El Paso, TX

July 29 - August 8, 2021 • El Paso, TX Twitter iconFacebook icon

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Local Flavor 2021 selections announced!


July 23

A total of 13 short films, seven directed or produced by women, comprise this year’s two Local Flavor shorts programs.

The selections include documentaries, narratives, music videos, one spoof and one spooky song from a faux musical.

Seven entries will be shown in Local Flavor I at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 30 in the Abraham Chavez Theatre. Admission is $6.

The other six titles will be screened in Local Flavor II at 7:30 p.m. Friday, August 6 in the Chavez. Admission is $6.

Additionally, James Arrabito’s 78-minute drama I See a Darkness will be screened at 10:30 p.m. Saturday, August 7 in the Plaza Theatre. Admission is $6. It will not be in competition for prize money.

This year’s Local Flavor Awards will be at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, August 8 in the Chavez Theatre. Admission is free. Sponsored by TFCU, it will feature encore screenings of the top three films selected by curators and filmmakers Zach Passero and Lucky McKee, and festival director Doug Pullen, program director of the El Paso Community Foundation.

The Local Flavor showcase is sponsored by the Texas Film Commission.

Tickets for the Local Flavor programs are on sale at the Plaza Theatre box office, Ticketmaster.com and Plazaclassic.com/schedule.

A total of $2,250 will be awarded before the encore screenings — the $1,000 First Prize, $750 Second Prize, $500 Third Prize and the $250 Audience Flavorite Award. Ballots will be distributed and collected at the two Local Flavor shorts programs.

For a list of what will be showing and who directed or submitted it, click here.


Scheduling conflict forces Rita Moreno cancellation


July 22

Rita Moreno will not be able to appear at this year’s 14th annual El Paso Community Foundation Plaza Classic Film Festival.

Ms. Moreno’s ability to participate in this year’s Plaza Classic Film Festival was predicated on her availability, but a recent scheduling conflict will prevent her from attending.

She was going to appear with West Side Story at 7 p.m. Friday, August 6, and the new documentary, Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It, at 2 p.m. Saturday, August 7, both in the Plaza Theatre.

Both screenings will go on. Just a Girl director Mariem Perez Riera, who was going to join Ms. Moreno for the documentary screening, will attend.

It would have been Ms. Moreno’s second Plaza Classic Film Festival appearance. She appeared at the sixth Plaza Classic in 2013. The Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony winner also headlined a fundraising concert at the Plaza Theatre in 1986, which enabled the El Paso Community Foundation to purchase the theater. She performed at the Plaza Theatre in early 2007, less than a year after the newly restored 1930 movie palace reopened.

Tickets for Plaza Classic Film Festival movies are on sale at the Plaza Theatre Box Office, Ticketmaster.com and Plazaclassic.com.


PCFF tickets go on sale Monday, July 12


July 08

Tickets for the 14th annual El Paso Community Foundation Plaza Classic Film Festival go on sale Monday, July 12 at the Plaza Theatre Box Office and Ticketmaster.com.

The Plaza Classic returns to the Plaza Theatre and downtown El Paso from July 29 through August 8. The bulk of the movies will be shown in the Plaza Theatre and its sister venue, the Abraham Chavez Theatre, which is new to PCFF this year.

Most tickets are $6 for matinees, $8 for evenings.

Among the movies showing in the Plaza Theatre are Rear Window, Raiders of the Lost Ark (40th anniversary), Top Gun, The Sound of Music, Forrest Gump, The Pink Panther, Saturday Night Fever, West Side Story (60th anniversary), Pinocchio, Star Wars: A New Hope, Doctor Zhivago, Meet Me in St. Louis, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Gandhi, Birdman of Alcatraz and Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times.

Additionally, the Plaza Classic will have a special presentation of a new documentary, Song for Cesar, about labor activist Cesar Chavez, as part of El Paso County’s Month of Unity and Healing. Walt Strony returns to accompany the Harold Lloyd silent classic The Kid Brother on the Wyler Mighty Wurlitzer Pipe Organ.

Showing in the Chavez Theatre are The Shining, Contagion, Pretty in Pink, Do the Right Thing, The Thing, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Urban Cowboy, Groundhog Day, Night of the Living Dead, Nacho Libre, The Lady Eve, The War of the Worlds, El Patrullero 777, John Leguizamo’s Critical Thinking and The Bad and the Beautiful.

