First year of the Viva Texas Film Festival in Victoria

It’s a busy weekend for the arts in Victoria with a film festival and an arts and music walk through downtown Victoria.

VICTORIA, Texas – It’s a weekend for the arts in Victoria. For the first time in Victoria’s history, the city hosted the Viva Texas Film Festival.
Joshua Shultz is the writer, director and lead actor of the film ‘Americana’ – which premiered here in Victoria at the Viva Texas Film Festival.

“I came to Victoria and felt like these people were the people we dreamed of meeting. They are incredibly nice people, they were so welcoming and celebrated the arts. It’s weird that I’ve never heard of Victoria before, and now that I’m here I think it’s like this diamond in town,” Shultz says.

In addition to the Viva Texas Film Festival, they had Harley’s number one stunt team doing wheelies and burnouts to kick off the weekend, Victoria Harley even let them borrow bikes for the stunts.

Karissa Winters and Claire Santellana are the founders of the film festival and they say events like this help the city of Victoria thrive.

“We’ve had people staying in hotels, using Victoria Airport, full hotels. Shopping and eating here so it has been so wonderful. I mean it was our dream to just stimulate our economy to get more growth and also give opportunities here. We’ve had people say maybe they want to move their studio here and like I said, cinema films, so I think that’s a huge deal,” says Winters.

Jennifer Sharp whose film, ‘Una Great Movie’, is about a black woman traveling through Mexico, says Victoria is a great place to show her film with Victoria’s Mexican origins and cultures, you can see this screening Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m.

“But there’s a bunch of different vibes, so it was really interesting. Victoria is the one where it’s all about Mexico and America and weirdly enough it’s my movie talking so it was that niche “, says Sharp.

And it’s not just movies but art too, Saturday from 5 to 9 is the Downtown Victoria Art Walk in DeLeon Square, you can check out the freshly painted crosswalks and check out local artists and a musical walk to hear local musicians.

Gerald R. Schneider