The Beginning is Near

This film is available for the run of the festival starting the day of Thanksgiving 2021. To watch or to vote for this film please click on the orange “TICKETS” button below and purchase a ticket for BLOCK 13.  You also have the option to buy the Movie Buff Pass to watch all the films of the festival until December 15, 2021.


Vincent Valdez is an American artist born in San Antonio, Texas who focuses on painting, drawing, and printmaking. His artwork often emphasizes themes of social justice, memory, and ignored or under-examined historical narratives. Vincent Valdez is most recognized for his monumental portrayal of the contemporary figure. His drawn and painted subjects remark on a universal struggle within various socio-political arenas and eras.

Director Biography – Ray Santisteban


is an award winning documentary filmmaker whose work has aired nationally and internationally on public television. His projects consistently gravitate toward political subjects and artist profiles, addressing the themes of justice, memory and personal transformation

A graduate of NYU’s film and TV production program, his subjects include NY Black Panther leader Dhoruba Bin Wahad – Passin’ It On, (Co-Producer), which was Broadcast on POV in 1993 and Internationally, the roots of Puerto Rican poetry, Nuyorican Poets Cafe (1994, Director, Producer, Editor), Chicano poetry, Voices From Texas (Director, Producer). He was Senior Producer of Visiones: Latino Art And Culture In The U.S. a three hour PBS series nationally broadcast in Oct. 2004. In January of 2020, his one hour documentary, THE FIRST RAINBOW COALITION, was broadcast nationally on the PBS series Independent Lens.

Awards garnered include: a 1992 Student Academy Award (information division), a New York Foundation for the Arts Media Fellowship, 1993, 1996 “Ideas In Action” Award from the National Tele-Media Alliance, 1996 “Faculty of the Year” Award from the Chicano Studies Program, UW Madison, 2005 Rockefeller Film and Video Fellowship, 2008 and 2016 San Antonio Artists Foundation Filmmaker Award, and a 2016 Tobin Award for Artistic Excellence. In 2017 he was awarded a Firelight Media Documentary Fellowship. Since 1998, he has been based in San Antonio, Texas.

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