Binational Independent Film Festival

2002 Chamizal Independent Film Festival Press Release

July 27-August 2, 2002. El Paso, Texas – Juarez, Mexico.

A complete week of Actors, Directors, and Cinema that attracted, in between El Paso and Juarez around 3,000 people (last year was 1,5000). Four movies from Mexico and Three from the United States were participating for competition for both, The Chamizal Award and El Premio El Chamizal for best movie. From Mexico: “Monica y el Professor”, “Corazones Rotos”, “Un Mundo Raro”, and “Pachito Rex”. And from the United States: “Pineiro”, “Ordinary Sinner”, and “Dawg”. This year’s winners were “Pineiro” and “Monica y el Professor”. The two conferences at the Chamizal were given by: Alfonso Arau, Hector Bonilla, David Shark, Rafael Montero, and Nacho Mendez. And the two conferences at the INBA Museum in Juarez were given by: Hector Bonilla, Rafael Sanchez Navarro, Maria Rebeca. Rafael Montero, Sofia Alvarez, and Nacho Mendez.

But let’s go back to the beginning, the festival started with a special presentation of “Macario”, where the ribbon was cut by: Don Ignacio Lopez Tarso. From there we moved to the Holiday Inn Pronaf, in Juarez for the dinner. The “Paisanos del Chamizal Lifetime Achievement Award” was given to Don Ignacio Lopez Tarso from the hands of Hector Bonilla. And both at the dinner and at the movie presentation we had: Don Ignacio Lopez Tarso, Hector Bonilla, Susana Lopez Aranda, Rafael Montero, Sofia Alvarez, Fernando Bonilla, Dr. Rico Bovio (ICHICULT), local personalities, sponsors of the festival, friends of the festival, and attendees from Juarez and El Paso.

The festival expanded this year, with the help of the Instituto Chihuahuense de la Cultura and Carta Blanca, with the short screenplay competition (this year in Spanish only). The judge was the renowned playwright Dr. Victor Hugo Rascon Banda, and Director Rafael Montero personally gave the “Carta Blanca Award”, in Victor Hugo’s behalf, to Miguel Chaparro (a UTEP student from Juarez). Additionally, we presented local short videos, professional short videos, and the Oscar nominated shorts at El Paso Museum of Art and the INBA Museum in Juarez, and we are proud to announce that it was a complete success (full attendance on both).

And for a big finale: the closing. It was an exceptional night for many diverse reasons. The first; “The Los Paisanos del Chamizal Lifetime Achievement Award” was given to Oscar-winner Mr. Cliff Robertson. And the prize was passed on by none-other than Alfonso Arau. This time the dinner was first, so we had the opportunity of partake with Mr. Cliff Robertson, Alfonso Arau, David Shark, El Paso Mayor Mr. Ray Caballero, Alejandrina Drew, and many other local personalities, as well as representatives from our sponsors, and attendees from Juarez and El Paso. The Second: the presentation of the movie “Charly” (movie that garnered Mr. Robertson his Oscar). It was a treat to admire this movie, and Mr. Robertson fine performance. And finally, the Third: On this August 2, 2002 the City of El Paso was completely stopped. There was a six hour black out in the morning (in some parts of El Paso it lasted until 5PM). Then, the deluge; rain (if we can call it that) started at around 3PM and didn’t stop until 4:15 and it completely paralyzed the City (TV and Radio stations were asking everybody to stay in their houses or to go directly to their homes, and stay in). I-10 was closed. But aside from all this, we still had more than 100 people at the closing, and that by itself shows us that there is a following that is growing toward our festival.

For information contact: Laura Rojo de Zamora (915) 585-0672.