Pictured: Las Cruces animator Lauren Roman accepts her Audience Favorite Award from Lucky McKee and Zach Passero.
Arkansas, etc., Las Cruces filmmaker Brandon Tyler’s moody drama about a couple of drifters, took the $1,000 First Prize in this year’s Local Flavor Awards, which were handed out at the conclusion of the Local Flavor program on August 4 in the Plaza Theatre.
The $750 Second Prize went to Ryan Rox of Las Cruces for the autobiographical That Tingling Sensation.
Third prize, which was worth $500, went to El Paso filmmaker Christopher Rakas for his experimental short Dada Noise 2.
This year’s Audience Favorite Award, which was selected by a live text-to-vote, was Melody by Las Cruces animator Lauren Roman. The award is worth $250.
They were among eight short films selected for this year’s annual Local Flavor, which debuted in the Plaza Theatre for the first time in its 15-year history. Local Flavor was sponsored by the Texas Film Commission, whose Katie Kelly was on hand to help hand out the awards. The fifth annual Local Flavor Awards were sponsored by Raiz Federal Credit Union.
More than 200 people attended the screening and awards, with 140 voting via text for the audience favorite. It was sponsored by the El Paso Non-Profit Exchange. An after-party at the Hotel Paso Del Norte’s Sabor Patio followed the screening and awards ceremony.
This year’s selections were:
• Aqui es El Paso (Dubeth Ramferi Cortez), 20 minutes — Narrative about an immigrant stranded in Juarez who is helped by a stranger.
• Arkansas, etc. (Brandon Tyler), 14:45 minutes — Impressionistic short about a loner and a runaway whose lives spiral when they cross paths.
• Dada Noise 2 (Christopher Rakas), 3:12 minutes — A writer literally gives his heart away in this experimental, Lynchian short.
• Melody (Lauren Roman), 5:11 minutes — Animated short about a father who sings his daughter into existence but they are tested by a new song.
• Ome Tlaloc (Jacqueline Barragan), 8:39 minutes — Documentary about a former gang banger tattoo artist who embraces his indigenous culture.
• That Tingling Sensation (Ryan Rox), 29:59 minutes — A coming-of-age drama in which a tragedy leads a young man to confront his prejudices.
• Visiones Diurnas (J. Genaro Limon and Arantza C. Shaeffer), 4:38 minutes — Experimental short in which a pianist and painter in quarantine discover new possibilities.
• Where Is the Governor? (Carlos Humberto Tejeda), 9:30 minutes — Comic short in which a superhero tries to save the state after its head of state made off with the money.
A total of 39 entries were submitted this year.
The Local Flavor series was curated by El Paso filmmakers Zach Passero (First Date, Weird Kidz, The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot, Wicked Lake, Motel, Glimpse) and Lucky McKee (Old Man, Kindred Spirits, The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot, May, The Woman), and festival director Doug Pullen of the El Paso Community Foundation.
The deadline for submissions has passed. Thank you for your interest!