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.

  Charles continues his conversation with legendary actress Rita Moreno.  Rita talks about how her encounter with choreographer Jerome Robbins led to her casting on the 1961 film adaptation of West Side Story, which, in turn, led to an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.  Rita explains that this role was the first in which she finally played a Puerto Rican character.  In this online-only expanded interview, Rita talks about the awful accents she had to use in her early roles, why she was disappointed that the Hispanic actors in West Side Story had to have their skin darkened, and why West Side Story "saved her life."  Originally aired March 8, 2014.

Aired Aug. 2, 2014.

    In an interview recorded at the 2013 Plaza Classic Film Festival, Charles talks with the legendary actress Rita Moreno.  Rita took dancing lessons at the age of 5, started an early performing career dancing in night clubs and playing a character in a radio serial.  She talks about her discovery by a Hollywood talent scout at a dancing recital, and why she spent her early days in Hollywood trying to be somebody she wasn't.  She eventually landed a groundbreaking role in the 1961 film adaptation of "West Side Story."  Part 1 of a 2-part interview.  Originally aired March 1, 2014.

Aired July 26, 2014.

  Charles talks with Christian Gerstheimer, curator at the El Paso Museum of Art, about the museum's exhibit, "No Subtitles Required: The Art of the International Film Poster."  The exhibit, which is being presented in conjunction with the Plaza Classic Film Festival in August, features poster art for famous movies created by international artists.  Christian tells us why many of these artists who worked under strict censorship rules were not able to see the films they were illustrating.  The posters come from the personal collection of Charles and Ann Horak.  Learn more at http://elpasoartmuseum.org/ and on the museum's Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ElPasoMuseumofArt.

Aired July 19, 2014.

Indiana University

  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.  In this online-only extended interview, Andy talks about why these films are important in understanding the culture of the times.  View the exhibit here: http://collections.libraries.iub.edu/IULMIA/exhibits/show/world-war-ii-propaganda-films

Aired July 12, 2014.



   In a rebroadcast from March 15, 2014, Charles talks with Bill Morrison, who wrote, directed, edited, and produced the 2002 film "Decasia," which was recently added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry.  The experimental film consists of pieces of film that are in various states of decomposition.  Bill says the images are meant to invite the viewer's mind to wander.  In this online exclusive extended interview, Bill explains the connections that tie the sequences together, despite the fact that there is no narrative arc.  He also discusses how the movie grew out of a request to visually accompany a new symphony.  http://billmorrisonfilm.com/

Aired July 5, 2014.

  Charles talks with Daniel Rios, a student at NMSU's Creative Media Institute; and Katherine Horak, a student at the University of Texas at Austin.  Daniel & Katherine recently attended the Cannes Film Festival as part of the Creative Mind Group's efforts to send student interns to prestigious film festivals in Cannes, Sundance, and Toronto.  Daniel & Katherine had vastly different experiences at Cannes.  Daniel worked under Creative Mind's Networking program, in which he was able to meet with industry professionals.  Katherine was involved in the Filmmaker Initiative, and she and a small group of people were brought together to shoot, edit, and submit a film for competition in only 7 days.  The resulting film won a number of awards at Cannes.  Learn more about the Creative Mind Group at http://www.thecreativemindgroup.com/

Aired June 28, 2014.

  Charles talks with Ryan Steven Green, director of the "buddy/roadtrip/docu-dramedy," Circle the Wagen.   The film follows two friends who try to make a cross-country trip to California in a vintage Volkswagen bus (therefore the spelling "Wagen" in the film's title!), and their adventures lead them to discover America's vintage VW subculture.  Ryan explains why this roadtrip took nearly 4 years to make, including a very long layover in Tucumcari, New Mexico, following a breakdown.  http://www.circlethewagen.com/

Aired June 21, 2014.