The Local Flavor filmmaker showcase and documentaries Luchadoras, The Marfa Tapes Film, and At the Ready will be shown there.

Free weekend outdoor movies will be screened Friday and Saturday nights at the Convention Center Plaza (home of Alfresco Fridays). This year’s offerings are our 13th annual showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Mamma Mia!, Grease and Zoolander. The Thursday night Mills Plaza Drive-in/Walk-up movies are Shaun of the Dead and The Wedding Singer, shown atop the Mills Plaza Parking Garage.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, seating capacity will be limited at all locations. Other safety protocols will be in place, including a 2-hour disinfection process after each screening. Mask-wearing and social distancing are strongly encouraged. Both theaters have new GPS Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization air filtration systems.

Click here for schedule information and here to purchase Festival Passes. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


PCFF is returning to the Plaza Theatre!


May 05

After a year’s absence, the El Paso Community Foundation Plaza Classic Film Festival will return to the Plaza Theatre this summer.

The 14th annual Plaza Classic Film Festival will be July 29-August 8 in and around the Plaza Theatre in downtown El Paso.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, last year’s Plaza Classic moved outdoors for a series of 11 pop-up drive-ins at various locations around El Paso, and five days of digitally streamed films and interviews. This year’s Plaza Classic will be more traditional, but with COVID safety protocols in place, such as mandatory mask wearing, social distancing, disinfecting, and seating capacity limits, including assigned “pod” seating to ensure physical distancing.

“It will be good to be home,” said Doug Pullen, the festival’s director and Program Director for the El Paso Community Foundation. “The Plaza Classic Film Festival was inspired by the historic Plaza Theatre. It belongs there. We’ll go out of our way to make it a memorable — and safe — experience.”

Seating capacity limits will necessitate the move from the Plaza Classic’s secondary venue, the Philanthropy Theatre, to the Abraham Chavez Theatre nearby. The same safety measures will be in use at the Chavez Theatre.

El Paso Live, which manages both theaters for the City of El Paso, has installed GPS Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization air filtration systems in both theaters. The filtration systems significantly reduce airborne particulates, pathogens, and viruses. El Paso Live recently received Star Facility accreditation from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council for its coronavirus safety protocols.

“As a long-time partner of the Plaza Classic Film Festival, El Paso Live is beyond excited to welcome this event back to our venues,” said Bryan Crowe, General Manager for El Paso Live. “The Plaza Classic Film Festival is a staple in our community and we can’t wait to welcome movie-goers in the late summer.”

More details will be announced in the near future, including movie titles, guests, ticket information and more. 2021 Plaza Classic Film Festival Passes are on sale now. Go to plazaclassic.com or its social media platforms for updates.

The Plaza Classic is accepting entries for its annual Local Flavor series, the area’s largest showcase of locally made and connected films. Entry deadline is June 14. Go to plazaclassic.com/localflavor.


Local Flavor submissions now being accepted


March 16

Action, local filmmakers! The El Paso Community Foundation Plaza Classic Film Festival is now accepting submissions for Local Flavor, El Paso’s largest annual showcase of locally made and connected films.

There is no cost to submit a film. It’s FREE.

The film series, sponsored by the Texas Film Commission, is open to short and feature-length films of various types, including fiction, documentary, animation, experimental, and music video. Any type of film may be submitted. No works-in-progress will be accepted. If it’s not obvious, please details the local connection in your entry.

The showcase will culminate with the fourth annual Local Flavor Awards, which will award $2,500 to filmmakers. That’s up from $1,750 last year. Prizes are: $1,000 for First Prize; $750 Second Prize; $500 Third Prize (new category); and the $250 Audience Favorite.

Entry deadline is 11:59 p.m. Monday, June 14, 2021.

Click here for the rules and submission form.

Remember, it’s FREE.

The Local Flavor series is curated for the fourth year by El Paso film editor Zach Passero, director-producer Lucky McKee, and festival director Doug Pullen, program director for the El Paso Community Foundation.

The Plaza Classic Film Festival returns for its 14th year July 29-August 8, 2021.

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

(Pictured: A still from last year’s Local Flavor Award winner Stillborn, by Brandon Gass of Las Cruces, N.M.)