Binational Independent Film Festival

Press Releases

2020 Binational Independent Film Festival Press Release

The festival has arrived to its 20th Birthday, and we are very excited about it.  However, the Covid 19 Pandemic has touched everyone nowadays, and now the festival which will be completely Virtual this year, in other words, all through the internet, but not with less quality, effort, or exciting names and projects.  We are going to have a private talk and questions and answers with independent film icon Fred Williamson, directly from his house.  Plus, we are going to have the most-sexy female actress of the 90s-action films in Mexico: Lina Santos, also from her own home talking to our festival audience.  To complement those two events, we will have three documentaries and two talks with Ilana Lapid, professor of film and filmmaker, and Alan Holzman, director, writer, editor, producer, and winner of several Emmys for his wonderful documentaries.  Stay tuned: the festival is coming soon to you.


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2019 Binational Independent Film Festival Press Release

The XIX Festival goes to super-Independent Mode with Carlos Gallardo (the original El Mariachi) who is receiving The Independent Hispanic Actor Award, but not only that: he will come with a new movie by Chee Keong Cheung who had already visited the festival years before with his second film (now on his third!).

On the Mexican side of the festival, but still at UTEP’s Union Cinema we are giving the Lifetime Achievement Award to Manuel Ojeda and the International Independent Actress Award to Karla Barahona.

This is a special year, since we are going to also celebrate the spirit of independent films in our area with films by filmmakers from El Paso (Robert Holguin), Juarez (Cinema Oculto), and Las Cruces (PRC Productions), so get ready for our own filmmakers and our own border stories.

And finally, with our famous talks with celebrities after the films, and the Academic talks as well.

Once more at UTEP’s Union Cinema, free parking during the presentations which will be at 6:30 p.m. each night, and at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday only.

So, come and celebrate Independent Cinema with international celebrities, but this XIX, and very proudly, local celebrities as well!


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2018 Binational Independent Film Festival Press Release

The only truly bi-national festival in the world becomes an adult: we are on our 18th Edition – from May 17 to the 22 we will have a week of films, documentaries, filmmakers, and celebrities from both sides of the border: on both sides of the border!

This year we are celebrating with a very special award – The Beauty of Mexican Action Cinema which is being deservedly awarded to Maribel Guardia, and the lifetime achievement to Mr. Roger E. Mosley.

Roger E. Mosley is mostly known for his role on Magnum P.I., and many other countless appearances on TV, but he is a member of an elite group of African-American pioneers who created a world for themselves during the 60s and 70s with many Independent films where the African-Americans were the heroes, and the leading men and women: and that’s worth celebrating any year!

Maribel Guardia came to Mexico as a beauty contest queen, and then became a Mexican beauty: all of us in Mexico see her as one of ours by now. Singer, Dancer, Actress, Mother, but always Beautiful! With a smile, charm, and presence like no other, she graced the Mexican screen in a series of independent action films back in the 80s and 90s with the body of a Goddess and the face of an Angel: what a combination!

With the same gusto we are promoting, as we do every year, a dialogue in between the United States and Mexico through documentaries, and this year we are bringing some heavy hitters: John Huston (the art of directing), Etiqueta no Rigurosa (Unrestricted Etiquette), The call me King Tiger, and Guerrero/Guerrero. And once more our audiences will have the characters (actors), or the Directors talking to them right after the screenings, which now are going to be, once more, at the UTEP Union Cinema (our original home), and on the Cd. Juarez side at El Cinito (also our original home), so on our Maturity year: we came back home.


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2017 Binational Independent Film Festival Press Release

The only truly bi-national festival in the world is upon us: from April 23 to 27 we will have a week of films, documentaries, filmmakers, and celebrities from both sides of the border: on both sides of the border!

And, once more, this 2017 we celebrate Supporting Actors with Lifetime Achievement Awards.
Supporting Actors and Actresses are the backbone of any film. It is the supporting actor’s task to create the believability around the main actors, and to maintain our suspension of disbelief. To their, sometimes, unsung work, one more year is dedicated.

From the American side we have Cindy Pickett, who with her countless supporting roles, but also some starring roles has brought: first the beautiful young American girl next door (Guiding Light), and then many tough as nails characters (Saint Elsewhere, Call to Glory, Deep Star Six, etc.), and finally the Quintessential American Mother (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Son in Law, Sleepwalkers, etc.), and all of those different phases with not only talent and beauty but with a beautiful charisma that has set her apart from many others.

From México we have Otto Sirgo. He was born in Cuba, but is an Actor made in Mexico. No less supporting roles and starring roles in Movies, Television, and Theater, where he also has directed: in other words, a whole life in the limelight. We celebrate all that he has given us with this well-deserved award.

We are also bringing wonderful documentaries Dolores, Sunu, Disturbing the Peace, and El Paso – two from each side of the border, and for the first time in the festival A Work in Progress. We are going to have the privilege of showing for the first time Jesse Borrego’s directorial debut Closer to Bottom, with Alex Avila the Producer and Writer of the piece present to talk to our audiences: quite a cinematic treat.


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2016 Binational Independent Film Festival Press Release

This 2016 we celebrate Supporting Actors, and home-grown filmmakers.

