The 33rd New Orleans Film Festival will close out its in-person screenings Tuesday (Nov. 8) with the locally made documentary film about four beloved music legends: Irma Thomas, Little Freddie King, Benny Jones of the Tremé Brass Band, and the late Ellis Marsalis.
Music Pictures: New Orleans, directed by Ben Chace (Wah Do Dem, Sin Alas), will screen at the New Orleans Jazz Market. The 72-minute film gives four legacy portraits of iconic New Orleans musicians while in their 80s.
Director Ben Chace and Irma Thomas, the “Soul Queen of New Orleans,” will be in attendance. To tell the story, the filmmaker uses recording sessions and interviews with the four personalities. Jason Marsalis is also featured on vibraphone with his father on piano.
“I was compelled to make this film because I love these artists and they represent — to me — the best generation of American music,” Chace told Uptown Messenger. “The times they lived through and found their creativity within will never be repeated.”
Ticket holders for the in-person screening of Music Pictures will be able to attend the closing night festivities at the Jazz Market following the screening, featuring special performances from the Tremé Brass Band, Little Freddie King and Marley Marsalis, granddaughter of the late Ellis Marsalis, who will perform a piano tribute to her grandfather.
“I think there’s a lot to learn from Irma, Ellis, Freddie and Benny both in terms of history but also just the way they approach their art and who they are as people,” Chace said. “We live in distracted and ephemeral times, and these masters are like a counterweight: all poise, presence and joy in their work. That’s worth spending time with, and celebrating.”
A selection of more than 170 films from the film competition brings together narrative feature films, documentaries and shorts from 10 countries, representing a wealth of perspectives.
Louisiana-made films represent 22% of the lineup, and the directors of selected films represent 35 different nationalities. Additionally, the schedule boasts 24 world premieres and seven U.S. premieres.
The film festival screening schedule and film guide are available at neworleansfilmfestival.org. Tickets for the film festival can be purchased online. Click here for more information, including prices.
Watch Benny Jones Sr. in the clip below, from the Vancouver International Film Festival.