28th New Orleans Film Festival To Boast Most Diverse Line-Up In Its History
NEW ORLEANS – Born in a city known for its eclectic and artistic vibrancy, the Academy-accredited New Orleans Film Festival (NOFF) has sought out bold and passionate storytellers since 1989. Organizers said this year’s festival will boast the most diverse line-up in the festival's history.
From Oct. 11 – Oct. 19, in venues across the city, the NOFF’s competition lineup includes 53 percent of films by female directors and 45 percent by directors of color.
Organizers said the NOFF is the longest-running festival of its kind in Louisiana, one of the largest film festivals in the South and has built its reputation around discovery, hospitality, community and connection.
This year’s NOFF’s Centerpiece Film is the Louisiana-shot “Mudbound,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year and was acquired by Netflix.
Directed and co-written by Dee Rees, whose previous directorial projects include “Pariah” and “Bessie,” “Mudbound” is an adaptation of the prize-winning novel from Hillary Jordan about racial tension in the 1940s American South. It stars Carey Mulligan, Jason Clarke, Mary J. Blige, Garrett Hedlund and New Orleans native Jason Mitchell. In addition to being directed by a woman, “Mudbound” also features women in the lead roles of producer, writer, cinematographer, editor, sound mixer and head of makeup.
“'Mudbound' is an epic film that feels like an instant American classic: timeless and yet strikingly relevant to issues our country is facing today,” said New Orleans Film Society (NOFS) artistic director Clint Bowie of the festival’s Centerpiece Film.
“It is also a testament to the strength and vitality of the Louisiana film production landscape,” added Fallon Young, NOFS executive director. “Not only was the film shot in and around New Orleans, but it also relied on local resources like FotoKem, and featured local talent like Kerry Cahill and Lucy Faust in strong supporting roles.”
After receiving a record number of nearly 5,000 entries for the 2017 competition lineup – an increase of more than 20 percent from 2016 – the festival’s seasoned team of programmers carefully curated a slate of original, affecting and provocative films, organizers said. Entries came from 109 different countries. Overall, directors of selected films represent 44 different nationalities. This year, Louisiana-made films represent 29 percent of the lineup.
The feature competition lineup includes 10 narrative feature films, 10 documentary feature films and 10 feature films made in Louisiana.
Additional festival announcements, including films screening out of competition, short films, as well as opening night, closing night, spotlight films, virtual reality experiences, panels, special guests and the full list of festival venues can be found here.