KTEP - El Paso, Texas

On Film

Saturdays at 11am

On Film has aired weekly on KTEP since 1993 and covers contemporary and classic films, filmmaking, film industry developments and the talents of local filmmakers through insightful interviews, reviews and commentary.

Mainstream movie reviewers and established film critics tend to skew older in age, and perhaps the lack of younger voices in cinema writing distorts consensus on popular movie titles. A new website hopes to harness the writing skills and discernment of college students to provide a new perspective on movies. This week, we spoke with Zac Powell and Hannah Mathes, students at the University of Texas at Austin, to discuss their newly launched site, HookedOnMovies.org. Powell and Mathes, along with a team of writers, hope this new outlet will connect young movie lovers nationwide and even encourage them to step out of their comfort zones when it comes to movie selection with the help of their peers.

August has become a special month for the region's classic film lovers. The 11th Annual Plaza Classic Film Festival returns to the historic Plaza Theatre August 2nd-12th and the full line-up for this year's festival is rolling out now. This week, we visited with Doug Pullen, El Paso Community Foundation Program Director, to discuss some of the must-see films and events at this year's festival.

Summer is already half over, but there's no slowing of big budget, would-be-blockbusters beckoning us back to theatres. The Hollywood pipeline brought us a new installment of Jurassic World last week and more reasons to fear dinosaurs. This week, frequent On Film contributor Jeanne Creel visited with us to discuss some of the surface pleasures and underlying concerns of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. And for the younger movie-goers in your life, we also recommend some family-friendly titles also starring dinosaurs.


Charles talks with Andy Uhrich, film archivist, about an online exhibition of WWII propaganda films curated by Indiana University. Hear about why these films were created and why they often targeted specific audiences. Andy talks about why these films are important in understanding the culture of the times. 


Most cinephiles are movie watchers, not movie listeners however music plays a very important role in movies. From enhancing and supporting the images we see music plays a vital role in any movie experience. Host Charles Horak speaks to Professor of Music Dr. Charles Leinberger, from the University of Texas at El Paso, to discuss the importance of music in film. 

The local film community has seen the launch of several programs lately to financially support the production of movies in the borderland. One new project hopes to add not just financial help, but training and advice as well. The Dogma 18 Project is designed to foster cooperation and increase short-filmmaking and increase short filmmaking in the region, and here to tell us more about it are two of the project's creators and facilitators Austin Savage and James Arrabito.

The summer blockbuster season is upon us, and the Star Wars franchise has a new entry that Disney hopes will expand their future Lucasfilm roster. Frequent On Film contributor Jeanna Creel joined us to discuss the pros and cons of the latest Star Wars spinoff and also review the 19th-century arctic adventure horror miniseries, The Terror.

Few of the 20th century's movie stars are as iconic, or globally-recognizable, as Marilyn Monroe. An upcoming stage play will survey some of the famous blonde's film and musical moments, as well as her turbulent relationships and private life. This week, we visited with Erin Sullivan, who performs as Marilyn Monroe, in the stage adaptation With Love, Marilyn

More details and tickets available here.

There are a lot of challenges to making independent films, and an upcoming event will push filmmaking teams to the limit of their creativity when they have just 48 hours to conceive, shoot, and complete a short film. This week, we visited with Drew Mayer-Oakes, El Paso Film Commission Coordinator, as he discussed details about the first El Paso 2 Day Movie Challenge.

More information found here

A New York artist has been taking in the sights and sounds of the borderland for almost a year as the current resident at the Border Art Residency. The resulting films are about to be debuted next week at the El Paso Museum of Art and Rubin Center of the Visual Arts. This week, we visited with Cathy Lee Crane, artist and filmmaker, to discuss her approach to filmmaking and the experimental documentaries she's been creating along the border during her time at the Border Art Residency.


A new thriller starring David Tennant as a psychopath whose serial killer proclivities are exposed by an amateur home burglar hit theaters this week in El Paso. This week, we discussed Bad Samaritan with the film's Director and Producer, Dean Devlin. The film is a departure for the famous producer of films like  Independence Day and Godzilla, and we discussed the making of both small and big films on this extended version of our conversation with Mr. Devlin.

For almost 5 years the Sunset Film Society has been presenting classic and contemporary films each week at the International Museum of Art and kicks off a new screening schedule in May. This week, we visited with Jay Duncan, Sunset Film Society founder and area film historian, to discuss what audiences can expect this month, as well as a special Star Wars event on May the 4th. 

More information at sunsetfilmsociety.org.

The releases of Avengers: Infinity War next week marks the official kick-off of the 2018 summer movie season. Movies 4 Kids is a new local nonprofit that's dedicated to providing advanced screenings of these films to El Paso's underprivileged and less fortunate children. This week, we visited with the group's founders, Rene Herrera and Luis Anzures, to discuss how their organization came about and next week's special event. 


Host Charles Horak talks with journalist and author, Mark Harris, about his latest book Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War. The books follows 5 acclaimed Hollywood directors who covered WWII - John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra, and George Stevens. Mark explains what the directors were expecting when they went to war, and how they changed when they returned.

