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Five San Antonio Filmmakers Win the San Antonio Film Commission’s 2020 Local Filmmaker Grant

Posted 1 years 153 days ago ago by Carol Schliesinger (SAMHD)

SAN ANTONIO (Nov. 21, 2019)The San Antonio Film Commission, a division of the City of San Antonio’s Department of Arts & Culture, has announced the winners of its 2020 San Antonio Local Filmmaker Grant: Eduardo Ibarguen Ruiz-Healy, Dean Hollis, Aundar Ma’at, Alex Ramirez, and Natasha Straley.

The matching grants, each in the amount of $5,000, will assist these directors with production costs for their projects throughout the rest of 2019 and 2020. The grant is intended to help support and grow San Antonio’s talented filmmaking community.

The Local Filmmaker Grant is a competitive grant awarded through an application process. The program supports San Antonio filmmakers who have at least $5,000 in funding commitments in place for short films of all genres except industrial, promotional pieces, music videos and “works-for-hire.”

“Our film focuses on our city’s history, specifically the many contributions African Americans have made to San Antonio,” said Aundar Ma’at, producer and primary writer with “Walk on the River 2.0.” “We are thrilled to be recipients of this grant and to have the Film Commission’s support in our mission to tell and share this important story.”

The winning filmmakers and their projects represent diverse topics, showcasing the depth of talent and capabilities in the San Antonio film community. The Local Filmmaker Grant winners and projects include:


  • Eduardo Ibarguen Ruiz-Healy, “The River”: Mexico City-born writer, director and producer Eduardo Ruiz-Healy grew up in San Antonio and studied film at New York University Tisch School of the Arts. After working in New York City and Mexico City, he returned to San Antonio where he has since worked on various local feature productions, shorts and nationally-branded commercials. “The River” follows two kids as they get into mischief along the banks of the Rio Grande and discover something dangerous lurking beneath the waters of the river.


  • Dean Hollis, “Vormund”: While earning a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts from Texas Tech University, Dean Hollis interned for a San Antonio-based production company, fell in love with filmmaking and hasn’t stopped since. He worked in Los Angeles as a full-time videographer and editor for a multi-media marketing company before returning to San Antonio. “Vormund” focuses on Faye, an eight-year-old artist struggling to exist in a world that doesn’t seem to want her. When her drawing of a monster comes to life as her guardian angel, she discovers her worth is determined by her and her alone.
  • Aundar Ma’at, “Walk on the River 2.0”: Producer and primary writer for this project, Aundar Maat is a student of history, cultural activist and business owner. Ma’at moved to San Antonio in 1988 while serving in the US Air Force, and after military service, he worked as a school teacher for 20 years. Ma’at wrote, performed, and co-produced the movie “Message to the People: A Story of Malcolm X,” and he is the co-producer of the documentary film, “Walk on the River: A Black History of Alamo City.” “Walk on the River 2.0” is a prequel and follow-up to this film, chronicling the African American history in San Antonio before 1865 (the year of emancipation).
  • Alex Ramirez, “Young Lust”: Alex Ramirez is an award-winning Mexican-American filmmaker and a graduate of the University of Texas – Pan American with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre/TV/Film. His films have screened domestically and around the globe and he currently teaches media and film at SAY Sí. “Young Lust” provides thrills as a bloodsucking trio of South American boogeymen seek out a young woman whose recent infertility diagnosis has turned her life upside down.           
  • Natasha Straley, “Border de Tejas”: Natasha Straley is an independent narrative film director. She began her career as an actor before accepting roles on the other side of the camera in 2010 where she worked in every department until her love for directing naturally rose to the surface in 2016. Straley’s work focuses on both comedic and dramatic narrative films exploring the dark underbelly of the human condition, diving into uncomfortable nuances of behaviors and relationships. Straley, a 2018 Local Filmmaker Grant winner, has directed several short films that have screened at festivals across the country. Her “Border de Tejas” documentary explores the perceptions of our Texas border from within the local communities.    


For more information about the San Antonio Film Commission and its Local Filmmaker Grant, visit


About the San Antonio Film Commission
The San Antonio Film Commission is a go-to resource for filmmakers. As a full-service agency that promotes the art and craft of moviemaking in San Antonio, the film commission provides an array of services available to filmmakers including: location scouting, liaison services, permitting, crew and casting calls, and more. For more information about the San Antonio Film Commission, visit 




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Friday, April 23, 2021