The El Paso Media Fest opens to sold out showings the first night of the festival, which was created by founders Chris Hanna and Daniel Valdez to provide enrichment to the El Paso community through the international exposure of film and media.
In only the second year of the annual event the festival has grown in size and exposure, from the first year of 32 films and 2 days to 56 films over 4 days.
Festivals are a requirement for any community of film fans just so that the films selected provide a unique view that is different from a theater chain’s typical selection. Many stories are The visual expression of borderline life both Juarez Mexico and El Paso Texas residents collaborate to provide the story shown in the El Paso shorts film block.
“We have found that the area youth don’t have the access to these industry professionals where they would have a format in which they can learn basics and grow their craft. We hope to be the catalysts that can foster the great storytelling that can come from El Paso”, said Valdez.
Part of the festival’s motto is bringing the world to El Paso, they have succeeded showcasing films from Belgium, Canada, Korea, Ireland, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom. Several of which are films from international students.
This festival brings me back to the earlier days of Austin Film Festival or Fantastic Fest, small but enthusiastically ready to climb any mountain that may loom.
“There is a discussion that occurs at our fast whenever a block ends, those in attendance leave still talking about the film. That’s what you want to build a reputation on, besides the networking, venues, and the parties…all things a festival should have but we are most proud of the films we show”, said Hanna.