A sneak peek at New Mexico State University's Gila Film School Showcase is set to premiere at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 29 at the Plaza Classic Film Festival in the Philanthropy Theatre at the Plaza in downtown El Paso. The Showcase will include six of seven documentaries by a group of 13 student filmmakers in the Creative Media Institute in the College of Arts and Sciences.

"Tales of the Gila Trout" (directed by Patricia Soto), "Legacies of the Gila" (Noah Montes, Gayla Lacy), "To Love a River" (Nidia Jimenez, Sam Jaso, Jackson Markman), "Finding My Own Trail" (Lexi Minton, Cherish Pena), "What We Hold Sacred" (Araceli Hernandez and Dominic Vincent), and "Stewardship of the Gila" (Ingrid Leyva, Ezekiel Soliz, Sigidavid Trevizo) are the six films premiering at the festival. The seventh film is a documentary about the making of these films directed by two other students.

Last summer, the students took part in a 12-day trip to the Gila National Forest with cameras, microphones and thorough plans to create six short documentary films through the Gila Film School. Created by Ilana Lapid, associate professor in NMSU's Creative Media Institute and Kristi Drexler who earned her doctorate at NMSU, the school is the first of its kind documentary field school offered by NMSU as a two-part course that took student filmmakers on a 17-mile backpacking trek through the Gila National Forest with the goal to create films about people's relationships with wilderness.

These seven films will be a showcase to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the designation of the Gila as the nation's first designated wilderness area. Partnering with the U.S. Forest Service, the students were able to interview forest firefighters, wildlife biologists, and more for their short documentaries about the Gila.

Tickets for the showcase are currently available online for $4.

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