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Local Flavor selections announced


July 18

A documentary about a forgotten Chicano leader, short films about human trafficking and success at all costs, animation and music videos are among this year’s selections for the El Paso Community Foundation Plaza Classic Film Festival’s annual Local Flavor showcase.

Sponsored by the Texas Film Commission, Local Flavor was curated by El Paso-based filmmakers Zach Passero and Lucky McKee. They sifted through nearly 50 entries, which were made in or connected to the El Paso-Ciudad Juarez-Las Cruces, N.M. area. The selected entries will be shown during the 11th annual Plaza Classic Film Festival from August 2-12, 2018 (plazaclassic.com).

The first Local Flavor Awards, sponsored by the Public Relations Association of the Southwest, will be announced in a special presentation at the end of the festival. The first place Local Flavor Award is worth $1,000. Audiences will vote for the Audience Flavorite Award, which is $500.

Here’s a rundown of the films and programs:

Local Flavor I (8 p.m. Saturday, August 4, Foundation Room) — Avalanche, Amalia Mondragon music video (Robert Holguin); Shotgun, comedy (Jenn Garcia/Colin A. Borden); Act of Contrition, drama (Jonathan Gonzales); Twilight Prophecy, animation (Enrique Ponce/Joseph Scheidemandel); Matter of Black, drama (Jenn Garcia, Robert Dugan); Mask World, sci-fi (Francisco Castaneda); and Bebe, drama (Ryan Zaragoza). Free admission.

The Wall VR (2:30 p.m. Sunday, August 5, Foundation Room) — The 18-minute, border-themed virtual reality short will be screened on headsets continuously over a 90-minute period. Filmmaker Claudio Lai will be present to demonstrate and answer questions. Free.

They Called Me King Tiger (3:30 p.m. Sunday, August 5, Philanthropy Theatre) — Juarez filmmaker Angel Estrada Soto’s documentary about late Chicano leader Reies Lopez Tijerina; in Spanish with English subtitles. $4 at the Plaza Theatre Box Office.

Local Flavor II (8 p.m. Saturday, August 11, Foundation Room) — Real Eyes, Tawanda music video (Jenn Garcia/Robert Dugan); Parade of Dreams, documentary (Chris Hanna/Gabe Gillette); Lost Paradise, Fools Like Me music video (Eric Coughanor/Oliver G. Tavizon), Hall Monitors, animation (Victor Maestas); The Arrangements, drama (Kim McKean); and Blood Stains (pictured), drama (Blake Vaz). Free.

Local Flavor Awards (2:30 p.m. Sunday, August 12, Foundation Room) — We’ll announce and show the Local Flavor and Audience Flavorite winners, plus the winners from the El Paso Film Commission’s El Paso 2 Day Movie Challenge. Free.


'On Location: Making Movies in the Borderland' exhibition opens July 20


July 16

El Paso, Texas — With its mountain vistas and vast desert landscapes, the El Paso-Ciudad Juarez region has fascinated filmmakers ever since the silent movie era. On Location: Making Movies in the Borderland, a new exhibition opening Friday, July 20 at the El Paso Museum of History, puts that into focus.

On Location, which will be on display through October 28 at the El Paso Museum of History, 501 N. Santa Fe, marks the fourth annual collaboration between the El Paso Community Foundation Plaza Classic Film Festival, the world’s largest classic film festival, and the El Paso Museum of History.

On Location spans 100 years of movie-making on the border and features shooting scripts, posters and lobby cards from Courage Under Fire, Glory Road, Aventurera, The Brave Bulls and other movies made in the El Paso-Juarez area. It also includes an Acme Film Projector (pictured) used by silent film exhibitors and filmmakers Felix Padilla and Edmundo Padilla, items from the Juarez/Mexico City-based Calderon family of filmmakers, a copy of a letter Steve McQueen sent to Texas Gov. Preston Smith at the conclusion of filming The Getaway in El Paso, and items from movies based on books by El Paso authors Tom Lea and Cormac McCarthy.

Additionally, University of Texas at El Paso English and theater professor Dr. Mimi Gladstein, a member of the El Paso Community Foundation board of directors, will present a free lecture, Adapting Tom Lea’s ‘The Brave Bulls’ to the Screen, at noon Sunday, August 5 at the museum.


Bruce Dern to appear at PCFF 2018


July 10

El Paso, Texas — Two-time Academy Award nominee Bruce Dern will appear at this August’s El Paso Community Foundation Plaza Classic Film Festival.

Dern will appear for on-stage interviews with Alexander Payne’s Nebraska at 7 p.m. Friday, August 10 and Hal Ashby’s Coming Home at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, August 11, both in the Plaza Theatre. Tickets are $10 for each appearance.

He also will sign autographs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, August 11 in the El Paso Community Foundation’s Foundation Room, 333 N. Oregon Street. Admission is free, but there will be a charge for autographs.

