Lights, Camera, Action!
New Orleans Film Festival brings more than craft services to the city.
If a picture’s worth a thousand words, then a film is priceless. When done artistically, films can act as tour guides, mentors or best friends. The New Orleans Film Festival has been bringing just such films to audiences for 26 years.
Opening today and running through October 22, theaters and special venues across the city will be showing independent films produced with miniscule budgets, as well as powerhouse studio works starring big-name actors. Shorts, documentary and narrative features will all screened, with special attention given to Louisiana films.
New Orleans has been known as “Hollywood South” for some years and the New Orleans Film Festival has been a tour de force in shining a light on our local talent and garnering the respect of the international film community.
Jurors have included local residents Michael Gottwald and Josh Penn (producers of Beasts of the Southern Wild), Eric Overmyer (writer/producer on shows like “The Wire” and “Treme”), and Wendell Pierce (actor, Four and “The Wire”). Recent festivals have welcomed guests like Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o, Oscar nominees Patricia Clarkson, Alfre Woodard, and Steve McQueen, and Golden Globe nominees Faith Ford and Sarah Paulson.
In 2014, more than 200 films were screened at the festival and more than 25,000 people attended. In recognition of the growing impact the festival has on tourism, organizers are partnering with the University of New Orleans to conduct an economic impact study on this year’s festival. Bond Public Relations, the local agency assisting with the event, shared they booked 375 hotel rooms for filmmakers and guests, and have helped facilitate 150 additional rooms at their partner hotels.
For those visiting New Orleans, the film festival creates an opportunity learn about Louisiana culture with its focus on local films. “The King of New Orleans”, directed by Allen Frederic, is garnering a lot of buzz this year, as well as other features including "Delta Justice: The Islenos Trappers War", “The Phantasmagorical Clarence John Laughlin" and “Buckwheat’s World”.
This festival isn’t just about the audience. It also offers panels where aspiring film makers can pitch their ideas, learn more about music in film, explore web-based content, and more. Parties and receptions are also on the schedule. Some are open to the general public and some require the purchase of the all access pass. The website provides the time, location and guest information for each event.
Tickets, passes and membership to the New Orleans Film Society can be purchased online.