French Film Festival, ‘a mini Cannes,’ set to open at the Prytania Theatre

The annual New Orleans French Film Festival returns to the Prytania Theatre beginning Thursday, March 9, and running through Tuesday, March 13. For its 26th festival, the New Orleans Film Society will bring together 13 features and three short films from Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Switzerland and the United States. All screenings will be held at the historic Prytania Theatre or the Prytania Theatres at Canal Place. Part of the lineup will also be available to stream online here from March 9 to March 19. The films will all be shown in their original French or Kouri-Vini (Louisiana Creole) language with English subtitles.

Film festival screens a wide range of movies in Uptown venues

The 33rd New Orleans Film Festival will have three Uptown venues this year to present a wide variety of films, many of which cannot be seen any other way. The festival will showcase dozens of films, including short programs, at the Prytania Uptown, 5339 Prytania St.; the New Orleans Jazz Market, 1436 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.; and Second Line Stages, 800 Richard St. The festival opens Thursday (Nov. 3) and closes on Tuesday (Nov. 8).

New Orleans Film Festival 2022 to open at expanded Second Line Stages

The New Orleans Film Society will open its 33rd annual, Oscar-qualifying New Orleans Film Festival with “The Inspection,” the narrative feature debut from multi-year New Orleans Film Festival alum Elegance Bratton, on Thursday, Nov. 3. The NOFF screening schedule and film guide are now available at In-person screenings will take place between Nov. 3 and Nov.

Viewpoint: Norman C. Francis documentary showcases WYES’ commitment to New Orleans

“We knew he was destined for something, because he had all the qualities of a leader,” said the city’s former First Lady Sybil Morial about her friend and college classmate Norman C. Francis. A courageous civil rights icon, chairman of Liberty Bank, original investor in the Saints, and former president of Xavier University, where he served with honor and distinction for 47 years, Francis is the subject of a new documentary on WYES-TV that will premiere Tuesday (Sept. 27) at 8 p.m.

Produced by WYES Executive Vice President Dominic Massa and moderated by Sally-Ann Roberts with Thanh Truong, the documentary is filled with interviews from key community leaders, including former Tulane President Scott Cowen and former Mayors Marc Morial and the late Moon Landrieu, as well as members of the Francis family. Born into a working-class family in Lafayette, Francis was steeped in the Catholic faith and the importance of receiving a good education. The nuns at Lafayette’s St.

Prytania Theatre reopens after hurricane repairs and renovations

After Hurricane Ida’s damages prompted a six-month closure, the Prytania Theatre, 5339 Prytania St., reopened last week. The theater has returned to its daily showings of current and classic films.

Hurricane Ida took out “a big chunk” of the roof, so the building had significant water damage, Prytania owner Robert Brunet said. “We had to do a lot of demo and cleaning,” he said. 

Brunet restored the theater to its pre-storm condition and added updates with a few special touches. However, he said, he kept the classic, familiar feel of the theater that fans have come to appreciate. “The theater is 110 years old, and we wanted it to still feel that way,” he said.

New Orleans Film Festival opens with an emphasis on ‘New Orleans’

The New Orleans Film Festival’s gala red-carpet opening took place Saturday night (Nov. 6) at the Orpheum Theatre with the screening of “C’mon, C’mon.”

The public has an opportunity to see the film today (Nov. 7) at the Broadside, 600 N. Broad St. at 7 p.m.

The final third of the film takes place in New Orleans. The main character, played by Joaquin Phoenix, travels the country interviewing children about the future, what they would change and other probing questions.

Three films shot in Uptown to be shown at New Orleans Film Festival

The Uptown Prytania Theatre was slated to be a venue for the 32nd New Orleans Film Festival, until it was damaged in Hurricane Ida. The beloved single-screen movie house remains closed for repairs. But Uptown will be represented in three shorts shot in Uptown neighborhoods. 

The annual film festival kicks off in-person screenings on Nov. 4, and runs through Nov. 14.

Film studio gets a thumbs up from City Planning Commission for new building in Lower Garden District

New Orleans’ expansion as a center for TV and film production moved a step forward Tuesday as Second Line Stages got City Planning Commission approval to build a new office building in the Lower Garden District. The Planning Commission voted in favor of changing the zoning of a lot at 836 Market St. to allow construction of the two-story commercial building, although its own staff recommended denying the studio’s request. Lower Garden District neighbors have also objected to the request, saying the studio’s activities have been intrusive. 

The TV and film studio’s three stages have served as a backdrop for numerous productions, including American Horror Story: Coven, Treme, Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained and Lee Daniels’ The Butler. 

The new office building, located behind the studio, will be about 32,000 square feet with a landscaped parking area. About 30 to 45 people will be able to work there. 

The property is zoned for residential use.

Viewpoint: New WYES leadership team has deep local roots

With the recent retirement of WYES president Allan Pizzato, two native New Orleanians who are driven to broadcast excellence, Robin Cooper and Dominic Massa, have taken the helm to bring new ideas to the Crescent City’s iconic public television station. 

Leading the station since 2013, Pizzato oversaw the station’s tricentennial coverage, the creation of new shows and documentaries, and the construction of the $17 million headquarters that opened in 2017. The chief operating officer under Pizzato, Cooper assumed the position of president and CEO last month, leaving her previous spot available for long-time WWL-TV Executive Producer of Special Projects Dominic Massa. “WYES was built by some of the city’s best and brightest leaders, who believed in the power of television to educate, inform and inspire. That mission couldn’t be more important or needed today,” Massa said. By all accounts, Massa is one of the hardest working and most respected broadcasting professionals in New Orleans television.