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EPCF/PCFF host 'Hearts on the Gila' benefit screening on April 26


April 05

Journey down the Gila River with three mothers in search of hope and renewal after the tragic loss of their children in a screening of the work-in-progress documentary Hearts on the Gila at 7 p.m. Friday, April 26 in the El Paso Community Foundation’s Foundation Room, 333 N. Oregon, across from San Jacinto Plaza in downtown El Paso.

Doors open at 6 p.m.

Complimentary hors d’oeuvres will be served. There will be a cash bar (beer and wine).

Parking is available nearby at the Chase/Mills Plaza Parking Garage on Oregon Street.

Admission is $10 at the door or online at epcf.org/gila. Proceeds go to Heart of the Gila.

The El Paso Community Foundation Plaza Classic Film Festival hosts the screening, the first stop of a six-city tour that includes Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos, Silver City and Mesilla in New Mexico. The tour is presented by Heart of the Gila, New Mexico Wild, and the Center for Biological Diversity, nonprofit groups dedicated to protecting and promoting wild and scenic protection for New Mexico’s last wild river.

Albuquerque filmmaker David Garcia and some of the film’s subjects will participate in a Q&A after the screening.

Hearts on the Gila takes place four years after three mothers lost their teenage children in a tragic plane crash. The women embarked on a 36-mile kayak journey down the Gila River into the Gila Wilderness in southwestern New Mexico. Their children, passionate environmentalists who were inextricably linked to the Gila, were studying the effects of a devastating forest fire when their plane went down in high wind. The mothers look for hope and solace on the waters of one of America’s last wild rivers and one of America’s great natural treasures.

In Garcia’s film, the women learn about themselves, their children’s legacies, and the importance of wild river systems to the spiritual health of humanity in a world where wild places are rapidly disappearing.

The tour of this work-in-progress version of Hearts on the Gila — which will be submitted to major film festivals around the world when completed this year — is designed to raise awareness of the challenges facing the river, which runs through the nation’s first official wilderness area. The screenings will be an opportunity for audience members to engage in a direct way with the filmmaking process and to dialogue in person with the filmmaker and some of the film’s subjects.


'BlacKkKlansman' benefit screening is this Thursday, March 21


March 18

Award-winning journalist Bob Moore will join best-selling author Ron Stallworth and his wife, Patsy Terrazas-Stallworth, for a special benefit screening of the the Oscar-winning film BlacKkKlansman at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 21 in the Foundation Room, 333 N. Oregon.

Doors open at 6 p.m.

Ron and Patsy will take part in a Q&A after the screening. Former El Paso Times editor Moore will moderate. The movie is based on Ron’s book, Black Klansman.

Hosted by the El Paso Community Foundation Plaza Classic Film Festival, the screening is a benefit for the Migrant Families Relief Fund in the El Paso Community Foundation.

Tickets are a suggested donation of $50, available at epcf.org/bkkk and at the door. Souvenir tickets will be handed out at the door.

Stallworth, who was a guest at last year’s Plaza Classic Film Festival, has described his Hollywood experience with the film and his book as “once in a lifetime.” The El Paso-based author’s memoir details how the Austin High School graduate and Colorado Springs police detective infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in the late 1970s.

It was published independently in 2014 and reissued in 2018 by McMillan’s Flatiron Books, becoming a New York Times best-seller.

Pre-signed copies will be available for sale at the event from 6 to 8 p.m.

Director Spike Lee’s film version, BlacKkKlansman, has grossed more than $90 million since its Focus Features release on August 10, 2018. It was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It won the Oscar, Lee’s first, for Best Adapted Screenplay.

The New York Times called it one of Lee’s “greatest” films.

BlacKkKlansman is rated R.

The Migrant Families Relief Fund was created in 2018 to assist four El Paso nonprofits that provide shelter, legal services, advocacy and other support for migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in the U.S. — Annunciation House; the Detained Migrant Solidarity Committee; Diocesan Migrant & Refugee Services; and Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center.

Go to epcf.org/families to donate.


PCFF 2019 now accepting Local Flavor submissions


March 07

The 12th annual El Paso Community Foundation Plaza Classic Film Festival is accepting submissions for Local Flavor, the region’s largest showcase of locally made and connected films.