Supporting Actors and Actresses are the backbone of any film.  It is the supporting actor’s task to create the believability around the main actors, and so maintain our suspension of disbelief.  To their, sometimes, unsung work, this year is dedicated.

From the American side we have Antonio Fargas, who with his many supporting roles created an assortment of African-American characters in countless Blaxploitation movies.  He always brought a certain chutzpa and a quite funky style to his characters that actually made it familiar to all, once we knew he was the actor behind the mask.  But it was with the role of Huggy Bear in TV’s Starsky and Hutch that he was able to put all those years of experience to work.

From México we have Perla de la Rosa & Benjamín Islas.  Both with a prolific Theater background, but it is their filmic work the true testament of their quality as performers.  In the case of Perla, her wonderful performance in Mil Nubes de Amor Cercan el Cielo… garnered her the supporting actress Ariel (the Mexican Oscar); and in the case of Benjamín: his unparalleled quality of work in 40 films, has garnered him the respect and admiration of his peers.  Perla left the big screen to go back to her roots: bringing quality theater to the border with her company Telón de Arena.  Benjamín, on the other hand, continues to juggle in between film, theater, and television.

We are also showing films from local filmmakers (shorts & features): productions that were shot around the El Paso – Las Cruces area, by independent filmmakers that decided to remain in our area: producing and directing movies, thus giving a lot of local talent a chance to be on the big screen without having to leave our area, and that’s something that we are also celebrating this year.


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2015 Binational Independent Film Festival Press Release

The XV year sounds like science fiction to me: Fifteen years ago we started this truly binational festival; however, this year the bi-nationality of the same will be more present: only movies and documentaries from The United States and Mexico will be shown. So, this year will be a direct dialogue not just with the documentaries, but also with the movies and the filmmakers: quite a celebration!

We are bringing excellent documentaries, since we want this dialogue to be grounded in facts and serious themes. Additionally, we are going to have our Lifetime Achievement Awards, plus five directors from Mexico, and five directors from the United States throughout the week.

So come on over to the Montwood Seven Cinemas (Yarbrough & Montwood) from April 25 to May 1, and talk to filmmakers, producers, director and actors and actresses, as it is customary in our Festival week. We will have Rodrigo Vidal and Angie Ruiz, Gloria Hendry (the first African-American James Bond Girl), Karla Barahona, Carlos Cuarón, Jane Rosemont, José María Rodríguez, Philip Lewis, Jorge Aaron Salgado Diez, Angel Estrada Soto , and many more. Come also to the documentary showings at the Main Library downtown, where every other day we will have the directors for those documentaries being shown.

Check our schedule of events and enjoy wonderful filmmaking while you help a great cause with your $5.00 Dollar ticket (regular price), and $2.50 (for Students, Seniors, and Military): your money goes to help a local Non-profit to continue its mission. We are so close to the festival week that I can only say one more thing:

Action!


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2014 Binational Independent Film Festival Press Release

Now on our 14th year with movies from the United States, México, Belgium, Chile, Canada, Italy, and Argentina, with an excellent repertoire of talent from the United States, Mexico, Chile, Italy, and the rest of the world. As in past years we are here to strengthen the bond between the United States and Mexico: with the lively dialogue of documentaries as its language. As the main course, we have one of the pioneers of American-independent cinema Bernie Casey, a legend of Mexican Cinema Mr. Manuel “El Loco” Valdes, and with a “special recognition award for Mexican Action Cinema” for Director José Luis Urquieta and Actress Carmen Cardenal.
This year’s wonderful cast of actors, directors, producers, and distributors will be here to talk to the audience, to talk to students, and give us a glimpse of how it really is inside the world of film and filmmaking.
Highlights: We will watch a Blaxploitation movie (United States), and the movie’s main actor Mr. Bernie Casey will be present to talk to the audience, “Dos Fantasmas y una Muchacha” (México) after watching this very funny movie from the “Golden Age” of Mexican cinema we will have a talk with one of the main actors Mr. Manuel “El Loco” Valdes, “Las Armas Albas” (México) this movie’s Director Mr. José Luis Urquieta and one of the actresses of the movie Carmen Cardenal will be present, as well, “Soy Mejor Que Vos” (Chile), Che Sandoval, the movie’s director, famous in South America for his light-street comedy style, will be here as an emissary from South American films, and The Paw Project the documentary that depicts the long fight to ban “declawing” of cats in California. Directed by Dr. Jeniffer Conrad, she will also be present to talk to our audiences, plus other directors, distributors, and producers will be here to talk to the audiences, as well, since this direct communication with filmmakers and audiences is what the festival is all about.
But that’s not all: we also have the competition of shorts, documentaries, and short screenplays, with entries from all over the world. We already know that this year’s festival will be one of our best, not only in films, talent, and content, but in the quality and quantity of our audience that grows every year. We hope to see you all there to enjoy a truly bi-national event in our area!

