A documentary about a forgotten Chicano leader, short films about human trafficking and success at all costs, animation, music videos and our first virtual reality film were among this year’s selections for the El Paso Community Foundation Plaza Classic Film Festival’s annual Local Flavor showcase.
Sponsored by the Texas Film Commission, Local Flavor was curated by El Paso-based filmmakers Zach Passero and Lucky McKee. They sifted through nearly 50 entries, which were made in or connected to the El Paso-Ciudad Juarez-Las Cruces, N.M. area. The selected entries were shown during the 11th annual Plaza Classic Film Festival from August 2-12, 2018 (plazaclassic.com).
The first Local Flavor Awards, sponsored by the Public Relations Association of the Southwest, were announced in a special presentation at the end of the festival. The first place Local Flavor Award went to Bebe by Ryan Zaragoza, who won $1,000. Jonathan Gonzales’ Act of Contrition won the audience-voted Audience Flavorite Award. He won $500.
Here’s a rundown of the films and programs we showed last year:
• Local Flavor I
8 p.m. Saturday, August 4, Foundation Room
Avalanche, Amalia Mondragon music video (Robert Holguin)
Shotgun, comedy (Jenn Garcia/Colin A. Borden)
Act of Contrition, drama (Jonathan Gonzales)
Twilight Prophecy, animation (Enrique Ponce/Joseph Scheidemandel)
Matter of Black, drama (Jenn Garcia, Robert Dugan)
Mask World, sci-fi (Francisco Castaneda)
Bebe, drama (Ryan Zaragoza)
• The Wall VR
2:30 p.m. Sunday, August 5, Foundation Room
The 18-minute, border-themed virtual reality short, the first virtual reality film in the Plaza Classic’s history, will be screened on headsets continuously over a 90-minute period. Filmmaker Claudio Lai will be present to demonstrate and answer questions.
• They Called Me King Tiger
3:30 p.m. Sunday, August 5, Philanthropy Theatre
$4 at the Plaza Theatre Box Office
Juarez filmmaker Angel Estrada Soto’s documentary about late Chicano leader Reies Lopez Tijerina, in Spanish with English subtitles.
• Local Flavor II
8 p.m. Saturday, August 11, Foundation Room
Real Eyes, Tawanda music video (Jenn Garcia/Robert Dugan)
Parade of Dreams, documentary (Chris Hanna/Gabe Gillette)
Lost Paradise, Fools Like Me music video (Eric Coughanor/Oliver G. Tavizon)
Hall Monitors, animation (Victor Maestas)
The Arrangements, drama (Kim McKean)
Blood Stains, drama (Blake Vaz)
• Local Flavor Awards
2:30 p.m. Sunday, August 12, Foundation Room
We announced and showed the Local Flavor (Bebe, Ryan Zaragoza) and Audience Flavorite (Act of Contrition, Jonathan Gonzales) winners, plus the winners from the El Paso Film Commission’s El Paso 2 Day Movie Challenge.