2023 Selections - El Paso Media Fest

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2023 Selections

Film & New Media

Title: The Syed Family Xmas Eve Game Night
Length: 11:00 Min
Directed by: Fawzia Mirza
Synopsis: All cards are on the table when a queer Pakistani Muslim woman brings her Puerto Rican partner home for the first time on the family's annual game night.

Title: Hometown Boys
Length: 9:54 Min
Directed by: Jamie Sutor
Synopsis: Before Wolf splits for the coast, he and his gang The Hometown Boys have one last job, steal a pink lockbox from a quaint Scranton sex shop. Little do they know about what's lurking in the shadows, ready to stop their heist, the store's security guard... a Gimp.

Title: Terminator: Bad Judgment Day
Length: 6:00 Min
Directed by: Lisa Belcher
Synopsis: Future soldier Kyle Reese has one job -- to protect Sarah Conner, how hard can that be? Reese's commanding officer is about to find out.

Title: EP. 00: Pilot
Length: 10:09 Min
Directed by: Hector Gallardo
Synopsis: Take a journey into the twisted minds of the monsters that live among us. Join us as we interview modern-day serial killers and peer into their worlds.

Title: First Impressions
Length: 8:42 Min
Directed by: Michael Charron
Synopsis: Randall wants to impress his girlfriend and her friends at their weekly game night with his favorite game, but things don't quite go as planned…

Title: The Hostage Situation
Length: 10:00 Min
Directed by: David Feagan & Brian Elliott
Synopsis: A small group of inexperienced criminals dive head first into a plot to kidnap a United States senator. After a critical misstep derails their plan, things rapidly fall apart as the group desperately tries to recover from the chaos.

Title: A Minute of Your Time
Length: 10:00 Min
Directed by: Matt McKisson
Synopsis: When the telemarketers push a man to his breaking point, he pushes back, to reclaim his sanity.

Title: Mother
Length: 3:34 Min
Directed by: Brett Gergory
Synopsis: A marriage made in Hell, this unique Gothic music video directed by Brett Gregory for the Manchester-based dirty swingers, Louis Barabbas and The Bedlam Six, explores the Oedipal Complex with wit and panache.

Title: Lucid Dreams
Length: 4:37 Min
Directed by: Robby Dugan

Title: Written in Ink
Length: 5:51 Min
Directed by: Cordelaine Kline
Synopsis: A man hangs a noose, feeds his cat, and starts writing his suicide note, but his pen runs out of ink.

Title: Unfinished Business
Length: 3:30 Min
Directed by: Jason Knade
Synopsis: A surreal and lyrical reflection on a past relationship.

Title: Petals
Length: 3:00 Min
Directed by: Marie J. Magdaleno
Synopsis: A love story like no other.

Title: Til' I Met You
Length: 4:01 Min
Directed by: Alfonso Loya
Synopsis: Julio is shooting a music video, but falling in love with the makeup girl wasn’t a part of his plans.

Title: Seeds
Length: 5:00 Min
Directed by: Toni Bestard
Synopsis: Spain, 1938. A woman is quietly planting seeds in her garden when two armed soldiers appear. Before being detained, she hides some of the seeds in her pocket.

Title: The Sidewalk Artist
Length: 20:07 Min
Directed by: David Velez & Brandon Rivera
Synopsis: A documentary film crew follows a contractor who leaves his mark on concrete sites throughout a North Texas town.

Title: Cafe Avec Papa
Length: 7:00 Min
Directed by: Gabriel Di Pastena
Synopsis: Serge and his dad, who has Alzheimer's, are eating at the restaurant. Everything seems normal as always, until Serge's dad starts to behave in a really strange way…

Title: In This Moment
Length: 3:56 Min
Directed by: Robby Dugan

Title: Mental Soiree
Length: 5:00 Min
Directed by: Alberto Arellano
Synopsis: A Manual for a study of Telepathy in 3 steps leads the story trough an evocative universe. The mind is like a shipwreck, which always leaves remains on the beach...the film tells the story of two shipwrecked people who meet in an unique soirée. ¨We truly recommend to the viewer to follow strictly the steps and test the experiment by themselves.¨

Length: 13:12 Min
Directed by: Nathan Crooker
Synopsis: #Nofilter addresses the ever-growing issue surrounding Body Dysmorphic Disorder through the eyes of Beth, an insecure twenty-something, who becomes obsessed with an insidious filter, leaving her to question true beauty. It is a cautionary tale for all those obsessed by "likes," being flawless, and thinking that somehow social media is the magical cure-all for happiness. The film stars Kelly Lamor Wilson and Misha Osherovich from Blumhouse's "Freaky."

