The online edition of the El Paso Community Foundation’s 13th annual Plaza Classic Film Festival runs August 5-9 and includes digitally streamed movies such as 1984’s Amadeus (with an exclusive interview with El Paso’s F. Murray Abraham), El Paso pop star Khalid’s Free Spirit, and the annual Local Flavor filmmaker showcase.
Due the pandemic, the 2020 Plaza Classic Film Festival is a hybrid of 14 digitally streamed films and 11 nightly pop-up drive-in movie programs, which run through August 9. Click here or here for more information.
The Plaza Classic Film Festival Online opens with the iconic 1980 documentary The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter at 1 p.m. August 5, and concludes with Amadeus, preceded by a Zoom Q&A with Abraham, who won the Academy Award for his performance, at 2 p.m. August 9. Free Spirit, co-conceived by Khalid as a companion piece to his 2019 platinum album of the same name, shows at 7:30 p.m. August 5.
This year’s virtual festival features seven documentaries, including Paul Espinosa’s Singing Our Way to Freedom, an engaging look at Chicano musician and activist Ramon “Chunky” Sanchez, Peter Miller’s Projections of America, about the idealistic American propaganda films overseen by screenwriter Robert Riskin, and Witness at Tornillo, Shane Franklin’s chronicle of one man’s effort to shut down the camp for migrant children in Tornillo, Texas.
The annual Local Flavor showcase highlights new local and locally connected works in two hour-long shorts programs, Local Flavor I and Local Flavor II, curated by filmmakers Zach Passero and Lucky McKee. The third Local Flavor Awards, sponsored by El Paso Electric, will feature the announcement and encore screenings of the $1,000 first prize and $500 second prize selections. Also, Joshua Lozano’s Rest Stop, an adaptation of the Stephen King short story, will be shown out of competition.
Here’s the schedule:
The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter, 1 pm
Banging Lanie (followed by a Q&A with director Allison Powell), 3:30 pm
Free Spirit, 7:30 pm
Projections of America (with Q&A with director Peter Miller), 1 pm
The Hanged Woman Vol. II: The Den of Iniquity (with Q&A with filmmaker Marco Marcus), 3:30 pm
Singing Our Way to Freedom, 7 pm
Witness at Tornillo, 1 pm
The One and Only Jewish Miss America (with Q&A with director David Arond), 3:30 pm
Local Flavor I (with filmmaker Q&A with curators Zach Passero and Lucky McKee), 7 pm
Finding Freddy, Robert Holguin’s look at late El Paso comic Freddy Soto, 1 pm
Rest Stop (with Q&A with filmmaker Joshua Lozano), 3:30 pm
Local Flavor II (with filmmaker Q&A), 7 pm
The Local Flavor Awards, encore screens and reveal of first and second prize winners, 1 pm
Amadeus (preceded by a Q&A with El Paso native F. Murray Abraham), 2 pm.
Admission is $5 per film, or $30 for the entire series, on sale now at plazaclassic.com.
Streamed screenings are available only at the announced date and time of each showing.
Sponsors for this year’s Plaza Classic Film Festival On Tour and Online are El Paso Electric, the Paul L. Foster Family Foundation/Mills Plaza Properties, GECU, Debbi Hester/Realtor and Perry Hester/Realtor, the Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation, In*Situ Architecture, the Texas Film Commission, TFCU, Tammy Vasilatos CPA, and the Museums and Cultural Affairs Department.