El Paso, TX

July 18 - July 28, 2024 • El Paso, TX

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'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.


Screenwriting competition finalists announced


July 21

Ten finalists have been named in our second annual Plaza Classic Film Festival Screenwriting Competition.

The finalists and their screenplays are:

Humberto Castro Dreamality

Marie Desrosiers Infanticide

Justin Kalman A Tale to Tell

Joanna Karler and Liana Morales That One Night in J-Town

Don Patterson Freddy Reno Went Missing

Arturo Portillo The Killing Kind

Diego Rico A Permanent Record

Ktohri Ross The Behavior of Grace

Carrie Silva Best Dive in the 915

Samuel Taylor At the Mercy of Faith

They are eligible for a first prize, which includes $500, FinalDraft 12 and a script consultation with writer-director Lucky Mckee, and the second prize of $250 and FinalDraft 12. First and second prizes will be announced soon, and their awards will be handed out at the Local Flavor Showcase and Awards at 4 pm Sunday, July 30 in the Plaza Theatre.

The finalists and the public are invited to hear them pitch their screenplays at our first PCFF Screenwriting Pitch Fest, which is at 8 pm Wednesday, July 26 at the International (INTL), 114 E. Mills, across from San Jacinto Plaza. It’s FREE. Each participant will have 90 to 120 second to “pitch” their screenplay to the audience, which acts as the producers, and a judge, filmmaker Hector Gallardo, who will chose first prize. The audience will choose second prize, by applause.

First prize if $300 toward production of a short film of the winner’s screenplay. Gallardo’s Submharmonic City Productions will shoot the short film. Second prize will be whatever our interns can collect in a bucket from those in attendance!

Local Flavor, the screenwriting competition and Pitch Fest are sponsored by El Paso Film and Creative Industries Commission.


Local Flavor selections announced


July 12

Nine films — seven shorts and two features — were selected for Plaza Classic Film Festival Local Flavor showcase, sponsored by the El Paso Film and Creative Industries Commission and the Texas Film Commission.

The main program, the Local Flavor Showcase and Awards, features the seven shorts, submitted by filmmakers from El Paso, Ciudad Juarez, Las Cruces, NM and Los Angeles. It will be at 4 pm Sunday, July 30, the last day of the festival, in the Plaza Theatre. Tickets are $6 at the Plaza Theatre Box Office and Ticketmaster.

It will be followed immediately by a free reception for filmmakers in the Foundation Room, 333 N. Oregon, across from San Jacinto Plaza.

All seven shorts will be screened, followed by the presentation of the Local Flavor Awards — $1,500 first prize, $1,000 second prize, $750 third prize, and $250 for the audience favorite, which will be determined by a text-to-vote during the program.

Two feature-length submissions, which also are in the running for awards, will be shown separately at the El Paso Museum of Art.

This year’s selections were chosen 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.

Click here to see what’s in this year’s Local Flavor!