  Charles talks with Neil Michaelsen, President & CEO of Triple Tap Ventures, about the new Alamo Drafthouse Cinema which will open in El Paso by Spring 2015.  A groundbreaking ceremony will take place June 19 at 11am at 5001 North Mesa, in the Montecillo neighborhood.  Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas are a unique combination of restaurant & theater, and Neil will tell us why these theaters stand out compared to your typical cinema-plex.  Follow the progress on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AlamoEP.

Aired Sat. June 14.

    Charles talks with Ray Sanchez, owner of GhostLight Creative, which is presenting its annual 48-Hour film Slam.  Filmmakers have 2 days to write, shoot, and edit a film at this event.  Beginners, amateurs, and professionals are all invited to take part in the film slam, which gets underway with a briefing on June 20. Proceeds from the 48-Hour Film Slam will benefit the Tapestries of Life orphanage in Mexico. Learn more at http://ghostlightevents.com

Aired June 7, 2014.

  Charles talks with Oscar Garza, who wrote a thesis on the famed Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki for his Liberal Arts Honors Program at UTEP.  Miyazaki recently announced his retirement from filmmaking, and Oscar & Charles reflect on Miyazaki's films and how his hand-drawn creations differ from the computer animated films popular in our cineplexes.  

Aired May 31, 2014.

  Charles talks with Tom Peak, son of the famed poster artist, Bob Peak.  Tom is the author of the beautiful book, The Art of Bob Peak, which covers the 40-year career of the "Father of the Modern Hollywood Movie Poster."  Bob Peak began his career designing campaigns for companies as varied as Old Hickory Bourbon, Coke, and Time Magazine.  Bob Peak's most famous posters included Apocalypse Now, Superman, and Start Trek.   In this expanded online interview, Tom Peak talks about his father's early work in commercial magazines, his cinematic and narrative style, and how he was first recruited to design the poster for the film adaptation of West Side Story.  http://www.bobpeak.com/

Aired May 24, 2014.

  Charles talks with Jay Duncan, founder of the Sunset Film Society, and Robert Ardovino, proprietor of Ardovino's Desert Crossing.  Jay & Robert have collaborated to present dinner & a movie at Ardovino's for the Sunset Film Society's monthly film screenings and to celebrate Ardovino's Desert Crossing's founding in 1949.  To commemorate that anniversary, the Sunset Film Society will present the 1949 film "Mighty Joe Young" on Sunday, May 18 at 6:30 p.m. at Ardovino's.  Learn more at http://sunsetfilmsociety.businesscatalyst.com/events.html#mightyjoeyoung.  Admission is free, but reservations are encouraged.

Aired May 17, 2014.

  Charles welcomes back filmmaker Charlie Minn to talk about a couple of his latest films.  "The El Paso Conquest" highlights the 2 state titles of the incredibly successful Del Valle High School boys soccer team.  Only 3 El Paso schools have ever won 2 state titles in any sport.  The film premieres on Friday, May 16, at Premiere Cinemas at Bassett Place.  http://www.elpasoconquest.com/

Charlie also talks about his forthcoming film "Es El Chapo" which explores the questions surrounding the February 2014 arrest of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.  http://eselchapo.com/

Aired May 10, 2014.

  Charles continues his conversation with Rick Najera, actor, writer, producer, director, activist, and author of "Almost White: Forced Confessions of a Latino in Hollywood."  Najera believes that the only way Latinos can change the stereotypes of Hollywood is to take control and write their stories themselves.  Collaborations and building alliances are crucial in telling the real stories of Latinos on TV and in film. This is an online-exclusive expanded interview with Rick Najera.  http://ricknajera.com/

Aired May 3, 2014.

  Charles talks with actor, writer, director, and producer Rick Najera.  Najera is the author of the book "Almost White: Forced Confessions of a Latino in Hollywood."  Najera has spent over 30 years working in TV and film and has observed the ways the media portrays Latinos and how that image affects the public's perception of Latinos as a population.  Part 1 of a 2-part interview.  http://ricknajera.com/

Aired April 26, 2014.