Title: Pisanka
Length: 16:00 Min
Directed by: Jorge Yudice
Synopsis: Erica and Anna haven't seen each other in years. They meet at a coffee shop to catch up. But first, Erica has to warn Anna of one thing... There is something threatening that only Erica can see. And that "something" is right behind Anna.

Stories From Our Borderland
Presented by

Title: Homesick
Length: 15:00 Min
Directed by: Valeria Contreras
Synopsis: “Homesick” is a modern-day tale of two star-crossed lovers, separated by a global pandemic and the U.S.-Mexico Border. This film focuses on the love and bond that unites people and communities across borders—and the heartbreak that exists when that unity is broken.

Title: Six Feet Apart
Length: 13:24 Min
Directed by: Monty Cole
Synopsis: In El Paso, Son stands in the shower, his cinnamon skin glistening, as he prepares for his father’s funeral. Memories flood into his head of the contentious relationship between a gay Latinx man and his religious Dad, as he journeys to a funeral in the times of COVID.

Title: Shipping Them
Length: 15:00 Min
Directed by: Ryan Rox
Synopsis: A non-binary daydreamer pines for the life of the girl next door, but soon finds out the grass isn't always greener on the other side.

Title: Pedro
Length: 19:45 Min
Directed by: Jezrael Gandara
Synopsis: Pedro, an 18-year-old Mexican American, longs for the love and safety provided by his mother, however he makes the tough decision of fleeing his home to escape his abusive stepfather. Set in the border city of El Paso, Texas, under the downtown buildings and somber city lights Pedro struggles with addiction. Pedro meets a mysterious ranchero who gives him a chance at stability. Here, Pedro realizes just how hard it is to find peace as he stands at the crossroads of life and death.

Title: The Estate Sale
Length: 6:08 Min
Directed by: Red Valdez
Sypnosis: Siblings struggling to keep up with familial expenses come together after the passing of their mother for an estate sale. Her thoughts are shared, blames are cast, and realizations are made. Mourning, bringing each of them closer to the truth.

Title: Black Hole Blues
Length: 8:35 Min
Directed by: Michael Huante
Synopsis: A realtor gets trapped in time with a hitchhiker while trying to get to a property he's supposed to sell.

Title: Vivid
Length: 15:00 Min
Directed by: Jesse Fraire
Synopsis: Aaron (Ivan Orozco, En Tus Brazos Esta Noche), a lovely and lonely boy, is determined to get the girl of his dreams (Melissa Diaz, S.W.A.T) , even if it's only in his dreams.

Title: Left on Red
Length: 8:56 Min
Directed by: Jay Almaraz
Synopsis: On a cold, windy fall night, Jessica forces herself to study. As she is studying, Jessica receives an unlikely and disturbing visitor. From her past dating life.

Title: El Paso 11:55
Length: 19:10 Min
Directed by: Keith Jardine
Synopsis: A man carrying a dangerous bag seems to be in way over his head when he's confronted by an array of colorful and dangerous characters.

Title: Once a Sinner
Length: 20:00 Min
Directed by: Andrew Barahona
Synopsis: What if your hero had one bad day? A hero of justice is forced to cross the line to save his city.

Title: Powerless
Length: 9:11 Min
Directed by: Chris Hanna
Synopsis: (El Paso 48 Hour Film Project - 2nd Place Winner) Two agents investigate a potential super-powered criminal to learn what abilities he may possess.

High School & College Stories

Title: The Sprayer
Length: 8:45 Min
Directed by: Farnoosh Abedi
Synopsis: In the land occupied with the sprayers army, no one has the right to grow any kind of plants either in public or private. So many of the people and soldiers don't even know how does a plant grows or look like, until one day one of the soldiers finds a seed buried deep down in the dust and his curiosity is just the beginning of something extraordinary, something big, something revolutionary.

Title: Melody
Length: 5:11 Min
Directed by: Lauren E. Roman
Synopsis: A father, out of loneliness, sings his daughter into existence, but as she grows older, her curiosity leads her to a dangerous new voice.

Title: En Las Sombras
Length: 5:11 Min
Directed by: Lauren E. Roman
Synopsis: An Undocumented man must reconnect with his estranged daughter to claim the lottery prize he is unable to collect for himself.

