The 2017 Nacogdoches Film Festival was held on February 24-26, 2017 at various locations throughout Nacogdoches, Texas, including the SFA Cole Art Center, Lamp-Lite Theatre and the SFA Student Center Theater.

The following films were featured:

Apollo 13

Al Reinert was nominated for an Academy Award for his screenplay for Ron Howard's Academy Award-winning tribute to the heroic crew of Apollo 13.

For All Mankind

This documentary, written and directed by Al Reinert, won the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize for documentary films, in addition to being nominated for an Academy Award. Reinert's work on this film led director Ron Howard to hire him several years later to write the screenplay for his blockbuster film, Apollo 13, for which Reinert earned a second Oscar nomination.

Two Trains Runnin’

A documentary set in Mississippi during the height of the American civil rights movement about the search for two forgotten blues singers. Texas native Christopher North scored the music for the film, with the screenplay written by Benjamin Hedin.


The 2015 SFA Film Program summer film project was directed by SFA graduate student Justin Herring and was completely produced by current SFA students. This dark comedy is about two slackers who steal a cooler looking for booze but, instead, find two human kidneys inside.

Hap and Leonard

Two episodes from season one  ("Savage Season" and "The Bottoms"), a popular television series based on the Hap and Leonard novels by Nacogdoches resident Joe R. Lansdale. The series has been signed up for a third season.


A comedy co-directed by Amber Benson (best known for her role as Tara in the television series, Buffy the Vampire Killer) that has been described as The Office meets Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Until Proven Innocent

Winner of the 2017 Feature Film competition, this documentary was directed by East Texan Jenna Jackson


  • Al Reinert — two-time Academy Award nominated director and screenwriter (For All Mankind and Apollo 13)
  • Christopher North — composer who wrote the score for Two Trains Runnin'
  • Benjamin Hedin — screenwriter and director of Two Trains Runnin'
  • Justin Herring — director of Camino and a graduate of the SFA film program
  • Levie Isaacks, A.S.C.cinematographer, For All Mankind
  • Amber Benson — novelist/director/screenwriter, she is best known for her role as Tara Maclay on the long-running TV series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Amber co-created, co-wrote, and directed the animated supernatural Web series, Ghosts of Albion, for the BBC with Christopher Golden.
  • Joe R. Lansdale — writer, Hap and Leonard novels
  • Jeff Pope — actor, season one of Hap and Leonard television series
  • Carl Crum  — writer and producer of One Square Mile, a documentary  series broadcast on more than 150 public television stations in 39 states, and a graduate of the SFA film program.
  • Jeff "Moose" Howery — has worked as Dolly Grip, Key Grip and Best Boy for over 55 film and television productions and was the dolly grip for Apollo 13.
  • Brad Maule — a member of the SFA film school faculty, Brad played Dr. Tony Jones on General Hospital for 25 years
  • Larry Waks — attorney who maintains a high-level Intellectual Property practice serving a broad range of domestic and international clients in the high tech, media and entertainment industries


Short Films

  •  1st Place — Fair Games (directed by Grant Moore)
    2nd Place — Cowboys & Indians (directed by Emilia Ruiz)
    3rd Place — Baby Girl (directed by Joshua DeFour)

Full-Length Feature Film

  • Until Proven Innocent — directed by Jenna Jackson

High School Short Film

  • 1st Place — Newsman (directed by Clay Bloodworth)
  • 2nd Place — For the Love of Art (directed by Mic Brown)
  • 3rd Place — BLOB (directed by Logan McCurter)
2017 Nacogdoches Film Festival Summary

Justin Herring with some of the cast and crew of CAMINO at the Q&A

Al Reinert, James McMahan and Carl Crum

Jeff Pope, Amber Benson and Joe R. Lansdale

Christopher North and Benjamin Hedin

2017 Nacogdoches Film Festival Summary