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Third chapter of locally produced crime saga “Border Lords” premieres at Plaza Theatre next week

EL PASO, Texas - Writer/director Billy Townes calls it "The Sopranos of El Paso," two warring crime families and their struggle for power. The third installment of "Border Lords" has its El Paso premiere at the Plaza Theatre, Thursday, December 23rd at 7 p.m. The El Paso Community Foundation Plaza Classic Film Festival will host the premiere.

It took Townes and producer Mark Anthony Love four years to put together "Border Lords III" which Townes had hoped to premiere last year, but it was delayed due to the pandemic. "We started to get some ideas and it took some time for us to kind of get what we wanted to do after the second one," Townes said. "We want to see exactly where we wanted to take our story and the production part of it. And I'm a stickler for getting the right equipment and everything so we kind of had to gather all the Production Items to get where we wanted on this next sequel."

For people unfamiliar with the Border Lords story, Townes says it revolves around two families. "It's the Cortes family versus the Mendoza family and how they had struggle for power," he explains. "The struggle for power, controlling crime, the underworld here on the border, and we just had fun with it. We're basically playing cops and robbers. We created some really colorful characters in 2001. And the colorful characters kind of grew. And that's what led us to Border Lords II in 2008. And we start expanding our story, spanning the ideas of where we can take our story and everything. And now we're at Border Lords III to where we have the powerful Cortes family. However, without giving it away, there's some other rival factions coming into the picture."

Ahead of the "Border Lords III" premiere, the short film "Macy Gray" will also have its first showing. It was made by local filmmaker Rafael Prieto and focuses on a young, tough female boxer who must battle her own demons before she can enter the ring for a very important fight. Prieto, who studied film with Townes at EPCC, filmed it in El Paso.

Tickets for the "Border Lords III" and "Macy Gray" premieres are $10, on sale at the Plaza Theatre box office and And if you want to catch up on the first two chapters of "Border Lords," Townes is making both films available for free on Zoom. The first chapter will be shown on Sunday night and the second on Monday night, both at 7:00 pm. Follow this link to watch.

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Mark Ross

Mark Ross is an anchor/producer for ABC-7.


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