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 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.

Adult Swim


   Charles talks with James Fino, partner/EP at Starburns Industries.  James is an executive producer for the new Adult Swim animated series, "Rick and Morty."  He talks about this grandfather/grandson intergalactic adventure story, and why this half-hour animated series differs from the 15-minute programs that normally air on Cartoon Network.  "Rick and Morty" airs Monday nights at 10:30 p.m. Eastern (8:30 p.m. Mountain) on Adult Swim.  http://video.adultswim.com/rick-and-morty/

Aired Dec. 14, 2013.


   Charles talks with Shaul Schwarz, director of the documentary "Narco Cultura," which explores the cultural impact the drug wars have had on both sides of the US/Mexico border.  Shaul talks about his trips to the border and why he felt he had to address how the drug culture is reflected through the musicians who glorify cartels in their narcocorridos, and through the eyes of a Mexican crime scene investigator who experiences the results of cartel violence on the front lines.  This online-exclusive extended interview includes a conversation about Latino identity, the disconnect felt by many Latinos who write and enjoy narcocorridos, and why the drug war is a war that no one will win.   http://narcoculture.com/https://www.facebook.com/NarcoCulturaFilm

Narco Cultura is currently being screened at El Paso's Cinemark Tinseltown (11855 Gateway Blvd W) and Cinemark Cielo Vista Theaters (8401 Gateway Blvd W).

Aired Dec. 7, 2013.




  Guest host Jay Duncan talks with visual effects artist Ernest Farino,  editor & publisher of the expansive volumes, "Ray Harryhausen: Master of the Majicks."  Jay & Ernest share their early fascination with the special effects mastery of Ray Harryhausen, who is best known for his stop-motion animation in classic films such as Mighty Joe Young, Jason and the Argonauts, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, and may other films.  Farino talks about why the 3 volumes of "Master of the Majicks" were published out of order, and why there were constant revisions and additions to the volumes.  In this exclusive online expanded interview, Ernest talks about his time living in El Paso in the 1960s and his encounter with Lon Chaney, Jr., at Western Playland.  It was an event which Jay & Ernest both attended many years before they ever became acquainted!

Aired Nov. 30, 2013.

El Paso Public Library, Altman Collection


   Charles talks with Jeffrey Mills, founder & director of the nonprofit Documentary Alliance, which is producing the film "Before the Curtain Rises," which documents the rise & fall of the Interstate Theatre chain in Texas.  El Paso's Plaza and Palace (Alambra) Theatres were part of the chain, and the restoration of the Plaza Theatre plays a central role in the film.  Jeffrey talks about why the movie theatre palaces were just as important to the movie-going experience as the movies themselves.  

An Indiegogo crowd sourcing campaign is currently underway to finish production on the film.  You can contribute at http://www.interstatetheatres.com/.

Learn more about the Documentary Alliance at http://www.documentaryalliance.org/.

Aired Nov. 23, 2013.



  Charles talks with Charles Leinberger, Associate Professor of Music at UTEP, and author of "Ennio Morricone's The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly."  Leinberger talks about they ways that music can sneak by unnoticed in a movie, and about the very obvious ways music gets noticed.  The composing of music for films has changed over the years.  What are the advantages or disadvantages of using music in the public domain versus original music or popular music?  Leinberger also talks about meeting the legendary film composer Ennio Morricone.

Aired Nov. 16, 2013.



  In a rebroadcast from May 5, 2012, Charles talks with Abbey Lustgarten, producer of the Criterion Collection's "A Hollis Frampton Odyssey," which explores the pioneering works on film by American avant-garde filmmaker, Hollis Frampton.  http://www.criterion.com/films/27945-a-hollis-frampton-odyssey

Aired Nov. 9, 2013.


   Charles talks with historian and documentary filmmaker, Jackson Polk, about his latest project, "Last Tour of the El Paso Smelter, Vol. 1, The Stacks."  The film traces the history of the ASARCO smoke stacks, from their very beginnings to their demolition in 2013.  Polk talks about the unique experiences he and his videographers went through as they were collecting material for the film.  More information on the film is available at http://elpasogold.com/elpasogold/welcome.html.

Aired Nov. 2, 2013.