El Paso, TX

July 18 - July 28, 2024 • El Paso, TX


PCFF partnering on The Film Race — Borderland Edition Closing Ceremony

September 15

Three teams. Five days. One $10,000 winner.

The Film Race — Borderland Edition is on.

Based on earlier Film Races in Illinois and Indiana, The Film Race — Borderland Edition is a reality-based film competition that pits three five-member film teams from El Paso and Ciudad Juarez against one another. It is produced by Film 765.

The three competing teams will have their films screened and the $10,000 winner will be announced at the Closing Ceremony at 7 p.m. September 26 in the Plaza Theatre, sponsored by the El Paso Community Foundation Plaza Classic Film Festival. It is FREE and open to the public.

Gyro Studios (led by Josh Pulido), Human Beans (Alecs Roman), and Intelia Films (Roberto Ramirez) will showcase the beauty that is El Paso by shooting their films from September 15 to 19 at various locations in El Paso and Socorro.

The films, which can run no longer than 12 minutes, must be edited and submitted by September 22. Each team will be accompanied by a film crew to capture all the behind-the-scenes action and drama.

All three films will be judged by a panel of film and TV industry veterans, including actors Rae Dawn Chong (The Color Purple) and Misha Kushnetsov (Stranger Things). Also on the panel are: producer-director Naveen A. Chathapuram; actor-director-writer Myles Clohessy; El Paso-born actor/producer Damon Dayoub; Camera Ambassador founder Erica Duffy; and Pride of Gypsies producer James Mendoza.

The finished films and behind-the-scenes footage will be shown in the Closing Ceremony on September 26.

The Film Race — Borderland Edition is sponsored by the El Paso Community Foundation Plaza Classic Film Festival, Flo Networks, El Paso County, Destination El Paso, Hunt Companies, JKB Family Limited Partnership, Rudolph Auto Group, and Tammy Vasilatos CPA.

To donate to The Film Race, go to epcf.org/filmrace.

PCFF announces 2024 dates

August 22

The El Paso Community Foundation Plaza Classic Film Festival returns for its 17th year from July 18-July 28 of 2024.

This year’s 16th annual edition was a huge success. We hosted celebrity guests Edward James Olmos (pictured at a private reception for passholders on July 28) and Helen Hunt, and the world premiere of Isaac Artenstein’s The People of the Crossing: The Jews of El Paso. We sold out the I’ll Have What She’s Having Dinner before a screening of When Harry Met Sally. And, by moving ahead of the start of school, we were able to show more children’s movies, many of which sold out or came close to it.

We celebrated El Paso filmmakers Lucky McKee and Zach Passero, as well as Hector Gallardo’s Subharmonic City Productions, the 7th annual Femme Frontera Showcase, documentaries from NMSU’s Gila Film School and handed out more than $4,000 in prize money to local filmmakers and screenwriters in our annual Local Flavor showcase and PCFF Screenwriting Competition.

We watched in amazement as Walt Strony worked his magic on the Wyler Mighty Wurlitzer Pipe Organ accompanying Buster Keaton’s Steamboat Bill Jr., and as four all-female groups from the first You Rock! Music Camp (aged from 10 to 16) rocked out onstage before a free outdoor showing of School of Rock.

Did you know that we had audience members from more than 60 cities outside of the El Paso/Ciudad Juarez/Las Cruces borderland region? We had visitors from New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Austin, New Orleans, Denver, and Seattle.

We thank our passholders, audiences and our sponsors for making the world’s largest classic film festival a truly feel-good event and important part of El Paso’s cultural landscape.

Passes for the 2024 film festival are on sale now. Click here for details.

'Entre Fronteras' takes first prize in this year's Local Flavor

July 31

Entre Fronteras took the $1,500 first prize in this year’s Local Flavor Showcase and Awards during the 16th annual El Paso Community Foundation Plaza Classic Film Festival.

The first installment of Entre Fronteras (Between Borders), a live-action narrative film that follows the fates of migrants on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, was shown on July 29 in the El Paso Museum of Art Auditorium. It was announced as the first prize recipient at the Local Flavor Showcase and Awards on July 30 in the Plaza Theatre, sponsored by the El Paso Film and Creative Industries Commission (Creative El Paso) and the Texas Film Commission.

Writer and producer Julian Nunez of New Mexico was on hand to receive the awards from El Paso Film Commissioner Drew Mayer-Oakes and film festival program director Doug Pullen.

