The competition was fierce, and now Louisiana awaits the grand finale: a pitch competition to award $50,000 to a local filmmaker for a short film to be completed over the next 12 months. A total of 37 filmmaking teams applied for the #CreateLouisiana Filmmakers Grant, with teams from around the state submitting projects that highlighted the great indigenous talent that Louisiana has to offer. On October 22, the five finalists will present their projects to a committee of experts at the 2015 New Orleans Film Festival. The winner will receive the grant, plus mentorship and professional services. The grant provides Louisiana filmmakers with a unique opportunity to showcase their talent and the ongoing strength of the state’s creative economy.
The five projects selected for the final round are:
- Destiny is an Outlaw, directed by Daneeta Loretta Jackson, produced by Patrick Jackson
- Drive Through, directed by Luisa Dantas, produced by Gianna Chachere
- Elnora, directed by Kira Akerman, produced by Josh Penn
- Forked Island, directed by Nicholas Campbell, produced by Marcus & Yvette Brown
- Plaquemines, directed by Nailah Jefferson, produced by Jon Wood
“Deep South Studios is thrilled to launch the #CreateLouisiana initiative, beginning with this year’s filmmaker’s grant. #CreateLouisiana’s mission to support indigenous filmmaking and Louisiana’s creative community directly coincides with my personal goal to help ensure the State keeps its best and brightest filmmakers here at home,” said Deep South Studioes CEO Scott Niemeyer.
Deep South Studios teamed with the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH) and the New Orleans Film Society (NOFS) to offer the inaugural #CreateLouisiana Filmmakers Grant, an industry-building program designed to recognize and celebrate the creative industries in Louisiana, including all of the burgeoning, indigenous filmmakers that contribute to Louisiana’s vibrant creative economy. Applicants were required to have lived in the state for at least 12 months prior to the grant deadline. The winning film is to be completed within 12 months of receiving the award, with the finished project set to screen at the 2016 New Orleans Film Festival.
“We’re excited to support the winning film from its genesis to its premiere at the festival next year,” said New Orleans Film Society Executive Director Jolene Pinder. “Our partnerships with Deep South Studios and the LEH will provide a Louisiana filmmaker with the funding and support to take a project to national audiences.”
The filmmaking community responded by submitting applications for scripted narrative, documentary and animated projects. The #CreateLouisiana partners evaluated the originality of concept; the experience of the director-producer teams; feasibility of the director’s vision; budget; marketing and distribution strategy; and the use of Louisiana talent in front of and behind the camera.
“The LEH is committed to working with Louisiana artists and communities to tell the stories of this unparalleled culture,” said LEH Executive Director Miranda Restovic. “#CreateLouisiana strengthens the infrastructure available for filmmakers in this state to carry forward with the important work of chronicling life in Louisiana.”
The#CreateLouisiana partners will announce the 2015 grant recipient team at a ceremony preceding the closing night film of the New Orleans Film Festival on October 22 at 8:30 p.m. For more information on#CreateLouisiana, contact Brian Boyles at [email protected] or call 504.620.2632.
About the partners
#CreateLouisiana initiative is designed to champion the indigenous entertainment talent of Louisiana and support the development of the region’s integral creative industries. Through social media, grants, and development programs, #CreateLouisiana will stimulate conversation and mobilize a communication network that shares the stories, information and resources contributing to our state’s vibrant creative economy. #CreateLouisiana aims to collectively inspire an understanding of the value of our Louisiana creative and cultural community and the talented workforce that drives its development.
Deep South Studios is a new full-service motion picture, television and digital media production facility. Located in New Orleans, Louisiana – the heart of the fastest growing film and media production center in the United States. 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 for the inaugural year of the Create Louisiana Filmmakers Grant.
The mission of the New Orleans Film Society is to engage, educate and inspire through the art of film. Founded in 1989, the New Orleans Film Society (NOFS) is the producer of the annual New Orleans Film Festival, which has grown into a major showcase of local, regional, national, and international films. In addition to the annual Film Festival each fall, the NOFS hosts special events throughout the year: the French Film Festival, filmOrama, the New Orleans International Children’s Film Festival, Moonlight Movies, and other events designed to benefit local film audiences, artists, and professionals. Throughout the year, the NOFS reaches approximately 40,000 people through its programming.
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.