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Wondering what it would be like to attend? Check out our past 2019 festival's winners, special guests, film programming, and much much more, below.

The El Paso Film Festival has grown into one of the largest showcases of independently made narrative and documentary films in the southwest. 

Special Guests

Robert Rodriguez


He is the Founder and Chairman of El Rey Network, a 24-hour, English-language lifestyle network and has written, produced, directed and edit a series of successful films including Desperado, From Dusk Till Dawn, The Faculty, the Spy Kids franchise, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Frank Miller’s Sin City, The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3D, Grindhouse, Machete and Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For.

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Racer Max Rodriguez

Screenwriter and producer in both film and VR

In 2017, Racer, alongside his father acclaimed film director Robert Rodriguez and his younger brother Rebel Rodriguez, formed Double R Productions, a development and production company with capabilities to produce media projects across film, television, gaming, and interactive platforms.

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Rebel Rodriguez

Music composer for both film and VR.

In 2017, Rebel, alongside his father acclaimed film director Robert Rodriguez and his older brother Racer Rodriguez, formed Double R Productions, a development and production company with capabilities to produce media projects across film, television, gaming, and interactive platforms.

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Chelsea Hernandez


Chelsea is a NALIP (National Association of Latino Independent Producers) member, Latino Media Market fellow, Firelight Media Doc Lab Fellow, Tribeca Storylab Fellow, Tribeca All Access Recipient, BAVC National Mediamaker Fellow and 2018 IRP Workshop Participant.

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Pollyanna McIntosh


She directed Anne Dudek (a regular on Mad Men (2007), Big Love (2006) and David Dayan Fisher (a regular on 24 (2001), NCIS (2003), to great reviews; her acting credits also include The Walking Dead, Hap and Leonard, Tales of Halloween, and Let Us Prey.

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Lucky McKee


McKee is best known for the 2002 cult hit May, the 2006 schoolgirl chiller The Woods and the notorious 2011 Sundance shocker The Woman as well as noir-thrillers such as Blood Money starring John Cusack and the upcoming Kindred Spirits starring Caitlin Stasey, Thora Birch and Macon Blair.

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Eric Gordon


One previous work, a 35mm short film, “Rita, Pigboy and Me” was written by Tom Lazarus (Stigmata) and stars Mel Gorham (Blue in the Face, Smoke, Curdled). The film screened at over 40 festivals worldwide, winning 18 prestigious awards during its run, including Best Director from the Florida Motion Pictures and Television Association (FMPTA).

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Denise Dorado


In 2017, after starring in many short films and TV guest spots, she was cast in her first leading role in a feature film, “Amalia” (2018), Omar Rodriguez-Lopez’s latest psychological thriller, and her second lead shortly thereafter, Graham Streeter’s “I May Regret” (2018) and currently resides in Los Angeles.

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Building the American Dream

  • Grand Jury Prize
  • Best Feature Film (Documentary)

Grieving their son, a Mexican family campaigns for a life-and-death safety ordinance. A Salvadorian electrician couple owed thousands in back pay fights for their children’s future. A bereaved son battles to protect others from his family's preventable tragedy. A story of courage, resilience and community, the film reveals shocking truths about the hardworking immigrants who build the American Dream, of which they are excluded.

Running with Beto

  • Best Director

Follow Beto O'Rourke behind the scenes of his breakaway campaign to unseat Ted Cruz in the US Senate. The documentary captures Beto's rise from a virtual unknown to a national political sensation and reveals the challenges and triumphs of an unconventional campaign as Beto navigates an onslaught of negative advertising, inevitable strain on his family, and the pressure of delivering for legions of supporters.


  • Best Feature Film (Narrative)

When five teen employees at the local movie theater in a small Christian town discover a mysterious old film hidden in it’s basement, they unleash an alluring succubus who gives them a sex education...written in blood.

Kindred Spirits

  • Producer Award

Chloe (Thora Birch), a single mother, has her life turned upside down when her younger sister, Sadie (Caitlin Stasey), comes home after a long unexplained absence. Though Sadie seems to want to settle in with her sister and 17-year-old niece Nicole (Sasha Frolova), she’s actually a deeply disturbed young woman who has a sinister agenda regarding anyone who gets between her and her big sister.

Chicle (Gum)

  • Femme Frontera Award

Grandma is too focused on making her favorite apple pie to notice the death and destruction going on around her being caused by a rampaging dragon.

Ferryman at the Wall

  • Best Short Film (Documentary)

Originally proposed as an international peace park with Mexico, Big Bend, Texas has a unique relationship with its southern neighbor. For the past 40 years, Mike Davidson has been ferrying tourists across the Rio Grande for a little taste of Mexican life - but now a great big border wall might divide the park.


  • Best Short Film (Narrative)

A guy makes a bad first impression when he meets his girlfriend’s family as they gather at her grandfather’s death bed.

When All That’s Left is Love

  • Audience Award

When All That’s Left is Love is the emotionally gripping story of a wife’s determination to care for her Alzheimer’s-stricken husband in their home. With unprecedented, behind-the-scenes access, the film reveals the toll that the disease takes on families coping with Alzheimer's, while also showcasing the power of love that sustains both patients and caregivers.

Birth in Pieces

  • El Paso Filmmaker Award

What’s wrong with birth in the USA? Birth in Pieces explores mothers’ individual birth stories within a larger framework of a fragmented maternal healthcare system that doesn’t always place value on a mother’s autonomy, well-being or empowerment: in order to fix these systemic problems, we have to start by listening to women.

Award Sponsors


Read up on all the films that screened at the 2019 El Paso Film Festival.



See our full 2019 schedule.