  Charles talks with Leo Aguirre and Brian Ceely, co-writers of the short film "El Fuego Detrás."  Leo & Brian are both UTEP students (freshman and sophomore, respectively), and they talk about how their collaboration resulted in a screenplay in only 24 hours.  "El Fuego Detrás" will receive its North American premiere Sat. April 19 at 6 p.m., at the UTEP Union Cinema, prior to its screening at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in May.  Leo & Brian are seeking donations to help promote the film and to get more crew members to France for its Cannes debut.  Learn more at https://www.facebook.com/elfuegodetras.

Aired April 19, 2014.


  Charles talks to the new Program Director of the Plaza Classic Film Festival, Doug Pullen.  Doug tells us about what we can expect from this summer's festivals, including screenings of The Wizard of Oz, The Matrix, Fargo, and Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom.  More titles are still to be announced.  Special guests include playwrights Mark Medoff and Beth Henley, who will discuss the process of adapting their works for the big screen.  The festival is planned for Aug. 7-17, and festival passes are already available here https://epcf.org/plaza_classic_film_festival.  Follow the latest news at http://plazaclassic.com/ or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/plaza.classic.

Aired April 12, 2014.


  Charles talks with Karen Wright-Balbier, Instructional Technology Specialists with the El Paso Independent School District, and coordinator of the EPISD Digital Film Festival.  All students in Region 19 in grades K-12, regardless of district, are invited to submit 3-minute films for inclusion in the festival.  Films can range from animation to documentary to instructional to a newscast.  Learn more at http://episddigitalfilmfestival.weebly.com/.  Selected films will be screened May 16 at Bowie High School, and the deadline to submit applications is April 18.

Aired April 5, 2014.


  Charles talks with actor Christian Kane and writer, producer, and director of the film "50 to 1," Jim Wilson.  The film tells the remarkable story of the racehorse Mine That Bird and his unlikely victory at the 2009 Kentucky Derby.  Kane & Wilson talk about getting to know the real-life characters and feeling the responsibility to keep the story authentic.  They also talk about their bus tour across the U.S., which almost exactly follows Mine That Bird's route to Kentucky.  The film and the tour are passion projects of both the director and the film's actors.  "50 to 1" opens April 4.  https://www.facebook.com/50to1themovie

Aired March 29, 2014.

  Charles talks with Charlie Tabesh, Senior Vice President for Programming at TCM, and programmer of the TCM Classic Movie Festival taking place April 10-13 in Hollywood.  TCM is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and the festival will include a number of activities to celebrate this landmark.  The festival will feature dozens of films; the premiere of restored versions of "Oklahoma," "Touch of Evil," "Double Indemnity," and more; and special guests such as Maureen O'Hara and Jerry Lewis.  This is the exclusive online extended version of the interview with Charlie Tabesh.  http://filmfestival.tcm.com/

Aired March 22, 2014.


  Charles welcomes back cinephile Jack Fields to talk about the astounding career of Shirley Temple Black, who was Hollywood's lead child actor during the Great Depression.  Jack & Charles talk about her successful early days in cinema, her decision to end her acting career in the late `60s, and her years in public service, acting as Ambassador to the U.N. and Ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia.   View Shirley Temple's  impressive filmography at her IMDB page: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000073/?ref_=nv_sr_3.  Read Jack Fields' blog at http://fieldsonfilm.com/

Aired Feb. 22, 2014.

  Charles talks with El Paso native actor, writer, and director Ryan Piers Williams.  Ryan is the producer of the 2013 film "Kilimanjaro," about a young man who aims to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro after his relationship goes sour.   Ryan talks about the character-driven story, and why many independent films and cable networks are focusing more on character-centered films.  In this online-only extended interview, Ryan also explains the differences between a producer and a director, and why his experience as a writer & director makes him a better producer.  He also tells us about his upcoming feature, "X/Y." http://www.kilimovie.com/

Aired Feb. 15, 2014.