Title: House
Length: 10:05 Min
Directed by: Hannah Martinez
Synopsis: The story follows Liza, a woman dealing with severe compulsions and a strained family relationship as she tries to leave her house. She realizes she can’t when the house starts falling apart. Liza tries to put the pieces back together as her house and mental state crumble. Both end up completely falling apart in the end, only to reveal the twist. The whole time, Liza’s house was actually a doll house, controlled by the Real Liza. The Real Liza, a young child who has no other way to work out her unexpressed emotions, bashes her doll into her dollhouse until it caves and becomes crushed to bits.

Title: The Door
Length: 11:27 Min
Directed by: Nicholas Carrodo
Synopsis: In the weeks following a family tragedy, brothers Neil and Chris head out on a hunting trip. After some unexplained events, they soon find themselves face to face with a sight that will stick with them for the rest of their lives: a door in the middle of the woods.

Title: Ghost on the Dance Floor
Length: 12:15 Min
Directed by: Edwin Raul Oliva
Synopsis: On Dia-de-los-Muertos, a young Latino attempts to go on a date as he struggles to let go of the memories of his ex.

Title: Summa Culpa Laude
Length: 18:03 Min
Directed by: Echo Nguyen
Synopsis: A perfectionist high schooler strives to be valedictorian, but when her rival takes the top ranking, she devises a scheme to seize the number one spot.

Documentary Life

Title: Bad Hombrewood
Length: 23:42 Min
Directed by: Guillermo Casarin
Synopsis: Guillermo Casarín, an aspiring young filmmaker, came to the United States from Mexico to pursue his dreams of becoming a film director. Now, he is on the verge of graduating from one of the best film schools in the world, but after experiencing racism in the country and film industry, he finds himself questioning his place in Hollywood. Through compelling interviews--such as Academy Award-winning directors Phil Lord, Lee Unkrich, and Guillermo Del Toro, and Melissa Fumero from the Golden Globe-winning show Brooklyn Nine-Nine--and archival footage, Bad Hombrewood reveals the dark side of Hollywood’s history and the challenges Latinx filmmakers face while trying to succeed in the entertainment industry.

Title: Why
Length: 22:00 Min
Directed by: Natxo Leuza
Synopsis: Why this war? why are they shooting at us? why are they destroying everything? why am I afraid? why do they want to kill us? why such hatred? Why do they murder our children? Why do they humiliate us? Why do they take everything from us? Why do I have to run away? Why has someone decided to erase everything?

Title: Still Here
Length: 16:00 Min
Directed by: Alvaro Hernandez Blanco
Synopsis: In the deserts of Baja California (México), Daria and Teresa are the last two speakers of the Ku'ahl indigenous language. In their world of oblivion and decrepitude, they lament the imminent extinction of the ku'ahl language and culture as the modern world moves on with indifference. But as long as Daria and Teresa converse together, ku'ahl lives.

Title: Yungay 7020
Length: 19:00 Min
Directed by: Raquel Calvo Larralde & Elena Molina
Synopsis: In 1970 an avalanche erased the colonial town of Yungay (Perú). A bunch of survivors rebuilt it just a kilometer away. Huascarán, the once sacred and now feared mountain, speaks for itself. Those who remember know they should pay attention.

Title: La Bi-Vencia
Length: 15:00 Min
Directed by: Mariana Gongora & Analaura Cardenas
Synopsis: Drawing on images from a non-existent border between Santa Elena, Chihuahua, and Big Bend National Park in Texas. La Bi-vencia explores the reunion of a ghost town next to the Rio Grand that was abandoned after 9/11.

Title: Daida Back to the Ocean
Length: 24:00 Min
Directed by: Pablo Ramirez Bolanos
Synopsis: Daida Ruano Moreno, 18 times World Champion, tells her fight against her most difficult rival: a Cancer that almost took away not only her Life, but her most personal and intimate dream…

Title: Serigne
Length: 27:00 Min
Directed by: Rodrigo Hernandez Tejero, Adriana Cardoso Navarro, Edu Marin
Synopsis: Serigne Mbayé arrived in Spain in a dinghy from Senegal. After 15 years of anti-racist struggle in Madrid, today, converted into a politician, he is determined to confront the European Union. His mission: point to Brussels as responsible for his migration and that of thousands of his compatriots.

Title: Roots Tour - A Sibling Journey: From Hatred to Harmony
Length: 30:00 Min
Directed by: Chris Hanna, Jess Marriott & Bluma Claire Ekshtut
Synopsis: 70% of all domestic violence reported is from sibling abuse. That’s higher than spousal abuse, and no one talks about it. My sister and I hated each other our entire lives, until November 2019. We figured out how to forgive each other, heal our past pains, and create a new sisterhood-culture.

