The New Orleans Film Festival turned 30 this year, and their diversity in films and filmmakers is a point that they stress. This year, they screened “232 visionary, thought-provoking films that represent a wealth of perspectives,” 26% of which were Louisiana-made and 56% directed by people of color. One series based in Uptown New Orleans made its debut on the NOFF big screen and online simultaneously. “King Ester”—directed by Dui Jarrod and presented by Issa Rae’s ColorCreative production company—takes the viewer into the world of a black trans woman right before natural disaster. Filmed all over New Orleans and based in Pigeon Town (P-Town), the series is described as such:
“Ester is a trans woman struggling to find her path in New Orleans during the week before Hurricane Katrina. In the face of an evacuation order, she is forced to make a choice that will impact her future forever.”
Dow Michael Edwards — a lawyer from Uptown New Orleans who grew up loving the Black Masking Indian culture — is headed for a big screen debut in the short film “Spy Boy Dow.” The film directed by Carl Harrison Jr. follows Edwards’ suit-making process in preparation for Mardi Gras Day. This is Harrison’s second project to be accepted into the New Orleans Film Festival in three years, and it premieres at The Broad Theater tonight (Oct. 18). The birth of Spy Boy Dow
“The Spy Boy is first in the front… he is ahead looking for trouble.
The New Orleans Film Society kicks off the 30th New Orleans Film Festival at tonight (Oct. 16) with the Opening Night Film Marriage Story. Uptown’s Prytania Theater will screen over a dozen films, including Motherless Brooklyn, directed by and starring Edward Norton, and The Long Shadow, by Louisiana director Daniel Lafrentz. Shorts from the state and big-budget films are some festival highlights coming to the neighborhood this year. Of the 6,500 submissions from 104 countries, 232 “visionary, thought-provoking films that represent a wealth of perspectives” made it into the festival.
The New Orleans Film Society is gearing up for the 30th annual New Orleans Film Festival to be held Oct. 16–23. All-Access Passes for the festival are now on summer pre-sale with up to a $100 discount at neworleansfilmfestival.org. Film and screenplay submissions for #NOFF2019 are open through June 21 via this link. The full film and event lineup will be announced in mid-August.
The A.L. Davis Park Panthers, its players, and their mental health are the points of focus for the 2018 New Orleans Film Festival (NOFF) selection, The Children of Central City. The 18-minute documentary—shot and directed by Emma Scott, based on the reporting of Jonathan Bullington and Richard A. Webster—shows the impact of the youth football program based in Central City New Orleans, and the violent environment its children must go through. Purpose
The premise of the film is as follows:
For the boys on the Davis Park team, it’s not a matter of if they’ve been exposed to violence– it’s how often. In their young lives, they’ve already attended funerals for slain family and friends, and stepped off school buses to the sight of flashing blue lights and yellow crime scene tape. They can tell the difference between fireworks and gunfire, and they know what to do when they hear the latter.
The Prytania Theatre and the Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center and the Ashe Cultural Arts Center on O.C. Haley Boulevard are once again among the venues in the New Orleans Film Festival, which opens Thursday night and continues for the following week. More than 200 films will screen throughout the week around New Orleans, according to the festival website. Below, find some highlights at Uptown venues selected by the festival organizers:
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 12
Friday Spotlight Film – 1:30 p.m. Trash Dance (Dir. Andrew Garrison) Sometimes inspiration can be found in unexpected places. Choreographer Allison Orr finds beauty and grace in garbage trucks, and in the men and women who pick up our trash.