El Paso, TX

July 18 - July 28, 2024 • El Paso, TX


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.

Get a jump on WinterFest with Tim Burton's 'Nightmare Before Christmas'

November 17

Get a jump on the City of El Paso’s WinterFest — and the holiday season — with a FREE showing of Tim Burton’s wondrous The Nightmare Before Christmas, a stop-motion animated musical about the Pumpkin King’s attempt to kidnap “Sandy Claws” and take over Christmas.

It will be shown on the Plaza Theatre’s BIG screen at 7 tonight (Thursday, November 17), the first of nine movies included in our FREE Holiday Movies at the Plaza Theatre, sponsored by GECU and in partnership with El Paso Live. Seating begins at 6:30 pm, with Rick Garven playing the Wyler Mighty Wurlitzer Pipe Organ.

The 1993 Disney release — it’s hard to believe that it will be 30 years old next year! — features a voice cast including Chris Sarandon as Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, Catherine O’Hara (Kevin’s mom in Home Alone) as Sally, the object of his affections, William Hickey as the evil Dr. Finkelstein, and Patrick Stewart as the narrator. The film’s luminous songs were written by Oingo Boingo’s Danny Elfman, who sings Jack’s role.

It’s just a spicey taste of what’s in store for this year’s Holiday Movies, which are FREE, meaning there are no tickets needed. Seating is first-come, first-served in the historic, 2,044-seat Plaza Theatre, which opened in 1930 and was restored by the El Paso Community Foundation and the City of El Paso in 2006.

The series continues with double features on Sundays, November 27 through December 18.

November 27
1 pm: A Christmas Story (PG, 1983)
3:30 pm: Home Alone (PG, 1990)

December 4
1 pm: Disney’s A Christmas Carol (2009, PG)
3:30 pm: How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000, PG)

December 11
1 pm: Elf (2003, PG)
3:30 pm: The Polar Express (2004, PG)

December 18
1 pm: Four Christmases (2008, PG-13)
3:30 pm: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989, PG-13)

For more on WinterFest, go to epwinterfest.com.

For more on the Holiday Movies and the Plaza Classic, go to plazaclassic.com.