El Paso, TX

July 18 - July 28, 2024 • El Paso, TX


PCFF now accepting Local Flavor submissions

February 26

Submissions for this year’s Local Flavor Showcase and Awards are now open.

A total of $3,650 in cash prizes will be awarded to filmmakers this year, including new awards for students films.

The deadline to submit your films is 11:59 pm Monday, June 17. It is FREE to submit. You can enter your film here.

The Plaza Classic Film Festival’s Local Flavor Showcase and Awards is accepting short and feature-length films (works-in-progress will not be accepted). Projects must have been completed on or after January 1, 2023 and must be made locally, set locally, or have a connection of some kind to the El Paso-Juarez-Las Cruces area, which should be noted in the online entry form’s Synopsis window.

A panel of judges will review all of the submissions and select finalists for this year’s showcase and awards program, which will be in the Plaza Theatre during this year’s Plaza Classic.

This year’s awards include the $1,500 First Prize, $1,000 Second Prize, and $750 Third Prize. A $250 Audience Favorite Award will be determined by a live text-to-vote during the showcase.

New this year: a $100 First Prize for a film by a college student; and a $50 First Prize for a film by a high school student.

Local Flavor is sponsored by the El Paso Film & Creative Industries Commission, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and the El Paso Community Foundation.

This year’s Local Flavor Showcase and Awards will be curated by El Paso-based, Emmy Award-winning Producer Javier Gonzalez; award-winning Las Cruces filmmaker and NMSU Creative Media Institute associate professor Ilana Lapid ; and Asia Saucedo, a member of the El Paso Community Foundation staff and longtime Plaza Classic Film Festival contributor.

Call 915-533-4020 or email local@plazaclassic.com for more information.

Iliana Sosa's 'God Save Texas: La Frontera' gets EP premiere Feb. 23

February 6

Fresh from its Sundance Film Festival debut, El Paso native Iliana Sosa will attend the El Paso premiere screening of her new HBO Original documentary God Save Texas: La Frontera at 7 pm Friday, February 23 in the Philanthropy Theatre in the Plaza Theatre Performing Arts Centre. A Q&A will follow the film.

Admission is FREE. No tickets are required.

The premiere is presented by the El Paso Community Foundation Plaza Classic Film Festival and the El Paso Film & Creative Industries Commission.

The 54-minute La Frontera is a personal exploration of how neplanta, a Nahuatl word for the concept of being in between two worlds, characterizes Sosa’s relationship with her Mexican heritage and border hometown of El Paso, and how the city came together and healed after the devastating, racially motivated August 3, 2019 mass shooting there.

“My goal is to introduce the world to the hidden wealth of this borderland — a term that encapsulates diversity and vitality: neplanta,” said Sosa, a filmmaker, assistant professor of film at the University of Texas at Austin and Franklin High School graduate.

La Frontera is the third installment of the God Save Texas trilogy, based on the best-selling book by author Lawrence Wright. The HBO documentary trilogy, executive produced by Texas filmmaker Richard Linklater, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January and debuts February 27 on Max. Linklater directed the first episode, God Save Texas: Hometown Prison. Fellow Texan Alex Stapleton directed part two, God Save Texas: The Price of Oil.

Sosa appeared at PCFF 2022 with her documentary What We Leave Behind, which debuted at the South by Southwest Film & TV Festival that year.

Pictured: Iliana Sosa (right) with her mother Maria Elia Sosa in a scene from ‘God Save Texas: La Frontera’
Photo courtesy of HBO

Holiday Movies are a hit!

January 2

Happy new year!

2023 ended on a high note for the El Paso Community Foundation Plaza Classic Film Festival. Attendance for our 2023 Holiday Movies at WinterFest totaled 3,516, our third highest turnout since we brought the holiday movies back in 2016 (we also showed them from 2008-2012).

We showed a total of nine movies, seven in the Plaza Theatre, the Holiday Movies’ traditional home, and two at the El Paso Museum Art, a first for the series.

