Another legendary actor will be a special guest at the annual Plaza Classic Film Festival this summer.

Edward James Olmos, the first American-born Latino to receive a Best Actor Oscar nomination, will appear at a Q&A session before the screening of two of his many feature films on the final weekend of the movie festival.

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His Special Connection with El Paso

The Real Edward James Olmos Facebook
The Real Edward James Olmos Facebook

Olmos has a special connection with our city.

Days after El Pasoans marked the first anniversary of the Cielo Vista Walmart mass shooting, Olmos took to social media to share a heartfelt message with our community.

“Hi, this is Edward James Olmos and I just want to say that El Paso Strong is what it’s all about,” began his minute long video message. Olmos then spoke briefly of the time he spent here with his friend and fellow actor George Lopez in August of 2019.

As the Borderland struggled with the events of that day, Olmos and Lopez flew in to visit with the survivors and their families, and first responders.
The two stars visited University Medical Center where they pulled up chairs next to those injured by the shooting and listened to what they had to say for hours.

They also met with hospital staff at both UMC and Del Sol Medical Center before visiting the makeshift memorial behind the Walmart where the shooting took place. Each was also photographed at a local restaurant – Olmos at Zona Centro downtown and Lopez at L & J Café.

Actor Returns for Plaza Classic Film Festival

Getty Images for TCM
Getty Images for TCM

Olmos will appear before the screening of “Stand and Deliver” at 7 pm Friday, July 28 in the Plaza Theatre, and the 1982 cult classic "The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez" at 1 pm Saturday, July 29 in the Plaza Theatre.

It was for his role as East L.A. calculus teacher Jaime Escalante in “Stand and Deliver” that Olmos received a Best Actor nomination, becoming the first American-born Latino to receive such an honor.

The El Paso Community Foundation’s Plaza Classic Film Festival runs from July 20 to July 30 in and around the Plaza Theatre in downtown El Paso.

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