Binational Independent Film Festival

Press Releases

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


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


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


2002 Chamizal Independent Film Festival Press Release

July 27-August 2, 2002. El Paso, Texas – Juarez, Mexico.

A complete week of Actors, Directors, and Cinema that attracted, in between El Paso and Juarez around 3,000 people (last year was 1,5000). Four movies from Mexico and Three from the United States were participating for competition for both, The Chamizal Award and El Premio El Chamizal for best movie. From Mexico: “Monica y el Professor”, “Corazones Rotos”, “Un Mundo Raro”, and “Pachito Rex”. And from the United States: “Pineiro”, “Ordinary Sinner”, and “Dawg”. This year’s winners were “Pineiro” and “Monica y el Professor”. The two conferences at the Chamizal were given by: Alfonso Arau, Hector Bonilla, David Shark, Rafael Montero, and Nacho Mendez. And the two conferences at the INBA Museum in Juarez were given by: Hector Bonilla, Rafael Sanchez Navarro, Maria Rebeca. Rafael Montero, Sofia Alvarez, and Nacho Mendez.

But let’s go back to the beginning, the festival started with a special presentation of “Macario”, where the ribbon was cut by: Don Ignacio Lopez Tarso. From there we moved to the Holiday Inn Pronaf, in Juarez for the dinner. The “Paisanos del Chamizal Lifetime Achievement Award” was given to Don Ignacio Lopez Tarso from the hands of Hector Bonilla. And both at the dinner and at the movie presentation we had: Don Ignacio Lopez Tarso, Hector Bonilla, Susana Lopez Aranda, Rafael Montero, Sofia Alvarez, Fernando Bonilla, Dr. Rico Bovio (ICHICULT), local personalities, sponsors of the festival, friends of the festival, and attendees from Juarez and El Paso.

The festival expanded this year, with the help of the Instituto Chihuahuense de la Cultura and Carta Blanca, with the short screenplay competition (this year in Spanish only). The judge was the renowned playwright Dr. Victor Hugo Rascon Banda, and Director Rafael Montero personally gave the “Carta Blanca Award”, in Victor Hugo’s behalf, to Miguel Chaparro (a UTEP student from Juarez). Additionally, we presented local short videos, professional short videos, and the Oscar nominated shorts at El Paso Museum of Art and the INBA Museum in Juarez, and we are proud to announce that it was a complete success (full attendance on both).

And for a big finale: the closing. It was an exceptional night for many diverse reasons. The first; “The Los Paisanos del Chamizal Lifetime Achievement Award” was given to Oscar-winner Mr. Cliff Robertson. And the prize was passed on by none-other than Alfonso Arau. This time the dinner was first, so we had the opportunity of partake with Mr. Cliff Robertson, Alfonso Arau, David Shark, El Paso Mayor Mr. Ray Caballero, Alejandrina Drew, and many other local personalities, as well as representatives from our sponsors, and attendees from Juarez and El Paso. The Second: the presentation of the movie “Charly” (movie that garnered Mr. Robertson his Oscar). It was a treat to admire this movie, and Mr. Robertson fine performance. And finally, the Third: On this August 2, 2002 the City of El Paso was completely stopped. There was a six hour black out in the morning (in some parts of El Paso it lasted until 5PM). Then, the deluge; rain (if we can call it that) started at around 3PM and didn’t stop until 4:15 and it completely paralyzed the City (TV and Radio stations were asking everybody to stay in their houses or to go directly to their homes, and stay in). I-10 was closed. But aside from all this, we still had more than 100 people at the closing, and that by itself shows us that there is a following that is growing toward our festival.

For information contact: Laura Rojo de Zamora (915) 585-0672.


2001 Binational Independent Film Festival Press Release

First Chamizal Independent Film Festival, A Successful Event.

The First Chamizal Independent Film Festival was held Wednesday, August 1 – Sunday, August 5, 2001 in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico and El Paso, Texas. Designed to celebrate the rich and diverse culture of the United States and Mexico border, it was attended by more than 1,300 people and proved to be a tremendous success from the start.

A star-filled opening gala and inauguration ceremony took place at the Chamizal National Memorial in El Paso, where members of the community, media personalities, actors, directors and producers joined the festivities. Mexican screen legends Hector Bonilla and Maria Rojo were presented with Los Paisanos de El Chamizal Awards in recognition of their significant contributions to the art of the motion picture.

Throughout the week, six independent films, three from the US and three from Mexico were screened on both sides of the border. In addition, seminars with the directors, actors, and producers of the films were conducted in both Juarez and in El Paso. The organizing committee awarded Bruno Bichir, producer of Cronica de un Desayuno with the Chamizal Award for best Mexican picture. Rum and Coke directed by Maria Escobedo and produced by Charles Gherardi received El Premio Chamizal for best American film.

The festival concluded on August, 5, 2001 in Juarez with a special screening of the film Like Water for Chocolate and a closing gala, which honored Alfonso Arau, the film’s director, with an International Border Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award. Next year’s festival will be held July 27 – August 2, 2002 at the Chamizal National Memorial in El Paso,Texas, the University of Texas at El Paso, The Consejo Municipal de Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, the El Paso Museum of Art, the Museo del Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes in Juarez, Mexico.

Initial funding from the US/Mexico Fund for Culture in Mexico and the Freedom Forum in the US provided filmmakers from both countries the opportunity to participate in seminars and screenings of important independent films.

For more information, please contact Laura Rojo de Zamora, Business Manager at (915) 845-6169. Additionally, you can access our website at