This year’s film festival will be August 1-11, 2019 in and around the Plaza Theatre.

Local Flavor entry is FREE.

The film series, sponsored by the Texas Film Commission, features short and feature-length films of various types, including fiction, documentary, animated, experimental and music video.

More than $1,500 in cash will be handed out in the second annual Local Flavor Awards, sponsored by the Public Relations Association of the Southwest.

Entry deadline is 11:59 p.m. Sunday, June 16, 2019.

Submissions may be made at plazaclassic.com/localflavor.

Any type of film may be submitted. No works-in-progress will be accepted. Projects must have been completed January 1, 2018 or after, and must be made locally, locally set or have a connection of some kind to the El Paso-Juarez-Las Cruces area (such as a director originally from El Paso).

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

Returning to curate Local Flavor are El Paso filmmakers Zach Passero (The Weird Kidz, The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot, Wicked Lake, Motel, Glimpse), who has been involved with the Plaza Classic Film Festival since it began in 2008, and Lucky McKee (Kindred Spirits, The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot, The Woods, The Woman), who first appeared at PCFF with his All Cheerleaders Die in 2014. That’s Zach pictured on the left, Lucky on the right at last year’s PCFF.

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


Author Ron Stallworth to headline 'BlacKkKlansman' benefit screening


February 20

Best-selling author Ron Stallworth will appear at a benefit screening of the Oscar-nominated 2018 film BlacKkKlansman at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 21 in the Foundation Room, 333 N. Oregon. Doors open at 6 p.m. Ron and his wife Patsy Terrazas-Stallworth will participate in a Q&A, moderated by journalist Bob Moore, after the screening.

Hosted by the El Paso Community Foundation Plaza Classic Film Festival, the screening is a benefit for the Migrant Families Relief Fund in the El Paso Community Foundation.

Tickets are a suggested donation of $50, available at epcf.org/bkkk and at the door if available.

Stallworth is the El Paso-based author of the best-selling memoir Black Klansman, which details how the Austin High School graduate and Colorado Springs police detective infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s. It was published independently in 2014 and reissued in 2018 by McMillan’s Flatiron Books, becoming a New York Times best-seller.

Pre-signed copies will be available for sale at the event.

Director Spike Lee’s film version, BlacKkKlansmen, has grossed more than $90 million since its Focus Features release on August 10, 2018. It received a standing ovation and the Grand Prix award at France’s Cannes Film Festival last May. It is nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Lee’s first Best Director nomination. The Oscars are February 24. The movie is rated R.

The Migrant Families Relief Fund was created in 2018 to assist four El Paso nonprofits that provide shelter, legal services, advocacy and other support for migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in the U.S. — Annunciation House; the Detained Migrant Solidarity Committee; Diocesan Migrant & Refugee Services; and Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center.

Go to epcf.org/families to donate.


Holiday Movies at the Plaza Theatre conclude January 6


January 03

It is hard to believe that the holiday season is just about over. But wait, there’s one more way to bid adieu to them — with one more installment of the FREE Texas Gas Service Holiday Movies at the Plaza Theatre.

We’ll close out the City of El Paso’s third annual WinterFest with free showings of Disney’s Frozen at 1 p.m. and the first installment of the Ice Age series at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, January 6 in the Plaza Theatre.

That’s the last day that the ice rink in Arts Festival Plaza and other WinterFest activities will be offered.

We’re doing it Plaza Classic Film Festival style, with Laurie Koval performing on the theater’s original Wyler Mighty Wurlitzer Pipe Organ at 12:30 p.m. and Rick Garven at 3 p.m.

Admission is FREE. No tickets are required. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Thanks to our sponsor, Texas Gas Service, and our partners at El Paso Live.

The 12th annual Plaza Classic Film Festival will be August 1-11, 2019. We are in the process of booking movies now that we know you’ll want to see then!

In the meantime, Festival Passes are available at plazaclassic.com/tickets or by calling 915-533-4020.

The pass sells for $200 and includes admission to all ticketed events, special events, reservations in the Philanthropy Theatre, discounts at nearby eateries and a jump-the-line express lane.