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

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PCFF Online features 14 programs over five days


August 04

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:

August 5
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

August 6
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

August 7
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

August 8
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

August 9
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.


Automatic refunds available for 'Smokey and the Bandit' cancellation


August 02

Due to unusually high winds that blew the screen down Saturday night, the Plaza Classic Film Festival’s outdoor presentation of Smokey and the Bandit was canceled before the movie’s completion.

The El Paso Community Foundation, which produces the festival, automatically will make full refunds to those who purchased tickets to Saturday’s drive-in movie at the El Paso Community College’s Valle Verde campus.

Patrons who purchased tickets will receive an email message regarding refunds, which should take 7 to 10 business days to process, beginning Monday, August 3, 2020. No action is required on the ticket holder’s part.

The movie will not be rescheduled.

The Plaza Classic Film Festival On Tour drive-in movie series will resume with tonight’s screening of The Birds at 8:30 p.m. August 2, 2020 at Camp Cohen Water Park (formerly Cohen Stadium).

For tickets and a schedule of the remaining Plaza Classic Film Festival’s drive-in movies, go to plazaclassic.com/schedule.

For more information, call the Plaza Theatre Box Office at 915-231-1100.


PCFF announces Local Flavor 2020 selections


August 01

The 13th annual Plaza Classic Film Festival will stream 13 shorts in this year’s Local Flavor showcase of locally made or connected films.

Genres represented in this year’s Texas Film Commission-sponsored showcase include narrative drama, comedy and thriller, documentary and music video.

This year’s selections will be divided into two programming blocks. Local Flavor I will stream at 7 pm August 7. Local Flavor II will stream at 7 pm August 8.

Both will stream on plazaclassic.com.

Each program will be followed by filmmaker Q&As conducted by Local Flavor curators and filmmakers Zach Passero and Lucky McKee.

The contents of each programming block and the remaining Plaza Classic Film Festival Online schedule will be announced soon. It runs August 5-9 on plazaclassic.com. The Plaza Classic Film Festival On Tour, a series of pop-up drive-ins, runs July 30-August 9 at various locations around El Paso. Click here for details.

This year’s Local Flavor picks are:

El Chacharero
Documentary
Krisstian de Lara, director
6:37

Stillborn
Drama (pictured)
Brandon Gass, director
9:43

The Music Box
Drama
Ryan Riddle, director
24:17

How to Make Kimchi (or How to Be Korean)
Documentary
Jonathan Lee, director
13:43

Reply All
Comedy
Josh Pulido, director
8:05

Seen City
Music video
Carlos H. Tejeda, director
4:32

Curarto Obscuro Paso del Norte
Drama
J. Genaro Limon, director
5:13

En Tus Brasos Esta Noche (In Your Arms Tonight)
Drama
Jonathan Gonzales, director
24:12

A Long Walk Home
Experimental
Seth Van Matre, director
6:57

The Noise and the Silence
Drama
Jon-Carlo Diaz, director
2:31

Goin’ For Picture
Comedy
Ryan Riddle, director
13:35

Un Dia Mas (One More Day)
Comedy
Carlos H. Tejeda, director
1:00

Slow Suicide
Music video
Trey L. Broomfield, director; Rodolfo Rodriguez, producer
3:45

In addition, a special out-of-competition screening of Joshua Lozano’s Rest Stop, an adaptation of a Stephen King short story, will screen at 3:30 pm Saturday, August 8 on plazaclassic.com. It will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker.

The Local Flavor Awards will be announced and screened at 1 pm Sunday, August 9 on plazaclassic.com. The $1,000 Local Flavor Award and $500 second prize award winners will be screened. The Audience Favorite Award will be announced soon after on the PCFF website.

More than 40 films were submitted for this year’s Local Flavor showcase.


Shark gets belly full — "Jaws" is sold out


July 31

Tonight’s double-feature of Steven Spielberg’s Jaws and Charlie Chaplin’s silent classic The Kid is SOLD OUT!

The double bill is part of the 13th annual Plaza Classic Film Festival, presented by the El Paso Community Foundation, and the second night of our 11-day drive-in movie series at various locations around town.

After a full house (parking lot) for *Yellow Submarine *Thursday at Ardovino’s Desert Crossing, the “Plaza Classic Film Festival On Tour” travels to the El Paso Community College Valle Verde campus. The parking lot is on the east side of the campus, just off the Hunter Drive/Taxco entrance.

Admission opens at 7:30 pm. The show starts at 8:30 pm.

Tonight’s show is generously sponsored by GECU.

Patrons are required to stay in their vehicles, and wear masks if they have to step outside of their vehicles. Social distancing measures will be in place! Bring your own vittles as there are no food concessions. Portable restrooms will be available, with hand-washing stations.

The series continues Saturday with a double feature of Smokey and the Bandit and the Marx Brothers’ Duck Soup, sponsored by Tammy Vasilatos CPA.

Tickets are $25 per vehicle, on sale at plazaclassic.com/tickets or plazaclassic.com/schedule. The drive-in movies run through August 9 and include screenings of The Birds, E.T., Jurassic Park, Selena and more.

The Plaza Classic Online runs August 5 through 9 and includes screenings of Khalid’s Free Spirit, Amadeus (with a virtual appearance by Oscar-winner and former El Pasoan F. Murray Abraham), Paul Espinosa’s Singin’ Our Way to Freedom and the Local Flavor film showcase.


Full deck for "Yellow Submarine"


July 28

The Plaza Classic Film Festival’s opening night drive-in movie showing of the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine at Ardovino’s Desert Crossing is SOLD OUT!

It’s the musical opening of an 11-night magical mystery tour of local parking lots, featuring some of the biggest summer blockbusters and greatest classic movies.

After the Ardovino’s DC stop, the tour heads to the El Paso Community College Valle Verde campus, where we’ll show Jaws and Charlie Chaplin’s 1921 silent The Kid at 8:30 p.m. Friday, July 31, sponsored by GECU, and Burt Reynolds in Smokey and the Bandit on a double bill with the Marx Brothers’ Duck Soup at 8:30 p.m. August 1, sponsored by Tammy Vasilatos CPA.

Admission is $25 per vehicle. Click here for the rest of the schedule and ticket links.