The first Local Flavor showcase will feature eight short films that range from drama and comedy to experimental and animation. This year’s selections will be screened at 7 pm Thursday, August 4 in the Plaza Theater, a first for the 15-year-old showcase sponsored by the Texas Film Commission. Admission is $5 at the box office and Ticketmaster (there are no service charges if you buy your tickets at the box office).
The program will run about 90 minutes long, followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers, and the fifth annual Local Flavor Awards, sponsored by the Texas Film Commission and Raiz Federal Credit Union, will be presented. The awards include a $1,000 first prize, $750 second prize, and $500 third prize. The $250 audience favorite award will be determined that night via text-to-vote. The Local Flavor After-Party will be from 9-11 pm on the Sabor Patio at the Hotel Paso del Norte.
A total of 39 entries were submitted this year. The Local Flavor series was curated by El Paso filmmakers Zach Passero (First Date, Weird Kidz, The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot, Wicked Lake, Motel, Glimpse) and Lucky McKee (Old Man, Kindred Spirits, The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot, May, The Woman), and festival director Doug Pullen of the El Paso Community Foundation.
This year’s selections are: Aqui es El Paso (Dubeth Ramferi Cortez), drama, 20 minutes; Arkansas, etc. (Brandon Tyler), drama, 14:45 minutes; Dada Noise 2 (Christopher Rakas), experimental, 3:12 minutes: Melody (Lauren Roman), animation, 5:11 minutes; Ome Tlaloc (Jacqueline Barragan), documentary, 8:39 minutes; That Tingling Sensation (Ryan Rox), drama, 29:59 minutes; Visiones Diurnas (J. Genaro Limon and Arantza C. Shaeffer), experimental, 4:38 minutes; Where Is the Governor? (Carlos Humberto Tejeda), comedy, 9:30 minutes.
In addition, the short film El Pavo Bravo will make its festival premiere with an out-of-competition showing at 10 p.m. Saturday, August 6 (replacing the previously announced Desperately Seeking Susan). Admission is FREE. Directed by Austin Savage and Roland Esparza, it is a 19-minute short about a luchador who, after the death of a friend, quits the ring and takes up music in pursuit of a long lost love. It was one of five scripts to win the Hornitos Tequila Black List “Take Your Shot” short film program. A short Q&A will follow the screening.
Recent MacArthur Fellows Cristina Ibarra and Alex Rivera will be special guests of this year’s Plaza Classic Film Festival, presented by the El Paso Community Foundation.
Ibarra is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, El Paso native, and Hanks High School graduate whose work focuses on border issues and culture. She has received fellowships from Soros, Rockefeller, Firelight Media, and the Sundance Women’s Initiative. Rivera is an award-winning narrative filmmaker whose work explores globalization, migration, and technology. The couple, based in Pasadena, CA., received MacArthur “genius” grants in 2021, the first married couple to do so in the MacArthur Fellowship’s 40-year history.
They will be the focus of a three-part series called Genius: Ibarra/Rivera. The series begins with Rivera’s Sleep Dealer (2008) at 3 pm Saturday, July 30 in the Philanthropy Theatre. It is a futuristic tale that deals with environmental and immigration issues. It won awards at the Sundance and Berlin film festivals. Rivera will appear for a post-screening Q&A with PCFF Program Advisory Committee member Jaime Mendez. Admission is $4.
The series continues with two of Ibarra’s short films at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 30 in the Philanthropy Theatre. It opens with the 15-minute comedy Dirty Laundry: A Homemade Telenovela (2000), followed by Las Marthas, a 2014 documentary about a Martha Washington-inspired debutante pageant in Laredo, TX. It aired on PBS’ Independent Lens in 2014. Ibarra will appear for a Q&A after the show with PCFF Program Advisory Committee member Stephanie Valle. Tickets are $4.
The series concludes with The Infiltrators at 4 p.m. Sunday, July 31 in the Plaza Theatre. The Infiltrators won multiple awards at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and aired on PBS’ POV in 2020. The documentary-thriller hybrid was directed by the couple and is based on a true story about a group of “Dreamers” who infiltrate a for-profit migrant detention center in Florida. Ibarra, Rivera and one of the film’s subjects, Claudio Rojas, will appear for a Q&A with El Paso Matters founder Robert Moore after the screening. Tickets are $6.
A reception for the couple will be at 6:30 pm Sunday, July 31 in the Foundation Room, 333 N. Oregon.
Tickets for all Plaza Classic Film Festival screenings are available at the Plaza Theatre Box Office (no service charges) and Ticketmaster.com. Festival passes are available at plazaclassic.com/tickets or by calling 915-533-4020.
The El Paso Community Foundation’s 15th annual Plaza Classic Film Festival is almost here!
The feel-good, end-of-summer cinematic celebration runs July 28 through August 7 in and around the Plaza Theatre in downtown.
Special guests include Rita Moreno appearing with Singin’ in the Rain and the new West Side Story, El Paso’s own Oscar-winner F. Murray Abraham with Amadeus and The Grand Budapest Hotel, El Paso-raised Academy Award nominee Germaine Franco with Encanto, husband-and-wife filmmakers Cristina Ibarra (a Hanks High School grad) and Alex Rivera with four of their films, including The Infiltrators, and UT Austin film faculty member and Franklin High School alum Iliana Sosa with her two-time SXSW-winning documentary What We Leave Behind.
