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Shoot To Kill Film Festival Showcases Student Filmmakers

Review of Annual TAMIU Student Film Festival

By Louis San Miguel
On September 18, 2014

Texas A&M International University’s aspiring student filmmakers presented the culmination of their semester’s efforts during the Shoot to Kill Film Festival. Held on May 14, the festival showcased eight films that were worked on by directors, producers, camera operators, and editors who all attend TAMIU. Although the start of the show was slightly delayed due to some technical difficulties with audio, the festival delighted and entertained an eager public with a splendid range of dialogue and action that brought the filmmakers’ ideas to life.

The festival started strongly with Conrado Sosa’s Afternoon Tea. The film, a sequel to his previous film titled Morning Coffee, was highly stylized, experimental drama that told its story without dialogue. Though this would usually hurt any other film, the well-composed shots and lyricless music do well to set the mood. The actors do the rest. Other standout films included Alley Way, a ballet film with dazzling choreography and Brothers, a film about brotherly love and how far a bit of love can take you in the world.

The talk of the festival was Perfect Week, a film from Space Rat Productions. The comedy told a story about a man dealing with his girlfriend leaving him for another man with unusual anatomy. I’ll leave the twist for you to discover on your own, but suffice it to say the man has a hard time coming to terms with this and decides to live a better life without restrictions as a result. The film has some of the best dialogue in a student film that I’ve ever seen. The conversations flow naturally, are quite comical and remind me of the dialogue found in Clerks by Kevin Smith.

What’s most amazing about the finished products was the amount of work put into the films by the students. Not only did they have to write a script, audition actors and actually shoot the movie, they did it all while keeping up with their schoolwork.

“I was up until 4:00 in the morning last night worrying and working on this film” Cynthia Ramos, co-director of Perfect Week, said.

Dago Carmona, who directed The Realist Scope, also revealed he was working hard perfecting his film in the hours leading up to the festival. In addition, many of the directors of one film pulled double duty by acting in two or three others. Following the conclusion of the films, the filmmakers were questioned by the audience on their thought processes and the development of the films.

The director of Product of the Bully was particularly insightful about her film, in which a gang a girls strike back against a bully who had previously tormented the school.

“The whole idea was to portray the fantasy of killing someone who bothers you infinitely in the worst possible ways.” Gabriela Galvan said. “I talked [to others] and they were like ‘Yeah! My bullies; I wish I could have pulled their hair and dragged them by it.”

The film did well to show the depth of what could happen if bullying goes unpunished by turning a normal group of girls into cold-blooded killers.

For those of you that missed out on the festival, most of the films will be found online, though not uploaded by press time, by heading to the Shoot to Kill Festival’s facebook page at

(Louis San Miguel can be reached at for any information regarding this article)

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