The El Paso Media Fest, started by two El Paso filmmakers, will take place Feb. 25-27 at the Alamo Drafthouse East, 12351 Pellicano Drive.
This is the third year for the festival, which focuses on featuring local, international and independent films — as well as offering educational panels taught by industry professionals and fun film activities.
“The El Paso Media Fest is dedicated to enriching the El Paso community through the exposure of international culture and film,” said Chris Hanna, who with Daniel Valdez created the fest.
He added: “We want to expose aspiring filmmakers to the multitude of film styles, genres and stories produced across the globe, so they can expand their skill set and grow into thriving, successful professionals. Our industry panels featuring members from all aspects of the film industry facilitate this and help the aspiring filmmaker to learn the tools of the trade.”
Hanna has filmed both short films and documentaries, including a documentary on the life of NFL quarterback Tony Romo, “Now or Never: A Tony Romo Story.” It will be shown during Media Fest.
Hanna currently is promoting “Art of the Cowboy,” a documentary of working ranches in Kansas and Oklahoma that will be featured separate from the fest at the Alamo Drafthouse East. It will be shown Saturday.
Here are highlights of Media Fest
Friday, Feb. 25:
“Now or Never: A Tony Romo Story” will be shown at 5 p.m.
Millennium Bugs: Remember Y2K? The film is about two friends wondering what’s going to be happen in their lives on the last week of 1999. One friend is floating through life and drowning in alcohol; the other is an immigrant wanting to become a comedian. The film will be shown at 7 p.m. Directed by Alejandro Montoya Marin, who worked on Robert Rodriguez’s “Rebel Without a Crew” TV show, in which a director has to make a feature film with a $7,000 budget.
Opening Night Media Fest Mixer and Loteria with Greg Sestero from 9:30 p.m. to midnight.
From Drawing to the Screen with art director Chris Aguirre from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Stories from Texas and The Borderland: 10 short films including “The Kevorkian Effect” and “The One Who Got Away.” Block is from 7 to 9:15 p.m.
Film Trivia Night from 9:30 p.m. to midnight.
The Magic of Editing session with colorist Tim Stipan and Chris Hanna of ZGN Productions from 9 to 10 a.m.
“Blood Positive”: At just 14 minutes, it’s a short thriller about two sisters who track down and torture a man who they believe is their estranged father. It will be screened Feb. 27 as part of Story Is Sacred Shorts. Block is from noon to 1:30 p.m.
“Miracle Valley,” directed by Greg Sestero, will close out the Media Fest, from 7 to 9 p.m.
El Paso Media Fest Awards and Closing Night Party from 9:15 to 11:30 p.m.
Among other options, people can purchase a Blockpass, which grants entry to one block of films. They can pick which day and which film block they want to attend. Cost is $20, plus a $2.85 fee. More information: elpasomediafest.com/buy-tickets.html
‘Art of the Cowboy’ documentary
“Art of the Cowboy,” a documentary of working ranches in Kansas and Oklahoma produced by El Pasoan Chris Hanna, of local film company ZGN Productions LLC, will be shown at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 19. It is separate from the El Paso Media Fest.
“Through filming ‘Art of a Cowboy,’ I have developed a deep respect for the cowboy way of life. The level of care, respect and dedication to the land and animals that these wonderful people have is palpable and an honor to experience,” Hanna said. “The controversy around the lifestyle due to the history of colonization and perceived animal cruelty is far from the reality of most ranches today.”
What makes “Art of a Cowboy” special is the way that Steve Boaldin uses his passion for art to tell the story of this lifestyle that is slowly being forgotten and must be preserved.
María Cortés González may be reached at 915-546-6150; [email protected]; @EPTMaria on Twitter.
This article originally appeared on El Paso Times: El Paso Media Fest: Films to see include ‘Art of the Cowboy’