As adult-siblings, it’s no longer about who was right or wrong. It’s no longer about accuracy, because we both contributed to our unhealthy childhood relationship. We were both children then, but now we are both adults.

We decided to do a “roots home tour" to go back to where our painful moments happened and to create new positive restorative memories…together. We are Sibz United: I am Jessica Marriott, entrepreneur and innovator, and my sister is Dr. Bluma Sapir Clinical Psychologist and Couples Therapy expert.

Conquering Our Lives

Title: Baggage
Length: 29:25 Min
Directed by: Chris Beier
Synopsis: A woman attempts to smuggle contraband from Mexico into Texas.

Title: Sawyer
Length: 22:51 Min
Directed by: Marshall Leming
Synopsis: Sawyer is a poor farm girl taking care of herself and her radiation-poisoned mother. Unable to afford the energy to keep her mother alive, she must rebuild her father's illegal homemade generator under the watchful eye of an oppressive government.

Title: Concrete & Steel
Length: 17:00 Min
Directed by: Oriol Villar
Synopsis: Victor and Nacho are lifetime friends and mafiosos. They've been tortured and chained to a cement block. While Nacho struggles desperately to break free, Victor tries to figure out why their boss has betrayed them. They reflect on their lives and their past, but then Nacho makes a confession that will change their lives forever.

Title: Pool Loop
Length: 11:00 Min
Directed by: Elias Perez
Synopsis: After running into an old colleague from university in her family store where she works, Aurora makes the brave decision to face her future.

Title: Parrot
Length: 11:09 Min
Directed by: Kyle B. Thompson
Synopsis: A drag queen protects a child during a crisis as prejudices reach a breaking point.

Title: Billy
Length: 12:56 Min
Directed by: Jack Saxon
Synopsis: An obsessive professor experiences a series of tragic events after uncovering new information surrounding the subject of his latest research - Billy, the Pygmy Hippopotamus.

Story is Sacred

Title: Trying
Length: 15:00 Min
Directed by: Juan Manuel Montilla “Langui”
Synopsis: Santiago is a father with cerebral palsy that makes him walk with difficulty. Every day He goes to school to look for his son Diego and they walk the same way back but today it will be different. Diego, teenager, and Santiago, who still sees a boy in his son, will have a discussion full of truths that hurt and silences that thrill.

Title: Non Grata
Length: 15:00 Min
Directed by: Alba Lozano

Title: Resilient
Length: 15:00 Min
Directed by: Tania Gongar
Synopsis: Jessica is a happy 7 year-old girl who dreams of dancing, but not having a dress for the upcoming Christmas festival puts her in the crosshairs of ridicule and rejection by her classmates. The day of the long-awaited festival arrives, will Jessica get her dress?

Title: Mother Duckling
Length: 12:00 Min
Directed by: Manu Pons
Synopsis: Olga just needs to leave her son with his grandfather for a couple of hours. At last, she has found the job that will change her life. But her father will not make it easy for him: he does not trust her daughter's plans and -although it hurts him- he refuses to stay with her grandson.

Title: A Fictional Work
Length: 15:00 Min
Directed by: Carlos Borrego
Synopsis: Jon, a writer suffering a terminal disease, spends his last days isolated in his apartment. His best friend Marco visits him one afternoon. Jon then reveals to Marco that everytime he writes a story, if he tells the tale to a strange fortune teller he knows, somehow those fictions become real. Jon sets a plan to cheat death.

Title: Bad News
Length: 12:00 Min
Directed by: Santiago Cardelus Ruiz-Alberdi & Pablo Manchado Cascon
Synopsis: A dysfunctional family gathers due to a tragedy. But there's somebody missing: the oldest son is celebrating his birthday at a camp in the Himalayas, unaware of the terrible news. Before he calls them, the family must decide whether to hide the truth and let him live in blissful ignorance for one more week, or tell him and ruin his life forever.

Title: Cray
Length: 15:01 Min
Directed by: Sonia Sawkar
Synopsis: When dysfunctional Ray walks in on her perfect best friend Cora trying to kill herself, secrets are revealed and humor is found in unexpected places. A dark comedy exploring the themes of postpartum depression and female friendship.

Title: The Wrong Guy
Length: 21:00 Min
Directed by: Alejandro Montoya Marin
Synopsis: On the surface Daniel is a contentedly married, father of two, and assistant bank manager in a small Texas town.

