El Paso, TX

July 18 - July 28, 2024 • El Paso, TX

News

Edward James Olmos is coming to PCFF 2023


June 8

Legendary actor Edward James Olmos will appear at the 16th annual El Paso Community Foundation Plaza Classic Film Festival, which is July 20-30 in and around the Plaza Theatre.

Olmos will be interviewed before two of his signature films — 1988’s Stand and Deliver, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award, at 7 pm Friday, July 28; and The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (1982), the first film produced by his Olmos Productions, at 1 pm Saturday, July 29, both in the Plaza Theatre. Tickets will be $10 for each event, and will go on sale June 23 at the Plaza Theatre Box Office and Ticketmaster.com.

Edward James Olmos has achieved extraordinary success as an actor, producer, director, and humanitarian. The Tony-, Emmy-, and Academy Award-nominated actor’s career spans more than 50 years. He created a signature style and aesthetic that he applies to every artistic endeavor, often grounding his characters in reality and gravitas. He’s known around the industry and the world for his dedication to his craft.

Olmos earned a Tony Award nomination for his portrayal of El Pachuco in Luis Valdez’s Zoot Suit (a role he reprised in the 1981 film). He received a Golden Globe for his characterization of inspirational real-life educator Jaime Escalante in Stand and Deliver, and has starred in numerous classic films, including Blade Runner, Selena, American Me (which he directed), and My Family/Mi Familia. He also starred in Walking With Herb, filmed in Las Cruces.

He has been a formidable presence on TV, playing the iconic characters on Battlestar Galactica, Miami Vice (for which he was nominated for two Emmys and Golden Globes), The West Wing, and Mayans M.C., now in its last season.

Olmos, who recently overcame a bout with throat cancer, also is known for his humanitarian work with organizations such as Thank You Ocean, the Project Hope Foundation, Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, The Boys and Girls Club of America, and The River Keepers. He makes frequent speaking appearances at schools, universities, and corporations.

Individual tickets go on sale June 23 at the Plaza Theatre Box Office and Ticketmaster.com. Passes are on sale at plazaclassic.com/tickets.


Screenwriting competition winners to get Final Draft 12


May 16

Exciting news! In addition to cash prizes, the first and second prize winners in this year’s second El Paso Community Foundation Plaza Classic Film Festival Screenwriting Competition will get copies of Final Draft 12, the industry’s leading screenwriting software.

The first prize winner will receive $500, an abbreviated table read of their winning entry, a consultation with El Paso writer-director Lucky McKee (Poker Face, The Woman, Old Man, May) and a copy of Final Draft 12.

The second prize winner will receive $250, and a copy of Final Draft 12.

Entries are now being accepted for this year’s contest. The cost to submit is $30 now through 11:59 pm Friday, May 19. The cost goes up to $40 after that, and $50 on June 13. The last day to enter is 11:59 pm July 3.

Coverage, or written feedback, is available for an additional $15.

Finalists will be announced before the 16th annual Plaza Classic Film Festival, which runs July 20-30. Finalists will be invited to participate in our first pitch fest at 8 pm July 26 at the International Bar (INTL), 114A Mills.

For more information and submissions, click here or go to Film Freeway.


Screenwriting competition returns with news twists


April 24

The El Paso Community Foundation Plaza Classic Film Festival’s screenwriting competition returns for a second year with a few new twists. In addition to a $500 first prize, the competition has added a $250 second prize, and a pitch fest for the finalists.

It’s open to anyone 18 and older. Entries must be feature-length scripts of no more than 120 pages. There are no genre restrictions.

Screenplays may be submitted at plazaclassic.com/screenwriting or Film Freeway.

The cost to submit is $30 through May 19, $40 from May 20 through June 12, and $50 from June 13-July 3. For an additional $15, an entrant will receive coverage, or written feedback, of their screenplay.

Screenplays must be uploaded in PDF format only. They must be anonymous, including a cover sheet with only the screenplay’s title (the entrant’s name and contact information will be included on the submission form), a logline, and payment. A point system will be used to grade the submissions, with a 50 point maximum. Scripts will be awarded up to 10 points each for premise, plot, characters, dialogue, and the script’s potential prospects.

The top 10 finalists and the winning screenplay will be announced before the Plaza Classic Film Festival, which is July 20-30.

