The New Orleans Film Society (NOFS) is reuniting Eve’s Bayou (1997) director Kasi Lemmons and actor Lynn Whitfield for a special livestreamed conversation this Friday (Aug. 21) at 5:30 p.m. Ahead of the 31st Annual New Orleans Film Festival (Nov. 6-22), this reunion kicks off the “Why Film Matters” series in which NOFS highlights a landmark film as the basis for a series of conversations and varied programming around its impact.
Fans of “Eve’s Bayou” are encouraged to stream the film synchronously on a platform of their choosing and live tweet with NOFS using the hashtag #EvesBayouReunion starting at 3:30 p.m. The NOFS Twitter account will be leading the conversation with lesser-known facts about the film and scenes with the help of fans, writers, and critics. The reunion conversation is free to stream and will be moderated by NOFS Programming Manager Zandashé Brown (Blood Runs Down). Register here to gain access.
Director Kasi Lemmons and actress Lynn Whitfield will discuss the making of the film, its role in their careers and the importance of Southern stories. The last 20 minutes of the livestream will be reserved for answering audience questions which will be collected through a live chat room.
The online event will also include the premiere of a new 10-minute short documentary created by the New Orleans Film Society about the enduring legacy of “Eve’s Bayou” and its impact on audiences, critics, and film professionals. Contributors to the documentary include producer Gina Charbonnet, film professor Simone Drake, Louisiana-based artist Lee Laa Rae Guillory, film preservationist Mike Mashon, film critic and scholar Carrie McClain, film critic and podcaster Gena Radcliffe.
Filmed in and around south Louisiana, “Eve’s Bayou” was Kasi Lemmons’ directorial debut, about which Roger Ebert said: “That Lemmons can make a film this good on the first try is like a rebuke to established filmmakers.” It also marks Samuel L. Jackson’s first producer credit, and he stars alongside Lynn Whitfield, Lisa Nicole Carson, Jurnee Smollett, Debbi Morgan, Meagan Good and Diahann Carroll. In 2018, it was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant,” an honor only bestowed on 775 films to date.
The 31st Annual New Orleans Film Festival
In response to the realities of the year 2020, the New Orleans Film Festival (NOFF) will showcase its official selections online through the Eventive streaming platform Nov. 6-22 alongside limited live event components as permitted by the city and safety restrictions.
The festival lineup will be announced on Oct. 1, and festival passes and tickets will be available to purchase online that day. Most local films in the lineup will be available to view from around the globe, providing more visibility than ever to the works of Southern storytellers. For more information, visit neworleansfilmsociety.org/festival.