For information contact: Laura Rojo de Zamora (915) 585-4566


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2013 Binational Independent Film Festival Press Release

Now on our 13th year with movies from the United States, México, Perú, England, and Germany, with an excellent repertoire of talent from the United States, Mexico, and the rest of the world. As in past years we are here to strengthen the bond between the United States and Mexico: with the lively dialogue of documentaries as its language. As the main course, we have one of the pioneers of American-independent cinema Fred “The Hammer” Williamson, a legend of Mexican Cinema Mr. Eric del Castillo, and with this year being her 50th Anniversary as an actress Mrs. Norma Herrera.

This year’s wonderful cast of actors, directors, producers, and distributors will be here to talk to the audience, to talk to students, and give us a glimpse of how it really is inside the world of film and filmmaking.

Highlights: Boss (United States) this movie’s main actor Mr. Fred Williamson will be present to talk to the audience, La Generala (México) after watching this wonderful movie from the “Golden Age” of Mexican cinema we will have a talk with one of the main actors Mr. Eric del Castillo, Homage (United States) this movie’s Director Mr. Ross Marks will be present, as well as its writer Mr. Mark Medoff, and of course Mrs. Norma Herrera, plus directors, distributors, and producers will be here to talk to the audiences, as well.

But that’s not all: we also have the competition of shorts, documentaries, and short screenplays, with entries from all over the world. We already know that this year’s festival will be one of our best, not only in films, talent, and content, but in the quality and quantity of our audience that grows every year. We hope to see you all there to enjoy a truly bi-national event in our area!

For information contact: Laura Rojo de Zamora (915) 585-4566


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2011 Binational Independent Film Festival Press Release

The eleventh edition of the Binational Independent Film Festival is here from January 7 to January 15, 2011, and this year bringing movies from Ireland, Chile, Norway, Argentina, Canada, The United States, and Mexico. Once more, the ticket prices make our festival the most affordable in the world:

$2.00 for Students, Seniors, and Military. $4.00 for the general public.

The only festival in the world that happens in two countries, two cities, at the same time and with the same importance, and that dedicates uniquely and exclusively to “true” independent cinema from all over the world is proud to bestow the lifetime achievement this year to Seymour Cassell one of the original cast members of John Cassavettes’s troup, and the first actor from that famous group to be nominated for an Oscar, precisely for the movie Faces, that we will be watching and enjoying with him present at UTEP’s Union Cinema, Friday, January 7, at 7:00 p.m.

On the other side of the border we are also very proud to bestow the lifetime achievement to Xavier Lopez “Chabelo.” A comic phenom that stormed into movies at a very young age, and was able to work with just about everybody in the Comedic-Mexican firmament: Cantinflas, Tin-Tán, Antonio Aguilar, Kitty de Hoyos, Chespirito, Viruta y Capulina, Luis Aguilar, Ricardo Montalbán, etc. But that has also made an iconic mark with his still popular TV program En Familia, on the air for over 50 years!

By bringing Chabelo we are opening a new door within our festival and finally we have a couple of films for the whole Family (FREE OF CHARGE). First Dog (PG) on Saturday, January 8, at 4:00 p.m., and Chabelo y Pepito Contra los Monstruos on Friday, January 14, at 4:00 p.m., both at the Union Cinema.

This time the Documentaries are going to be shown, again FREE OF CHARGE at the El Paso Main Library Auditorium at 5:15 p.m. every day starting on January 7 and finishing on January 15. For four of those presentations we’re going to have the directors present and will have a Q&A with the audience at the end of the Documentary.

Additionally, we are including a new section at the Union Cinema for first time directors Friday, Saturday, and Sunday on the first week, and Thursday, Friday, and Saturday on the second week, at 4:00 p.m., Union Cinema, and also FREE OF CHARGE. The Directors will be on hand at the end of the movie to talk to the audience.

And finally, the festival is a festival made by filmmakers for filmmakers, and we are proud to introduce four more names to our Boards: Robert M. Young (Roosters, The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez, Extremities, Dominic and Eugene, Caught, etc), Eric del Castillo (Los de Abajo, Tunco Maclovio, Emboscada, etc.), Michael Paszt, VP Raven Banner, and Arturo Chavez, VP of Acquisitions for Olympusat Satellite, both of them veterans of video and cinema distribution for over 15 years.

Our Schedule of events is available on this website, so please come and enjoy the festival, since it is YOUR FESTIVAL!

For more Information call at: (915)585-4566 and (915)491-3030


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2011 Binational Independent Film Festival Around The Corner

Invitees:Producer/Writer/Director Zalman King (9 ½ Weeks). Singer/Actor Little Joe, Producer/Director Bob
Clark, Director/Producer/Writer/Editor Jeff Scheftel, Olympusat Acquisitions VP Arturo Chavez, Actor Rafael
Inclán, Producer/Writer/Director Sergio Arau, Actor Silverio Palacios & Director Emilio Portes.

With presentations at UTEP’s Union Cinema, and La Fe Clinic.

This year we have movies from: United States, Mexico, Canada, and South Africa.

Every day at UTEP’s Union Cinema, there will be a talk with a Producer, Writer, Director, Actor, or Actress
after the 7PM Movie, and on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after the Documentaries as well.

Come and enjoy the Festival, since it is Your Festival.

For more Information call at: (915)585-4566 and (915)491-3030


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