The first prize writer will receive $500, a consultation with El Paso writer-director Lucky McKee (Poker Face, Old Man, Red, The Woman, and May, which will be shown in this year’s PCFF), and a table read of their screenplay on July 30. Second prize is $250. More prizes may be announced.

Finalists will be invited to tout their screenplays at the first Plaza Classic Film Festival Pitch Fest at 8 pm Wednesday, July 26 at the International Bar (INTL), 114A Mills Ave. Contestants will have 90 seconds to pitch their screenplays. Hector Gallardo of El Paso’s Subharmonic City Productions will select a $300 first prize toward production of a short film of the script. The audience will choose a favorite by applause — we’ll pass around a bucket for cash donations.

The 16th annual Plaza Classic Film Festival will feature more than 90 movies from July 20-30 in and around the Plaza Theatre. This year’s titles include Casablanca, When Harry Met Sally, and Buster Keaton’s Steamboat Bill Jr., accompanied by Walt Strony on the Wyler Mighty Wurlitzer Pipe Organ. More titles will be announced soon.

Tickets go on sale in June. Passes are on sale at plazaclassic.com/tickets.

Call 915-533-4020 or email local@plazaclassic.com for more information about the contest.


Local Flavor submissions now open


March 22

The El Paso Community Foundation’s Plaza Classic Film Festival is accepting submissions for its Local Flavor showcase of locally made and connected films.

Click here to submit and read the criteria.

This year’s edition includes a new panel of judges and a total of $3,500 in cash prizes.

Entries selected for Local Flavor will be announced in July and screened during the festival.

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

Entry deadline is 11:59 p.m. Monday, June 19, 2023.

The showcase will culminate with the sixth annual Local Flavor Awards, which will award $1,500 for First Prize, $1,000 for Second Prize, $750 for Third Prize, and $250 for the Audience Favorite, which will be determined by a live text-to-vote during the showcase. The awards will be announced during the Local Flavor showcase on Sunday, July 30 in the Plaza Theatre.

This year’s Local Flavor showcase will be curated by El Paso-based, Emmy Award-winning Producer Javier Gonzalez (Funny Pages, Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie, 2nd Chance, Swallow), whose projects have screened at the Venice, Toronto, Sundance, Cannes, Tribeca and SXSW film festivals; award-winning Las Cruces filmmaker and NMSU Creative Media Institute associate professor Ilana Lapid (Yochi, Red Mesa, La Catrina), whose work has screened at film festivals around the world; and Asia Saucedo, a film aficionado and member of the El Paso Community Foundation staff who is a longtime Plaza Classic Film Festival contributor and member of its program advisory committee.

Local Flavor is a popular component of the Plaza Classic Film Festival, which returns for its 16th year July 20-30, 2023.

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


Festival Passes and more are on sale


November 25

Our annual Festival Pass sale is now live!

An El Paso Community Foundation Plaza Classic Film Festival pass usually sells for $200 and includes admission to almost every movie, a jump-the-line option, Philanthropy Theatre movie reservations, invitations to special events and discounts at eateries near the Plaza Theatre.

For a limited time only, the Festival Pass is for sale for $175. The discounted price is available through 11:59 pm Saturday, December 31. Click here to purchase yours or to get one or more for the movie lovers in your world.

Our 16th annual Plaza Classic Film Festival will be July 20-30, 2023.

That’s not all.

Germaine Franco, the Irvin High School graduate who headlined PCFF 2022, signed and donated four music sheets from her Academy Award- and Grammy Award-nominated score for the Disney blockbuster Encanto. Two are signed in English and two in Spanish.

They are available for $150 each, with proceeds going to the Plaza Classic Film Festival. The cost includes shipping. Click here to purchase yours.

We have a limited number of 15th anniversary t-shirts available for $25 (including shipping). They are available in S, M, L, XL and 2XL. Click here to get yours.

Don’t forget: Our FREE Holiday Movies at the Plaza Theatre, sponsored by GECU, continue this weekend with A Christmas Story at 1 pm and Home Alone at 3:30 pm Sunday, November 27.

Part of WinterFest, the movies are presented in partnership with El Paso Live and will be preceded by holiday music played on the theater’s original Wyler Mighty Wurlitzer Pipe Organ 30 minutes before each film.

The Holiday Movies series runs Sundays through December 18 and includes titles such as Elf, The Polar Express, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Click here to see the schedule.