Filmmaker Josh Pulido was a two-time winner, taking the $1,000 second place with his genre-bending comedy The Film Cafe and the $250 Audience Favorite Award. Audiences members voted for their favorite film by text-to-vote.

The $750 third prize went to the evocative short film Platonico by El Paso-Juarez filmmaker Alecs Roman.

Nine films out of more than 40 submissions were selected for this year’s showcase. Two feature films were shown on July 29 at the El Paso Museum Art.

This year’s selections were made by a panel consisting of filmmaker and New Mexico State University film professor Ilana Lapid of Las Cruces, film producer Javier Gonzalez of El Paso, and El Paso Community Foundation staff member Asia Saucedo, a veteran of the Plaza Classic Film Festival.

Submissions for the 17th annual Plaza Classic Film Festival Local Flavor Showcase and Awards will be announced in March. Next year’s PCFF will be July 18-28, 2024.

Screenwriter Carrie Silva a double winner

July 28

Carrie Silva of El Paso is a double winner in this year’s second Plaza Classic Screenwriting Competition.

Her screenplay The Best Dive in the 915 took first place in this year’s competition. Carrie also received first prize in our first PCFF Screenwriting Pitch Fest last Wednesday at the International Bar (INTL).

She will receive the $500 first prize, a copy of Final Draft 12, and a script consultation with El Paso writer-director Lucky McKee. Her pitch fest prize is $300 toward production of a short film of her script by El Paso’s Subharmonic City Productions.

Competition coordinator Austin Savage has adapted the 111-page screenplay for a one-hour table read at 12:30 pm Sunday, July 30 in the Philanthropy Theatre, inside the Plaza Theatre complex. Admission is FREE. Silva plans to attend. Savage leads a cast of six actors who’ll read various parts — Roland Esparza, Mia Grajeda, Nichole Audrey Hardgrove, Aura Moon and Brad Thomason.

El Pasoan Don Patterson is the second prize award winner for his screenplay, Freddy Reno Went Missing. He receives $250 and a copy of Final Draft 12.

Second prize in the pitch fest went to El Paso’s Diego Rico for his pitch of his screenplay, A Permanent Record. We took up a collection from the more than 40 people who attended the event, raising $70 cash for our runner-up.

Silva, Patterson and Rico were among 10 finalists in this year’s competition. The others are Humberto Castro of El Paso, Dreamality; Marie Descrosiers of Sunshine, FL, for Infanticide; Justin Kalman of El Paso, A Tale to Tell; Joanna Karler of Garland, TX, and Liane Morales of El Paso for That One Night in J-Town; Arthur Portillo of Canutillo for The Killing Kind; Khtohi Ross of Monroeville, PA for The Behavior of Grace; and Samuel Taylor of Los Angeles for At the Mercy of Faith.

Pictured: Joanna Karler and Liane Morales face other finalists at the pitch fest.

Monday dinner sold out, Plaza Hotel movie Tuesday

July 24

Monday’s I’ll Have What She’s Having Dinner is sold out, but we have plenty of tickets for Tuesday’s showing of Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor’s Father’s Little Dividend.

The dinner is from 5 to 6:30 pm Monday, July 24 in the Foundation Room and precedes our 7 pm showing of Rob Reiner’s When Harry Met Sally in the Plaza Theatre. While the dinner is sold out, tickets for the movie are $8, available at the box office or at Ticketmaster.com.

EPCC mass communications professor Lisa Elliott, a member of the PCFF program advisory committee, will give a free lecture about a movie from 6-6:30 pm in the Philanthropy Theatre.

For the second straight year, the La Perla Patio Bar atop the Plaza Hotel Pioneer Park turns into an outdoor movie venue with our showing of Father’s Little Dividend at 7:30 pm Tuesday. La Perla is the former penthouse of what once was the Hilton Hotel. It’s where Elizabeth Taylor lived during her brief marriage to Conrad “Nicky” Hilton Jr.

Father’s Little Dividend, released in 1951, is the sequel to 1950’s Father of the Bride, which we showed to a sold-out crowd last year at La Perla. It stars Spencer Tracy as Stanley Banks, who must comes to terms with the prospect of becoming a grandfather, much as he had to get used to the idea of his daughter (Taylor) getting married in the first movie.

Tickets are $50, on sale here..

The Plaza Hotel Pioneer Park is offering special room packages. For more information, call 915-440-7666 or click here.