a confluence and crossroads of cultures, geology and geography.  

In collaboration with the Office of World Heritage, the San Antonio: A Creative City of Gastronomy Student Category offered young people of two age groups, 14 – 17 years old and 18 – 21 years old, the opportunity to showcase San Antonio as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy. This category allowed filmmakers to highlight topics including: 

  1. What makes San Antonio’s culinary scene so unique.
  2. The filmmakers’ favorite aspects of San Antonio’s culinary scene. 
  3. What living in a Creative City of Gastronomy means to them.

The category’s goal was to:

  1. To help our youth acquire a better knowledge of the UNESCO designation
  2. To convey to our youth a stronger sense of belonging and pride concerning living in a UNESCO Creative City, through their personal vision.
  3. To allow young people to express themselves on the Creative City of Gastronomy designation and, in particular, on that of their city.
  4. To ensure that young people are involved in the conservation of our heritage and culture both in how it has made us what we are today and how it shapes our future as we integrate it into our sustainable development.

The Creative City of Gastronomy category also required students to use “Celebration,” an original score composed and recorded by Federico Chavez-Blanco as the official score for Tricentennial.

Nathan Arellano and Sarah Casillas, students of John Marshall High School, took the top award for this category with their "A Bite of Culture" entry below: 


The Locations of San Antonio category offered filmmakers the opportunity to showcase San Antonio as a destination full of locations prime for filming. Filmmakers find San Antonio full of unique locales – urban and rural, historic and contemporary, artistic and industrial. The goal of this competition was to showcase these diverse and unique locations from the perspective of those who know it best – local filmmakers. Filmmakers were encouraged to use creativity and storytelling to showcase these locations in a unique way, with the goal of featuring San Antonio as a film-friendly destination. They were also required to use “Celebration,” an original score composed and recorded by Federico Chavez-Blanco as the official score for Tricentennial.

Nicholas Luna and Trevor Aranda, students at John Marshall High School, took the top spot in this category for their entry "No Law" below:


San Antonio is celebrating its 300th anniversary throughout 2018. The Tricentennial Celebration is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will be commemorated with a year-long calendar of events, activities, and innovative initiatives that will carry San Antonio into the next 300 years. This category allowed filmmakers to join the celebration with the opportunity to tell San Antonio’s story in their own way. 

Katie Murtagh-Huerta took first place in this category with her "Medaling with Fiesta" entry below:



San Antonio student filmmaker, Fatima Aguillon of Harlandale High School, not only took first place in San Antonio's "My City, My World Heritage" competition, but she also won top place in the international level of this contest. Watch Fatima's winning film below and learn more about her international prize here