Victoria G. Molinar

In a city that’s home to the Plaza Classic Film Festival and a new Alamo Drafthouse, it only makes sense that we acknowledge El Paso’s love for movies and dedicate an issue to one of the holy grails of movie credibility – the Academy Awards. Of course, it’s not the end-all, be-all of the best movies and talent out there, but it’s certainly a fun way to celebrate some of the immense work that goes into storytelling.

Speaking of celebrating the best, we have some big news for What’s Up’s Best of the Best this year. In the format that we’ve been functioning on since its inception, we opened up the nominees to our readers for a brief period, threw a giant voting party and celebrated nearly 100 winners with one big issue and an intimate awards ceremony.

But like everything else that involves public input, Best of the Best needed to be reshaped. The contest started off with paper ballots, then shifted to electronic ones, and for the first time last year, we opened up the vote to people outside of our voting party for a few days. That last change got a lot of positive reception since many readers can’t make it to the voting party. So we thought, why not keep it all online?

And that question sparked another one: why not spread Best of the Best throughout the year? Each issue would focus on a certain section, like Local Legends and Nightlife and Entertainment. Since we profile each winner, it makes sense to segment the celebration rather than give you 100 blurbs to read at once.

Keeping the vote online means more people can get a say in who wins. And sadly, that means we’ll no longer have our voting party known as The Dig, but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate the best that’s out there! On top of a quarterly best of issue, we’re looking into celebrating the winners of each issue in a more unique setting. Stay tuned to learn when and where.

In the meantime, you can look forward to Part 1: Local Legends (see the category list on page 3). Nominations open up March 6 and run until March 15.

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