Dern, 82, was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for the 2013 comedy/drama Nebraska, and Best Supporting Actor for 1978’s Vietnam War-era drama Coming Home. He has roles in three other movies showing at this year’s PCFF, but will not be appearing with them: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid; Hang ‘Em High; and All the Pretty Horses. See plazaclassic.com/schedule for details.

Dern has played a variety of heavies, odd balls, straight men and unusual characters in a career that spans six decades and more than 150 movies and TV shows. They include Black Sunday, The Cowboys, The Great Gatsby, Family Plot, The King of Marvin Gardens, The Hateful Eight and the upcoming Emperor and White Boy Rick.

Bruce Dern joins Ali MacGraw as this year’s PCFF special guests. MacGraw will appear with Love Story at 7 p.m. Friday, August 3 and the El Paso-filmed The Getaway at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, August 4, both in the Plaza Theatre. Tickets are $10 for each. She will sign autographs from 1-2:30 p.m. Saturday, August 4 in the Foundation Room.

The 11th annual Plaza Classic Film Festival will be August 2-12 in and around the Plaza Theatre and will feature more than 90 movies, including The African Queen, Vertigo, Traffic, Fiddler on the Roof, Amadeus, No Country for Old Men, Tootsie, The Godfather and Glory Road.

Tickets are on sale now at the Plaza Theatre box office, ticketmaster.com and 800-745-3000.

Festival passes are on sale at plazaclassic.com/tickets and 915-533-4020.

Go to plazaclassic.com for details.


Ali MacGraw to headline PCFF 2018


June 05

Acclaimed actress, author and activist Ali MacGraw will appear at the 11th annual El Paso Community Foundation Plaza Classic Film Festival in August.

Ms. MacGraw will take the historic Plaza Theatre stage for Love Story, the 1970 romantic drama that made her a star, at 7 p.m. Friday, August 3; and Sam Peckinpah’s 1972 action classic The Getaway, starring Steve McQueen and filmed largely in El Paso, at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, August 4.

She also will sign autographs from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, August 4 in the El Paso Community Foundation’s Foundation Room, 333 N. Oregon.

Ali MacGraw received an Academy Award nomination and a Golden Globe Award for her performance as Jenny Cavalleri in Love Story, her second movie. She worked for Harper’s Bazaar magazine and fashion photographer Melvin Sokolsky before making her film debut in Goodbye, Columbus. The Getaway was her third film.

She also starred in Convoy, Players and Just Tell Me What You Want and TV’s The Winds of War and Dynasty. She wrote a best-selling autobiography, Moving Pictures, and helped create the instructional video Yoga Mind & Body, filmed at White Sands National Monument in New Mexico.

Ms. MacGraw works on behalf of social, animal and environmental causes, works with various nonprofits, and is an ambassador for Ibu Movement, which benefits women cooperatives around the world. Recent honors include the Santa Fe Living Treasures award in 2016, the 2008 New Mexico Governor’s Award for her contributions to the arts, and the Santa Fe Community Foundation’s 2008 Luminaria Award.

This year’s Plaza Classic Film Festival will screen more than 90 movies from August 2-12, 2018. Previously announced 2018 titles include Aladdin, Aliens, Amadeus, Glory Road, Lady and the Tramp, Our Town, Roman Holiday, The Royal Tenanbaums, and Vertigo. More titles will be announced soon.

Individual tickets go on sale in early July. Festival Passes are $200, on sale at plazaclassic.com/tickets and 915-533-4020.


PRSW to sponsor first Local Flavor Awards


May 31

The El Paso Community Foundation Plaza Classic Film Festival is teaming with the Public Relations Association of the Southwest to add awards to this year’s Local Flavor filmmaker showcase.

The Local Flavor Award will give $1,000 to the best of this year’s Local Flavor entries. The award will be selected by Local Flavor curators and professional filmmakers Zach Passero and Lucky McKee, and Plaza Classic Film Festival director Doug Pullen.

The $500 Audience Flavorite Award will be chosen by those who attend this year’s Local Flavor programs during the Plaza Classic Film Festival, which returns for its 11th year August 2-12, 2018.

“The money can be put to good use toward a filmmaker’s future project,” said Passero, a versatile filmmaker, editor and animator whose credits include James and the Giant Peach, Motel, Glimpse, and the forthcoming The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot.

“We are excited to be a part of recognizing projects which tell the stories of the people and places in the Southwest,” said PRSW President Laura Cade.

The Public Relations Association of the Southwest is a professional networking organization for public relations professionals in El Paso and the border region.

The entry deadline for this year’s Local Flavor series, which is sponsored by the Texas Film Commission, is 11:59 p.m. Friday, June 15. There is no cost to enter.

Entries may be submitted at plazaclassic.com/localflavor.