At the Movies: Recap of El Paso Film Festival 2022

October 26, 2022

From the nights of the 14th to the 16th of October, Downtown El Paso saw the advent of the 5th anniversary of El Paso Film Festival, a celebration of independent film festival across the border. The festival is a unique occurrence in the region; it prides itself in being the largest showcase of independently produced short and feature films in West Texas.  

The festival featured a variety of films ranging from documentaries to shorts films from various genres, including horror, comedy, suspense and thrillers. Yet, the greatest and most impactful films were those that portrayed the border and the people of El Paso in their restless enthusiasm to go rise in the face of hardship. 

Many of the filmmakers and their crews had to wait and stand by on the production of their films because of the COVID 19 pandemic.  

“The production was set still, frozen,” Director Billy Townes said, whose movie Borderlords III had faced complications because of the pandemic.  

“We lost a lot of money and things just got a lot more complicated. We got about 80% of the movie done before the pandemic, but that last 20 percent was a nightmare to get through. I’m just happy we could get it done,” Torres said. 

The festival has experienced great development and growth over the course of these past 4 years, as more and more people are interested in filming and watching films. 

“We founded the festival in 2018. Before that, El Paso didn’t have any sort of independent film exhibition for small productions to be exhibited. Since that time, I have seen so many great films, and so many great creators that I can’t do anything but feel proud and optimistic about the future,” the film festival’s creative director Carlos Corral said. 

There are many great films coming out this year, one of which is Silent Sounds, a horror film directed, written and produced by Jorge and Andrew Barona.  

“This festival really comes to show that people are willing to see independent films and go out of their way to show interest in what El Paso can offer in terms of film,” Jorge Barona said. “Because of this support we get, many people like my brother and I can produce and continue creating.” 

The festival is expected to grow in the following year as people begin to take notice of independent movie makers more and more, just as more and more people are being inspired to create and make films of their own.  

“It is great to see more and more people here, growing and having a chat with us for advice, it’s great,” Andrew Barona said. “These young kids have a lot of dreams and hopes for the future, which is great for the festival.”  

In the end, as the lights go down and the camera stops rolling, there is a great community of people that provide great ideas infused with love and creativity in order to express themselves through the lens of a camera pointing at the most subtle expressions of the human condition, so those who witnessed their creation in the cinema, keep the memory of it inside of them forever. 

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