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CineFestival Master Classes

CineFestival Master Classes

CineFestival Master Class

From Script to Screen: Crafting a Successful Short Film

Saturday, July 7 & Sunday, July 8

10:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Galería Guadalupe, 723 S. Brazos


From the spark of the idea to the distribution process, this CineFestival master class taught by award-winning filmmaker and San Antonio native, Ya’Ke Smith, focuses on production elements essential to crafting a successful short film.

Although short films are often viewed as “calling cards” for filmmakers looking to make the leap into feature film or television production, merely thinking of them through that lens can be dangerous. Using several of his short films as case studies, Smith will speak in depth about the creative process, translating the “spark of the idea” to script form, creating a look book, casting, production, and successful film festival and distribution strategies.

Smith invites participants to submit their short film scripts (up to 10 pages), short treatments (up to 2 pages), or cuts of short films (up to 10 minutes) for critique. Upon registration, materials MUST be submitted to by June 30, 2018 to be eligible for critique. This conversational two-day Master Class encourages dialogue, and participants should arrive with questions about their film projects.

About the Instructor:

Ya’Ke Smith is an award-winning filmmaker with roots in San Antonio. His films have received worldwide acclaim, screening and winning awards at over 100 film festivals. Smith has received honors from The Director’s Guild of America, the Student Academy Awards, HBO, Showtime, and the City of Buffalo, New York, which proclaimed February 23, 2013 as Ya’Ke Smith Day. Smith has been featured on NPR, CNN, HLN, Ebony Online, Indiewire, Filmmaker Magazine, and Shadow & Act. He is currently an Associate Professor of Film in the Radio-Television-Film Department at the University of Texas at Austin.


CineFestival Master Class

Directors Working With Actors

Saturday, July 7 & Sunday, July 8

1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Galería Guadalupe, 723 S. Brazos


Award-winning filmmaker Miguel Alvarez presents a two-day Master Class that is a truly unique offering at CineFestival, Directors Working With Actors, featuring special guest Raúl Castillo.

Directors Working With Actors will focus on a scene from a feature or short script submitted by each attendee. Alvarez will examine how the scene fits into each film thematically, the point of the scene, each characters’ objectives, intended visual plan, and provide feedback and ideas for rehearsals and blocking. The primary focus of this class is to give directors an opportunity to work though a challenging scene.

Attendees are required to submit a 2 to 3 page scene with two characters from their original script, film synopsis, and character breakdowns. Upon registration, required materials MUST be submitted to by June 30, 2018. In the event a student cannot provide the required materials, the instructor will provide a sample work. Please note that the intended focus of this class is primarily for directors with original works.


About the Instructors:

Miguel Alvarez is an Austin-based filmmaker who has received awards for his short films from the Directors’ Guild of America, Panavision’s Emerging Filmmaker program, the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture, and the Austin Film Society. Miguel holds both a BS in Mechanical Engineering and an MFA in Film Production from the University of Texas at Austin where he lectures in the department of Radio-Television-Film.


An actor in film, television, and theater, Texas native Raúl Castillo is best known for his portrayal of Richie on the acclaimed HBO series Looking. For his work, Castillo earned the award for Best Comedic Actor from the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications and received the Lupe Award from the National Association of Latino Independent Producers.


Registration: $50 for CineFestival badge holders and $100 for non-badge holders per class.


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