The Plaza Classic Film Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2017.
Get a jump start on next year’s festival with a Festival Pass, which includes admission to all ticketed events, an express lane for admission, invitations to private receptions and more.
Festival passes are on sale now through December 31, 2016 for $175. Call 915-533-4020 or go to plazaclassic.com/tickets.
For the first time in four years, the El Paso Community Foundation’s Plaza Classic Film Festival is bringing back the Holiday Movies at the Plaza Theatre, sponsored by One Source Federal Credit Union.
Part of El Paso Live’s new WinterFest, we’ll spread some family-friendly holiday cheer by showing old and not-so-old Christmas favorites including It’s a Wonderful Life, White Christmas, Home Alone and The Santa Clause — three movies on Friday, December 16, and three more on Sunday, December 18.
Tickets are ONLY $2! They go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, December 2 at the Plaza Theatre box office, Ticketmaster outlets, ticketmaster.com and 800-745-3000.
And in true Plaza Classic style, organists Ken Fedorick, Richard Garven and Laurie Koval will play half-hour sets before each movie on the Plaza Theatre’s original, restored Wyler Mighty Wurlitzer Organ.
Friday, December 16
1 p.m. — A Christmas Story (1983)
3:30 p.m. — Home Alone (1990)
7 p.m. — It’s a Wonderful Life (1946, 70th anniversary)
Sunday, December 18
1 p.m. — The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
3:30 p.m. — White Christmas (1954)
6 p.m. — The Santa Clause (1994)
The El Paso Community Foundation Plaza Classic Film Festival returns for its 10th anniversary August 3-13, 2017 in and around the Plaza Theatre Performing Arts Centre.
New Mexico State University assistant professor and USC film school grad Ilana Lapid returns to the El Paso Community Foundation Plaza Classic Film Festival with her latest project, Yochi, shot in Belize using non-actors.
The Plaza Classic Film Festival is helping Ilana raise money for post-production costs with a special showing of the 26-minute drama at 4 p.m. Saturday, August 13 in the Foundation Room, 333 N. Oregon. An audience Q&A will follow.
Admission is $10 at the door. Donations will be accepted during the event.
Yochi is an olive-eyed, 9-year-old, selectively mute Mayan boy who guards a nest of endangered yellow-headed parrots in the pine savannah of western Belize. When he discovers his older brother is poaching to pay debts, his loyalties are put to the test. Yochi emerges from Ilana’s continued interest in telling stories that explore human relationships and put a personal face to global conflicts.
Ilana Lapid, a faculty member of NMSU’s Creative Media Institute, is a filmmaker and educator with a strong interest in the transformative power of visual storytelling and comparative border cinema. Born in New York City, she grew up in Jerusalem, Ottawa and Las Cruces, N.M. She holds a BA from Yale, an MFA from the University of Southern California in Film Production, received a Fulbright to work with visual stories of Roma (Gypsy) children, and was Artist in Residence at Slifka Center at Yale.
She has directed multiple shorts that won awards at international festivals, including Red Mesa, which won Best Short at the LA Latino International Film Festival and was shown at the 2009 Plaza Classic Film Festival. A feature she co-wrote with Joshua Wheeler, Lordsburg, was a finalist at the Sundance Screenwriter Lab. Her 2015 short La Catrina was selected for the 2016 Women in Film and Television International Showcase, and is included in PCFF 2016’s Local Flavor series.
Actor Ellar Coltrane will join director Kevin Ford and El Paso’s Zach Passero for a special screening of their feature-length documentary By the River at the El Paso Community Foundation Plaza Classic Festival.
Coltrane, Ford and Passero will participate in a 30-minute Q&A after the screening at 7 p.m. Saturday, August 6 in the Philanthropy Theatre.
By the River is billed as an experimental documentary. It’s also part road picture as Coltrane, best known for his performance in Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, travels by train from his hometown of Austin to El Paso, Albuquerque, Boulder, Reno and northern California. He reads from poems and books, records ambient sounds and talks to people he meets about life, where they live, creativity and other Big Picture topics.
