James E. Sanders, Jr. is African-American, born and raised in a diverse but primarily Black neighborhood, Houston, Texas’ 5th Ward. This community has been home to a great number of world-renowned performing and visual artists, many of whom influenced Sanders growing up.
Sanders is a technical wizard, a one-man-band who aces directing, sound engineering, lighting, shooting, and detailed post-production on his videos. He continuously hones his craft using a fine-tuned working kit with a digital cinema camera and carefully selected vintage lenses.
Early in his career, Sanders served as production manager at KTSU-FM Houston and worked the A1 position at KLRN-TV San Antonio. Since 1982, Sanders has done freelance audio and/or video, serving on skilled broadcast crews for major networks. In the early 1990s, Sanders began to focus personal projects on documenting San Antonio’s arts scene.
Sanders creates media about social change, economic justice, and enhanced diversity.
Education is another bright thread running through Sanders’ artistic career. He shared his extensive technical knowledge as a mentor to young videographers at North East School of the Arts’ Cinema Department. Sanders also mentors young media creators informally, maintaining contact with NESA graduates and serving as a volunteer judge and mentor to high school students through NAACP’s ACT-SO Program (Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics).
James Sanders' “Chips & Salsa” explores 3 small family-owned restaurants located in older San Antonio, Texas, generationally Spanish-dominant neighborhoods. We learn how each taqueria business translates food service into added value activities that stabilize and provide economic stimulus to their communities. This episodic documentary combines interviews with owners of: • Taqueria Rello (expanded from 1 to 2 locations on the Southside), • Viva Vegeria (relocated from Alamo Heights, an Anglo area, to Nogalitos St. on the Southside to reconnect with neighborhood’s family ties; serving vegan cuisine that ‘decolonializes’ traditional comida Latina), and • Taqueria Datapoint #5 on the Westside (a taco truck business that expanded into a second popular drive-thru and small eatery) "Chips & Salsa" depicts the entrepreneurial spirit that thrives in traditionally Mexican-American areas and gives San Antonio its unique flavor.