There’s more, of course, including our first Local Flavor showcase in the Plaza Theatre, our first screenwriting competition, familiar faces including Turner Classic Movies’ Scott McGee, former Roger Ebert editor Laura Emerick and Dallas Video Association founder Bart Weiss, plus intros and film lectures by members of the Plaza Classic Film Festival Program Advisory Committee.
And lots and lots of new and old classic movies, including Bonnie and Clyde, Scarface, Bambi, Superman, The Thin Man, The Wild One, Rebel Without a Cause, Lawrence of Arabia, V for Vendetta (pictured), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and many, many more.
We’re doing our best to fight inflation, holding the line on ticket prices for the 10th straight year — $6 for matinees, $8 for evenings and $10 for most of the movies with special guests in the Plaza Theatre; $4 for all Philanthropy Theatre movies; $5 for Local Flavor and the Mills Plaza Drive-in/Walk-up movies; and FREE admission to the outdoor flicks on Oregon Street, our early women filmmakers programs at the El Paso Museum of Art, and our Film Lectures in the Philanthropy Theatre.
Want to see a schedule? Click here for a printable PDF of the schedule.
El Paso native and recent Academy Award nominee Germaine Franco will appear at the El Paso Community Foundation’s 15th annual Plaza Classic Film Festival. The Irvin High School and Rice University graduate received her Oscar nominated for Encanto, for which she wrote the score. Franco made history this year as the first woman to score a Disney animated feature film and is the first woman of color to receive an Oscar nomination for best original score.
Franco will appear with Encanto at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 30 in the Plaza Theatre. Tickets are $10, on sale at Ticketmaster.com and the Plaza Theatre Box Office.
The former El Paso Youth Symphony Orchestra percussionist is a composer, producer, and arranger with a long list of accomplishments. In addition to her Oscar nomination, Germaine’s Encanto score was nominated for a Golden Globe, received a Society for Composers and Lyricists Award for Best Original Score, an Annie Award for best music in an animated feature, and a Variety Artisan Award.
She co-wrote and produced five of six original songs in Disney’s 2017 hit Coco, including Un Poco Loco and Proud Corazon. She wrote the score for the video game Kung Fu Panda Land of Awesomeness and Kung Fu Panda: The Emperor’s Quest, theme park attractions that play daily at Universal Beijing Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood.
She scored the Netflix films Work It, The Sleepover and Someone Great, cowrote and produced the main title theme song for Nickelodeon’s The Casagrandes, and scored the movies Little, Dora and the Lost City of Gold, Tag, and Dope, among others.
Franco believes strongly in music education and equity in her field. She is on the Advisory Board for Women in Media and The Neighborhood Music School. In 2018, Univision celebrated her work as one of “15 Latinas Who Are Changing the World as We Know It.” Her work is heard in concert halls around the world.
Germaine Franco joins a growing list of special guests for this year’s Plaza Classic Film Festival, including Rita Moreno, El Paso native F. Murray Abraham, and husband-and-wife filmmakers Cristina Ibarra, an El Paso native, and Alex Rivera. Among this year’s titles are Singin’ in the Rain, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Amadeus, Scarface, Thelma & Louise, Lawrence of Arabia, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Superman, and Sleepless in Seattle.
The grand prize in this year’s inaugural Plaza Classic Film Festival Screenwriting Competition just got grander. Founders of the Hollywood production and finance company Impossible Dream Entertainment will read the winning script, listen to a pitch from the winning screenwriter and consult the winner on the screenplay’s prospects.
This is in addition to the already announced $500 first prize, plus a Final Draft 12 package and a table read of the winning entry during the El Paso Community Foundation’s 15th annual Plaza Classic Film Festival, which runs July 28-August 7.
The deadline to enter the competition is at 11:59 pm Monday, June 27. Click here to submit.
Impossible Dream Entertainment was founded in 2017 by husband-and-wife producer team Shaun Redick and actress Yvette Yates Redick. Yvette grew up in El Paso and Ciudad Juarez. The couple has appeared several times at the Plaza Classic Film Festival.
Shaun Redick is a former literary and packaging agent at iconic top global talent agencies, WME and ICM, and now a feature film and series Producer. Redick has developed and produced several recent movies including Get Out, which premiered at Sundance and went on to become one of Hollywood’s most profitable movies of all time. Get Out was nominated for 4 Academy-Awards® and won an Oscar® for Best Screenplay. Subsequently, Redick produced the Cannes Grand Prix Winner, BlacKkKlansman, which received 6 Academy Award® nominations and won an Oscar® for Best Adapted Screenplay. Both movies won the coveted AFI Award for Top Ten Movies of the year.
Before partnering with Shaun, Mexican-American Producer and successful Actress Yvette Yates Redick started producing stand-up comedy and produced groundbreaking comedy specials showcasing diverse veteran and upcoming BIPOC comedians. Yvette also starred in hit movies such as Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2x Academy Award® nominated Inherent Vice, and the action thriller El Gringo. The Redick duo has a combined box office of over $1.5 billion worldwide. Their movies have garnered 12 Academy-Award® nominations. They recently produced the upcoming Day Shift movie franchise at Netflix starring Academy Award® winner Jamie Foxx, and recently closed deals for new groundbreaking features and series. The screenplay for Day Shift won the Slamdance Writing Competition in 2017.
Their focus is on socially relevant commercial content and creating, developing, financing, and producing feature films and series content for a wide audience in North America and across the globe.