On April 18 #CreateLouisiana announced the six finalists for the French Culture Film Grant, designed in partnership with lead sponsor TV5MONDE USA, America’s only 24/7 French language entertainment channel. The French Culture Film Grant will award $32,500 to one Louisiana-based filmmaking team to create a groundbreaking new film that showcases French culture and talent. The prize-winning film will include English and French components that exhibit aspects of French Louisiana art, music, and society. The finalists include three scripted short films and three long-form documentary projects. Each of the proposed projects incorporates elements of the Francophone culture of Louisiana.
The #CreateLouisiana French Culture Film Grant is supported by TV5MONDE USA, Deep South Studios, the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, and the New Orleans Film Society. The funding opportunity aims to champion indigenous filmmaking talent and celebrate the diverse culture of Louisiana.
“We were, quite simply, blown away by the applications we received. The quality and diversity of stories that were proposed offered a powerful testament to Louisiana’s enduring tie to Francophone culture and to the incredible talent living and working in our state,” said #CreateLouisiana executive director Jolene Pinder.
The selected six finalists are:
Dir. Brian Richard | Prod. Conni Castille | Writer C.E. Richard
Set on a rural landscape in Acadiana, a young black man strives to overcome racial tensions to do what he loves: play his accordion. This film is based on the life of Amédé Ardoin (March 11, 1898-November 3, 1942) whose music continues to influence such contemporary music makers as Andre Theirry, Chris Ardoin, Roddy Romero, Cedric Watson, Terrence Semien, Michael Doucet and the Savoy Music Family.
Dir. Lily Keber | Prod. Camille Lenain
Après Nous is a documentary portrait of francophone culture in Louisiana. Told entirely in Louisiana French, this character-driven film explores Cajun, Creole and Native American communities, their historic ties to the land and the current threats they face from both environmental and mainstream Anglophone factors. Far from being an obituary for a dying language, the film seeks to engage and activate viewers in the ongoing movement to preserve this language, culture and the fragile coastal landscape.
Le Grand Remix
Dir. Austin Alward | Prod. Sam Claitor | Writer Austin Alward
Faced with the possibility of not being allowed back into the country if she leaves for the summer to attend her sister’s wedding, a young teacher working at a French elementary school in New Orleans bonds with a Vietnamese student at their end of the school year party. Heartbreak, music, and a shared love of vintage French vehicles lead the unlikely duo on an imagination-fueled journey where they discover that sometimes life’s songbook just needs a little remix.
On Va Continuer!
Dir. Bruno Doria | Prods. Lizzie Guitreau and Louis Michot
On Va Continuer! is a story of passionate dedication to the preservation of Louisiana Cajun French culture and ancestral knowledge through the tale of Louis Michot, a man whose life revolves around the culture he loves so much. From his lively on-stage presence in his Cajun rock band the Lost Bayou Ramblers, through his life on the bayous and prairies of Louisiana, to the home he built with his own hands, Louis is a modern-day champion for the French language’s place in Louisiana society.
Dir. Ahmed Siddiqui | Prod. Adam Hengsens | Writer Chasah West
This science fiction story revolves around Beatrice and Wyatt, two young employees of Revis, Inc.—a corporation engaged in memory travel. While Beatrice is prone to visions of things yet to come, Wyatt has the ability to see people’s most painful memories. Assigned to work together and observe the memories of Jules Clement, an ailing fiddle player from south Louisiana, they discover more about the stranger’s past, each other, and the tragedy awaiting them in the future.
Servant Saint: The Life of Henriette Delille
Dir. David Michael Warren | Prod. Walter Schneider
As a “quadroon” free woman of color living in antebellum New Orleans, Henriette Delille was, in many ways, caught between two worlds. Determined to become a nun, she was disallowed from religious orders because of her African heritage and rules forbidding the congregation of black people. Undeterred from her calling, she took on a makeshift habit, assumed abject poverty, risked starvation and constant danger so that she might nurse, feed, and educate slaves and the forgotten of society. Over 150 years after her death, she now stands to become the first African-American Catholic Saint.
On April 27, all finalists will pitch their projects and field questions from the full grant review committee, comprised of representatives from the partnering organizations. Later that evening, the grant recipient will be announced at 8:00 PM before the closing night film of the New Orleans French Film Festival, held at the Prytania Theatre (5339 Prytania Street). Along with the $32,500 cash award, the winning project will be considered by TV5MONDE for an international broadcast. For more information on tickets to closing night event, visit www.neworleansfilmsociety.org.
TV5MONDE is the global French language entertainment network, broadcasting 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, without commercial interruptions. TV5MONDE USA is a premium pay-tv channel reaching 1.5 million viewers in the U.S., and has been carried on COX in Louisiana since 2001. American viewers enjoy a wealth of high quality French language programming, subtitled in English, including up to 300 classic, recent and never-before-seen in the U.S. French language films, around the clock newscasts live from Paris, the latest series and TV dramas, premium documentaries, cultural programs and international sports coverage. To find channel information and more information about TV5MONDE USA and its programming, please visit: www.tv5mondeusa.com.
#CreateLouisiana is designed to champion indigenous talent and support the entertainment industries that are integral to the region. Through the use of grants, development programs, educational initiatives, and social media, #CreateLouisiana is able to share the valuable stories, information, and resources that contribute to our state’s vibrant creative economy. This organization celebrates our diverse culture and the talented workforce that drives the growth of creative industries statewide. Louisiana has left an undeniable footprint on the global arts and entertainment community; inspired by this rich history, #CreateLouisiana recognizes the potential to expand upon this tradition by showcasing the economic and artistic value of the state’s creative industries. For more information, visit www.createlouisiana.com.
About Deep South Studios
Deep South Studios is a new full-service motion picture, television and digital media production facility. Located in New Orleans, Louisiana. Conveniently located a mere stone’s throw from the heart of New Orleans’ Central Business District (CBD) and the world-renowned French Quarter. It is the largest design-built independent film and television full-service facility ever constructed in the Southeastern United States. Deep South Studios is the lead sponsor and founding partner of Create Louisiana. For more information, visit www.deepsouthstudios.com.
About New Orleans Film Society
The New Orleans Film Society celebrates the transformative power of film to inspire, delight, and enrich our lives. Our destination film festival offers a cinematic taste of place unlike any other, where vibrant new films, filmmakers, and voices are discovered and cultivated. Founded in 1989, NOFS’ programming focus is its signature event—the Oscar-qualifying New Orleans Film Festival—which is held each autumn, typically in October. The festival has grown into a major showcase of local, regional, national, and international films and attracts hundreds of filmmakers each year. To provide year-round benefits for local audiences, NOFS also hosts the French Film Festival in the summer and regular screenings and events, attracting thousands to high-quality films around the city. For more information, visit www.neworleansfilmsociety.org.
About Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities
The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities to all Louisianans. The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities’ mission is to provide all Louisianans with access to and an appreciation of their own rich, shared and diverse historical, literary and cultural heritage through grant-supported outreach programs, family literacy and adult reading initiatives, teacher professional development institutes, publications, film and radio documentaries, museum exhibitions, cultural tourism, public lectures, library projects, and other public humanities programming. For more information, visit www.leh.org.
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