  Charles talks with filmmaker Charlie Minn, director of the 2010 documentary "A Nightmare in Las Cruces," which told the story of the unsolved 1990 murders at the Las Cruces Bowl, where 2 gunmen shot 7 adults & children execution-style, leaving 4 dead.  Charlie talks about the devastating aftermath of the murders, which still have repercussions to this day.  He also explains why the film is being re-released in theatres.  "A Nightmare in Las Cruces" will screen at the Premiere Cinema Montwood Movies 7 in El Paso.  Learn more about the film and upcoming screenings at http://bowlingmassacre.com/.

Aired Feb. 8, 2014.

  Charles talks with Ramon Hamilton, director of the 2013 film "Smuggled." The film tells the story of a young boy and his mother being smuggled into the U.S. inside the small compartment of a tour bus.  Ramon talks about the immigrants who inspired the movie, and why he made the boy's relationship with his mother the central focus of the film.  In this online-only extended interview, Ramon talks about the hard work that goes into the self-distribution and marketing of an independent film.  http://www.getsmuggled.com/

Aired Feb. 1, 2014.

Critics Choice Movie Awards


   Charles talks with fellow Broadcast Film Critics Association member Cynthia Haines about the recent 2014 Critics Choice Awards.  Being critics, they offer their review of the occasion, and talk about their favorite celebrity encounters.  Cindy also offers a sidebar critiquing the movie ratings system.

Aired Jan. 25, 2014.


   Charles welcomes Curtis Tsui, producer of the Criterion box set "Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman."  This extensive box set includes all 25 films about the blind masseuse who traveled from town to town and delivered justice as a lightning-fast swordsman.  http://www.criterion.com/boxsets/1012-zatoichi-the-blind-swordsman

Aired Jan. 18, 2014.

  Charles talks with fellow cinephile Felipa Solis, Executive Director of El Paso Pro-Musica.  Pro-Musica presents its annual Chamber Music Festival in January, and a classic film series has been central to the festival for several years.  Screenings begin Jan. 11 with the documentary "God's Fiddler" about legendary violinist Jascha Heifetz. **LAST MINUTE PROGRAM CHANGE (not reflected in this interview, recorded prior to the change) - Jan 11 film is "Music of the Heart," starring Academy Award Winning Actress Meryl Streep, Gloria Estefan, Aidan Quinn and Angela Bassett. It is the true. story of a violin teacher who beats the odds by creating a music program in East Harlem.**  

Films screen Saturdays at 2 p.m. at the El Paso Museum of Art on Jan. 11, 18, 25, and Feb. 1, and are free and open to the public.  Learn more at http://elpasopromusica.org/classic-film-series/

Aired Jan. 11, 2014.

    Charles continues his conversation with Margaret O'Brien, who was only 7 years old when she starred in the 1944 classic, "Meet Me in St. Louis."  Margaret talks about working with Judy Garland and the sense that the entire cast, including director Vincent Minnelli, felt like a family.  She also talks about a crying competition she had with June Allyson.  In this online-only extended interview, Margaret talks about the red coat she wore in "Meet Me in St. Louis," how it fell into the hands of the King of Pop, and what happened to it after he died.

Aired Jan. 4, 2014.


   Charles talks with actress Margaret O'Brien, who was only 7 years old when she starred in the 1944 classic, "Meet Me in St. Louis."  Margaret explains why her little dog is responsible for her discovery by Hollywood, and why she chose the name "Margaret" instead of her given name for her acting career. She also talks about working with director Vincent Minnelli and her co-star Judy Garland.  Margaret became one of Hollywood's youngest and highest paid actresses as a result of her acting in "Meet Me in St.Louis."  Part 1 of a 2-part interview.

Aired Dec. 28, 2013.



   Charles talks with fellow Broadcast Film Critics Association member, Cynthia Farah Haines, about the BFCA's nominations for the Critics' Choice Awards.  They talk about their favorite films and about the films that didn't get a nod.  The Critics' Choice and other early awards shows like the Golden Globes often help decide the nominations for the "big one" - the Academy Awards.

The Critics' Choice Awards Show airs Jan. 16 on the CW network.  http://www.criticschoice.com/

Aired Dec. 21, 2013.