Five Reasons to watch Syfytonians on YouTube.
Back in 2014 Alejandro Cabrera attended the first ever Alamo City Toy Show where he met Apple De La Fuente. Inspired by the people amongst other things he witnessed at the pop culture event, the local filmmaker decided to approach De La Fuente about this idea for shooting a documentary which would include following and chronicling the Alamo City Comic Con CEO for an extended amount of time. Admittedly, De La Fuente found the whole idea of being shadowed weird and being a somewhat private person asked Cabrera why he would want to follow around a dork. Fortunately he agreed and as a result everyone will soon be able to see the end product. I had the opportunity to catch the screening of Syfytonians before its September 6 premiere date on YouTube and wanted to share my thoughts.
I’m not going to spoil the film for anyone by writing about the details of all the interviews and topics covered. Just know that if you are from the Alamo City, a fan of comic books, cosplay, games, and toys; okay what I guess I’m trying to convey is if you’re a nerd or a geek then Syfytonians is something that you are really going to enjoy. I’m not even from San Antonio, but my familiarity with the people (in this film) and the whole local pop culture scene made my experience a rewarding one.
First off, Syfytonians is personal. We learn about a crossroads that De La Fuente came to in his life, and how different his life may have been if he had gone down the other path. The honesty that Apple displays by opening up for the camera was a side that many of us (besides family perhaps) don’t get to see.
Second, it’s authentic. Cabrera gives us a unique glimpse into Apple’s San Diego Comic Con days and how his experience there helped shape Alamo City Comic Con in to what it is today. I don’t think anyone will argue that De La Fuente is now viewed as a smart businessman, but the testimonies by others reveal that for Apple, it’s more about his love and passion for comics and art than it is about the money. He puts the fans first because he’s a fan himself.
Third, it’s risky. The political and economic hurdles that De La Fuente had to overcome as well as the financial risk he had to take which to him was the scariest thing he ever had to do in his life; really make Alamo City Comic Con one of the most precarious and ambitious conventions put together in recent years. Much like Apple’s challenges, Alejandro Cabrera undoubtedly took some risks with this documentary, as most young filmmakers do. Like the fans, I’m sure the journalist/director was not disappointed with the end result.
Fourth, it’s emotional. Besides De La Fuente, Cabrera takes us in to the lives of others that have been personally impacted by ACCC and Syfytonians. From a former educator struggling with a medical condition finding her second calling, to a Peruvian cosplayer finally finding a home in San Antonio, and then honoring the life of Jonathan Vela by revisiting his passion for cosplay and charity, you see just how important this community is for many people.
Finally, Syfytonians is fun and inspiring! I can’t think of two better words to describe it. It’s inspiring because you get to see this success story that is Alamo City Comic Con, how it fought through its growing pains early on to become one of the largest comic conventions in North America in just three short years. De La Fuente is not even close to being done, as he continues his hard work and dedication to bring fans more. He has already followed up his convention with Alamo City Toy Show, Guardian Knight Comics, the soon to be Alamo City Film Festival, and plans to bring in a gaming convention in the near future. As for the filmmaker, Cabrera begins shooting his follow-up to Syfytonians today (yeah no rest for the weary). Oh and the aforementioned fun, that just comes naturally with comic cons and anything and everything geek. Syfytonians shows us that while at the same time reminding us that we don’t have to possess a superpower to be a superhero.
Syfytonians premieres Sunday, September 6 on YouTube.