Locally shot scenes include a conversation between Coltrane, Passero and El Paso writer and musician Justin Stone in Pioneer Plaza, across from the Plaza Theatre entrance.
Additionally, Passero will screen a portion of an animated project on which he’s working.
Tickets to the By the River screening and Q&A are $4, on sale at the Plaza Theatre box office, Ticketmaster outlets, ticketmaster.com and 800-745-3000.
One feature-length film and 37 shorts — about everything from a Star Wars-like Plasma Sword to the Pope’s visit to Juarez to a little girl who comes up with a devious plan to buy a violin — have been selected for this year’s Local Flavor showcase.
Sponsored by the Texas Film Commission, the series is part of the El Paso Community Foundation Plaza Classic Film Festival, which returns for its ninth year August 4-14.
More than 60 projects were submitted by filmmakers from the Borderland region and filmmakers with local ties. A total of 38 were selected for the area’s premier local film showcase.
They have been curated into four programs, including the much-anticipated 12th annual edition of The Good, The Bad, The Indie, which will open Local Flavor at 8 p.m. Saturday, August 5 in the Foundation Room, 333 N. Oregon. All Local Flavor programs are free and will be in the Foundation Room.
Additionally, the series will include a benefit showing of a rough cut of Las Cruces filmmaker Ilana Lapid’s new Yochi, shot in Belize, at 4 p.m. Saturday, August 13 ($10 at the door) and the student projects from the second annual Plaza Classic Film Camp, for children aged 9 to 15, on the last day of the festival.
Here is a rundown of what’s in this year, with title followed by the filmmaker’s name:
The Good, The Bad, The Indie, vol. 12 8 p.m. Saturday, August 5 • Everywhere I Go Chris Hanna • Memories Andrew Barahona • The Violin Claudia Castaneda • Second Chance: El Tiradero Arturo Contreras • The Force Within Angel Rodriguez • Tacos Eric J. Vazquez • Pope Francis: Visit to the Borderland Rebekah Renee Grado • Seed Michael Torres • In Limbo Gustavo Garza • Sun City Divas Rayell Abad • Don’t Forget Tito Arenal • Midnight Vagary Diego Davila • Nacho L. Garcia Larry D. Powers • Like a Bomb Angel Rodriguez • Winter Morning Cruz Barajas Lujan • El Camino Victor Carrillo • A Singularity Kirk Ryde • Simple Happiness Alberto J. Pedroza • A Dark Matter Leonardo Sotelo
Local Flavor 2 p.m. Sunday, August 6 • Song of the Starslayer Robert Towne 188 minutes
Local Flavor: Shorts 1 8 p.m. Friday, August 12 • Got all my guns huh? Noah Spivey • Promise Me Kevin Machate • Plasma Sword Roberto Urrea • A Little Enchanting Stella Gutierrez • Paleta Power Ruben Chang • Little Match Girl Carlos Arreola
Yochi Fundraiser 4 p.m. Saturday, August 13 $10 at the door • Yochi (rough cut) Ilana Lapid
Local Flavor: Shorts 2 8 p.m. Saturday, August 13 • La Loteria Isaac Marquez • Again and Over/Nuevamente Pedro Omar Dominguez • Good Cop, Good Cop Keagan Karnes • Lotus Edmund Lozano and Jasmin Harvey • Cycle Jesus Nunez and Jaime Blanco • Portrait of an Addict Andrew Shebay • The Talk in the Night Chris Hanna • Gatekeeper Gerry Facio • La Catrina Ilana Lapid • Theotokos Mark Martinez • PEN Diego Rico • Wolff’s Law Sheridan O’Donnell
Local Flavor: Plaza Classic Film Camp 2 p.m. Sunday, August 14 • Projects by students, ages 9 to 15, from the second annual Plaza Classic Film Camp
Image at left: Ilana Lapid with Yochi cast members (courtesy of Ilana Lapid)