×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Expanding New Orleans Film Festival Showcases Films, Food, and Fun

It’s movie time in the Big Easy once again.

Celebrating its 27th year, the annual New Orleans Film Festival will take place Oct. 12-20 at venues across the city.

This time around, the fest will have a far bigger presence in the downtown area, according to New Orleans Film Society executive director Jolene Pinder.

“We’ve grown so much in recent years, we decided to really concentrate everything in one area,” she says. “We’re introducing several new venues and areas that will create a walkable downtown campus for the festival, giving our audiences the chance to see even more films and just hang out.”

To this end, NOFF has partnered with Ace Hotel New Orleans, which opened earlier this year. “It will serve as our headquarters during the festival,” adds Pinder, “and it will also host a pop-up theater and include a VIP Lounge on the roof, by the pool, for our filmmakers.”

Roundtable discussions and panels there will also take place in the aerie.

The fest is using another new venue, the Entergy Giant Screen Theater, which features an old Imax screen. “It’s huge — 70-feet wide and 50-feet tall, and recently got converted to DCP,” Pinder says.

Films scheduled to screen there include director Bill Purple’s “The Book of Love,” starring and co-produced by Jessica Biel.

“It was shot here, which we love, and Jessica will attend the screening,” reports Pinder. “We’ll screen the new David Byrne documentary, ‘Contemporary Color,’ which was directed by Bill and Turner Ross, who live in New Orleans. It’s all about synchronized dance routines involving flags and rifles, and we think it’ll be phenomenal on the giant screen.”

NOFF will also spotlight Cuban and Caribbean cinema and shorts.

In between opening and closing night (see highlights, this page), NOFF will screen close to 240 films, chosen from almost 4,000 submissions from an open call to independent filmmakers.

“So we saw an increase of almost 15% in submissions from just last year,” says Pinder, “which indicates how much we’re growing.”

Entries came from 115 countries. Local, Louisiana-made, film submissions increased 43%.

And tellingly, given the current debate about the lack of diversity in the industry, of the final selections, 45% of films are from female directors and 36% from directors of color. “It says a lot about the festival,” Pinder sums up.

More Film

  • Guillermo del Toro Alec Baldwin Tribeca

    Guillermo del Toro on Why It's a Director's Duty to Always 'Exceed the Budget'

    Guillermo del Toro has some advice for directors that would leave most studios shaking. “As a director, it is your duty to always responsibly exceed the scope and exceed the budget,” he said. “If you have enough time and enough money, you’re f—ing up.” Del Toro dropped that bit of wisdom during a chat with [...]

  • Michael Hutchence

    Film Review: ‘Mystify: Michael Hutchence'

    “Mystify” — a portrayal of charismatic INXS singer Michael Hutchence, who committed suicide in 1997 at the age of 37 — makes powerful use of family and personal footage to tell the story of a talented man beset by personal demons, but illuminates the influence of a serious head injury that he hid from the [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein

    Harvey Weinstein Sex Crimes Case: Judge Bars Media From Hearing

    Harvey Weinstein’s Friday court hearing in his rape and sexual assault trial will be closed to the media and the public, New York Supreme Court Justice James Burke ruled. The issue of whether or not the movie mogul’s latest court appearance will remain public has been hotly contested in recent weeks. News organizations such as [...]

  • Avengers: Endgame

    'Avengers: Endgame' Soars to Record-Breaking $60 Million Opening in North America

    Disney-Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame” has opened astronomically in North America with a record $60 million in Thursday night preview showings. It’s the top domestic preview number of all time, besting “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” at $57 million in 2015. Imax showings scored brought in $4.8 million at 412 locations, the third-highest total of all time. [...]

  • Sophia Anne Caruso and Alex Brightman'Beetlejuice'

    'Beetlejuice' Musical Team Hopes to Attract New Audiences to Broadway

    In the new Broadway adaptation of Tim Burton’s 1988 cult classic film “Beetlejuice,” teenager Lydia takes center stage alongside the titular gut-busting demon (Alex Brightman) to reflect the famed goth girl’s journey through Beetlejuice’s funhouse of death and disaster. “I think so many people connect to ‘Beetlejuice’ because it’s a story of outsiders, Lydia being [...]

  • Chris Hemsworth'Avengers: Endgame' Film Premiere, Arrivals,

    Is Chris Hemsworth Ready to Leave the 'Avengers' Franchise?

    Chris Hemsworth isn’t exactly sure when he’ll leave the “Avengers” franchise. “There will come a day,” the “Thor” star told me when we sat down to chat for the second episode of “The Big Ticket,” Variety and iHeartMedia’s new film podcast. “Whether it’s now or in the future, I don’t know. … Who knows what [...]

  • Michael B. JordanLAFH Awards 2019, Los

    Michael B. Jordan, Ronda Rousey Join Efforts to Help the Homeless

    Michael B. Jordan and WWE star Ronda Rousey were just two of the powerhouses that gathered in Hollywood Thursday night for the LA Family Housing’s annual fundraising celebration. The live-auction event, which brought together hundreds of top industry executives, philanthropists and government partners, aimed to raise $2 million for LAFH, which builds permanent housing and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content