Nearly 24,000 people have attended the free movies since we brought them back in 2016 (we did not show any in 2020 during the COVID-19 lockdown).

This year’s top draws were Home Alone, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Elf, and It’s a Wonderful Life, all of which were screened in the 2,040-seat Plaza Theatre.

We also showed The Polar Express and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation in the Plaza, with Miracle on 34th Street and Frozen in the 220-seat El Paso Energy Auditorium at the El Paso Museum of Art.

We thank everyone who helped out, including our partners at El Paso Live, the City of El Paso, SouthCoast Audio, the El Paso Museum of Art, and organists Rick Garven and Ken Fedorick.

And we thank you taking part in the 2023 Holiday Movies experience!

Festival Pass on sale now

November 24

A holiday tradition continues. Our Festival Pass is now on sale.

It’s a great gift for the film lover in your circle of family and friends.

Normally $200, the pass includes admission to almost every ticketed event during the El Paso Community Foundation Plaza Classic Film Festival, which will be July 18-28, 2024. With celebrity guests (like Edward James Olmos, pictured, in 2023) and about 100 movies over the festival’s 11-day run, that’s a lot of bang for your bucks.

That’s not all. It also includes invitations to special events, an express entry line (so you don’t have to wait in line) and discounts at various businesses near the Plaza Theatre.

The Festival Pass is on sale now at the discounted price of $175.

Go to plazaclassic.com/tickets or call 915-533-4020 to make your purchase now.

The sale ends at 11:59 pm Sunday, December 31 (New Year’s Eve).

And don’t forget: our free Holiday Movies at WinterFest open Sunday, November 26 with Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas at 1 pm and Home Alone at 3:30 pm in the Plaza Theatre, followed by Elf (1 pm) and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (3:30 pm) on December 3 in the Plaza Theatre, Miracle on 34th Street at 3 pm December 9 at the El Paso Museum of Art, Frozen at 3 pm December 16 at EPMA, The Polar Express (1 pm) and Ron Howard’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas (3:30 pm) on Dec. 21 in the Plaza Theatre, and a 1 pm matinee of It’s a Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve in the Plaza Theatre.

The Holiday Movies are FREE. No tickets are needed. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Holiday Movies return to Plaza Theatre!

November 13

The El Paso Community Foundation Plaza Classic Film Festival’s FREE Holiday Movies return to the Plaza Theatre — and expand to the El Paso Museum of Art.

Part of the City of El Paso’s eighth annual WinterFest, the Plaza Classic’s 12th seasonal series features anniversary screenings of The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), Elf (2003), and Frozen (2013), plus the return of It’s a Wonderful Life after a one-year hiatus.

The series begins Sunday, November 26 and runs on various days through Sunday, December 24.

All movies are FREE. No tickets are required.

Seating is first-come, first-served.

The Holiday Movies at the Plaza Theatre will be presented “Plaza Classic style,” including a 30-minute performance by Richard Garven on the Wyler Mighty Wurliltzer Pipe Organ before each movie.

The movies are presented in partnership with El Paso Live and the El Paso Museum of Art. Go to plazaclassic.com/schedule for details.

WinterFest runs November 18-January 1.

Here’s the Holiday Movies schedule:

Plaza Theatre Kendle Kidd Performance Hall

1 pm: The Nightmare Before Christmas (PG)
3:30 pm: Home Alone (PG)

Plaza Theatre Kendle Kidd Performance Hall

1 pm: Elf (PG)
3:30 pm: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (PG-13)

El Paso Museum of Art EP Energy Auditorium
3 pm: Miracle on 34th Street (Not rated)

El Paso Museum of Art EP Energy Auditorium
3 pm: Frozen (PG)

Plaza Theatre Kendle Kidd Performance Hall
1 pm: The Polar Express (G)
3:30 pm: How the Grinch Stole Christmas (PG)

Plaza Theatre Kendle Kidd Performance Hall
1 pm: It’s a Wonderful Life (PG)