The El Paso film community received a big boost this week when the city of El Paso voted to launch a grant-making program for filmmakers aimed at supporting local productions. This week we visited with Ben Fyffe and Rebecca Muñoz from the city's Museums and Cultural Affairs Department, and filmmaker and past grant recipient Angie Reza Tures to discuss the newly approved local filmmaker's program.


There are a lot of movies being made in the borderland, but few opportunities to see the work of the region's talented filmmaking community. A new festival hopes to bring the best from the El Paso area to the big screen, while also showcasing emerging indie filmmakers from around the country, and perhaps the world. This week we visited with Carlos Corral, filmmaker and founder of the El Paso Film Festival, as he discussed a premier event for the El Paso Film Festival, as well as the long-term goals he hopes to achieve with this new project.


For anyone who grew up in Mexico or along the U.S. border, the Mexican wrestler-turned film star, El Santo is a familiar character. The man who wore a silver mask in over fifty films would have been 100 now, and his first film, Santo Contra El Cerebro del Mal, has just been restored and will soon be available to see again. This week, we've visited with Viviana Garcia Besné as she tells us about the film's recent restoration project.

Part two of our conversation with Jennifer Merin, President and founder of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists. 

The entertainment industry has been rocked by allegations of sexual harassment and assault against some of the industry's most powerful filmmakers. The ensuing outrages fueled solidarity among women and a cultural moment that has rippled far beyond the world of movies and television. This week, we began a two-part conversation with Jennifer Merin, President and founder of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, as we discuss the allegations ripping through the entertainment world and the positive movements working to change the way women are treated.

Part 1 of 2.

The Oscars, more formally known as the Academy Awards, are set to broadcast this weekend. The winners announced will join a list that includes some famous and rather infamous winners. Jack Fields, writer for Turner Classic Movies and GoldDerby, as we look back on the awards show history.

You don't have to fly away to far away places to enjoy a contemporary film festival. The upcoming Las Cruces International Film Festival is just about to kick off and is only a short drive away! This week, we visited with Ross Marks, the festival's Executive Director, to discuss the screenings and special events attendees can expect this year.

For a full list of screenings, daily schedules, and ticket options, visit lascrucesfilmfest.com.

On June 12, 2016, a lone gunman entered the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, FL and committed one of the most horrific examples of mass murder in our modern history. A new documentary by an El Paso filmmaker explores the events and consequences of this tragedy and we meet with the director, Charlie Minn, to discuss his latest film. Minn's documentary, 49 Pulses, opens on February 23rd at Bassett Place Mall in El Paso.

Almost since the inception of cinema, African-Americans have contributed in front of and behind the camera. But many of the pioneers remain unknown to mainstream audiences. Frequent On Film contributor Felipa Solis joins us in the studio as we discuss some of the notable African-Americans who have contributed to our cinema and culture, and their legacy today.

The Sundance Film Festival is one of the nation's most influential events celebrating emerging and established filmmakers and is also one of the first opportunities for theatre programmers to see movies that we'll all be talking about later in the year. This week we visited with Robert Saucedo, Programming Director for Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, who has just returned from Sundance and gives us a report on the movies and trends that will be rolling out in 2018.

There's no end to the number of borderland stories that can become movies, and one local indie filmmaker has not one, but three films about to roll out. We speak with writer and director Andrew Jara about his latest horror-thriller, The Last Ones, which became available for streaming on Amazon. It's all about making movies in the borderland for this week's On Film!

In Hollywood, the road to the Oscar's is paved with a growing number of film critic and industry award ceremonies, lists, and galas. Russ Simmons, fellow member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, speaks with host Charles Horak about the winners as well as their time together last week at the 23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards.

Movies, for better or worse, help shape the way we see the world and an upcoming presentation will explore the ways in which filmmakers have shaped our perceptions of Mexican migrants. Samuel Rodriguez is our guest and he discusses his presentation Migration Through the Eyes of Musicians and FilmmakersThe presentation will be held at the UTEP Centennial Museum on January 25, 2018, and is free and open to the public. 

The new year brings with it a batch of fresh titles at the Film Salon, a monthly series located at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. Kyle Alvarado is your host for this edition of On Film as he interviews the Film Salon founder, and your regular host for On Film, Charles Horak. They discuss the Salon's two newest series that kick off tonight and run through April 2018.

The year may be coming to a close but there's a long line of excellent 2017 films still being released in El Paso theaters. Host Charles Horak and frequent On Film contributor Jeanne Creel discuss two upcoming releases with a number of similarities between them - Aaron Sorkin's Molly's Game and I, Tonya


You may not know the name Saul Bass, but if you're a movie lover you've no doubt seen his work. The iconic graphic designer and filmmaker brought avant-garde design aesthetic to Hollywood classic, and a new book is the first is the first exhaustive study of both the man and his work. Jan-Christopher Horak, author of Saul Bass: Anatomy of Film Design, visits with us as we delve into the life and work of Saul Bass.