EDINBURG, RGV – The 3rd annual South Texas International Film Festival wrapped up on over the weekend with the biggest audience to date.

Jonathan Torres, committee member for STXIFF, estimates that over 1,000 people attended the three-day festival – a jump from the few hundred that participated in its inaugural year.

As the event grows, the committee receives more film entries from around the world, all vying to win an “Eddie.” This year, “Antenna,” a German short film directed by Carsten Woike, received four nominations and won best director and best short film.

Winners in the regional category included short films “Jornalero” and “Stay.” And, the top honor of best feature film went to “Blur Circle” from director Chris Hansen.

As the winners went up to accept their awards, almost every one of them mentioned the kindness they received from organizers and the community in general. Woike, who flew in for the ceremony, went so far as to say that they were the “best people” he had ever met at any film festival.

Letty Leija, festival co-founder and Edinburg Director of Library and Cultural Arts, says comments like those have her excited for next year’s event.

“For them to say that they love coming to our festival, that they’re going to continue to submit – it means a lot to us because we want them to feel that way,” said Leija. “It just makes us want to continue to work harder to make it a success.”

Leija said the City of Edinburg hosts the annual South Texas International Film Festival in an effort to promote the Visual Arts in the Rio Grande Valley. She described it as a competitive international film festival that accepts films in the categories of Regional Film, Short Film and Feature Length Film.

“Unlike many other young film festivals, STXIFF is intensely focused on building professional connections and opportunities by inviting a wide array of indispensable industry professionals from feature film producers to independent production companies. We strive to bring together local filmmakers and community leaders to help strengthen the South Texas film industry and share our work around the world,” Leija said.