Behind literal closed doors, however, he deals with the stresses and boredom of his average life by indulging in delusions of vigilante justice. Employing mediocre workouts and harmful diets, he believes he’s a hero as he enacts revenge on those who’ve crossed him, by way of petty vandalism.

But his actions have new consequences when he is caught “dealing out justice” to the property of a desperate and corrupt government agent who will extort Daniel for all he’s worth.

World Shorts

Title: Cognition
Length: 25:00 Min
Origin: United Kingdom
Directed by: Ravi Ajit Chopra
Synopsis: 'Cognition' stars Bafta Winner Andrew Scott (Fleabag) & Jeremy Irvine (Green Lantern, Warhorse) in this emotionally engaging father & son story.

This is an Independent short film, we worked incredible hard to put every relationship and partnership in place. The film made it onto the long list for the Academy's Live Action Short Film category at the Oscars in 2021. The story follows a son's (Jeremy Irvine) psychological journey as he confronts his past trauma to reconnect with the father he loves (Andrew Scott).
Film also covers contemporary themes about mind control & state control.

Described by leading U.K Film Critic 'Mark Kermode' as 'A Remarkable Achievement'.

Please view Film on Vimeo in 2K Mode for best results, Thanks.

Our Film is 23 mins of drama time without titles and credits.

Title: AIDA
Length: 22:00 Min
Origin: Spain
Directed by: Ismael Martin
Synopsis: October 1934. The workers' revolt in Asturias is dying. Aida Lafuente, a young revolutionary, decides to resist entrenched in a machine gun nest, to protect the retreat of her companions. Challenging the conventions of the time, Aida will rebel against her destiny until she consumes her last breath.

Title: Desert Lights
Length: 18:55 Min
Origin: Chile
Directed by: Katherina Harder Sacre
Synopsis: In the middle of Atacama desert, Antay (12) sees his town disappearing due to droughts and neglect.Alongside his friends Inti (12) and Ayelén (11) and the football team they have formed, they will try to hang on to the last sunrays, their childhood fragments and the ties with those who still resist.

Title: Four Walls
Length: 6:00 Min
Origin: South Africa
Directed by: Kgosana Monchusi, Menzi Mzimela & Juvais Dunn
Synopsis: Grace Molotsi, a married nurse from the township, feels trapped and at her wits end due to an abusive husband who has made her life a living nightmare.

When she finally takes the decision to end his life, her house is
invaded by two thugs on the run from a cash-in-transit robbery gone wrong who take her hostage. Will the thugs be able to trust Grace when they discover her tied up unconscious husband in the bedroom?

How will Grace be able to explain the various revelations that arise once her husband regains consciousness? Four Walls provides insight on the systematic societal issue of Gender Based Violence (GBV) posing the question, just how far do victims have to go to be heard and protected.

Title: I'll Think of You When I See the Vultures Fly
Length: 15:00 Min
Origin: Spain
Directed by: David Heredia
Synopsis: Adolfo climbs a mountain intending to kill himself with an overdose. He fails in his attempt. Fear paralyzes him. On the way back to his cabin he's met with a mysterious woman from his past. The relationship between them is distant. The rhythm of the nature and silence that engulfs them will lead them to the love that connects them.

Title: Loose
Length: 20:00 Min
Origin: Spain
Directed by: Javier Pereira
Synopsis: Alba wakes up one morning with two men. Something happened the night before, but she doesn't remember anything. Just a strange feeling that she can't define.

Feature Films

Title: The Christmas Tapes
Length: 1:40:00 Hrs
Directed by: Robert Livings & Randy Nundlall Jr.
Synopsis: In this Christmas-Horror Anthology, a family's movie night on Christmas Eve is interrupted by a stranger, insistent on making the next Christmas classic film Himself.

Title: Beyond the Dream
Length: 1:35:00 Hrs
Directed by: Chris Hanna
Synopsis: The true story of two high school teachers who   started a program to take students from El Paso on a journey to visit   Ivy League schools in the east coast, to inspire them and help them   realize what they can achieve.

Title: Silent Sounds
Length: 1:30:00 Hrs
Director: Andrew Barahona
Sypnosis: “When ‘The Writer’ sells his soul to the Devil in exchange for the power to tell his stories but as he delves deeper into the darkness of his own soul, ‘The Writer’ realizes that the cost of fame may be more than he bargained for in this chilling anthology horror film.”

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