The fifth Louisiana International Film Festival happened on April 20-23, 2017. It was the first full year after the death of Dan Ireland, the festival’s Artistic Director. It also came after the floods in 2016 that devastated much of southeast Louisiana.
Both were directly acknowledged in the festival’s programming selections, which gave LIFF 2017 a certain gravitas. Even so, there was plenty of room for celebration as the festival broke new attendance records for some of its films.
My advice would be to anyone, whatever you’re doing, always engage the person on their passions.” – Chesley Heymsfield
Renée Zellweger was the festival’s special guest. She came to be a part of the special screening of The Whole Wide World, a film directed by Dan in 1996 that starred Renée and Vincent D’Onofrio. That film led to her role in Jerry Maguire, which turned her into an international superstar and solidified her friendship with Dan. After the film screened, Renée presented the first annual Dan Ireland Award to the filmmakers behind Kills on Wheels.
In this episode, I share the interviews I did at LIFF 2017 and my experiences at the festival.
Guests in this Episode
- Barry Martyn, jazz drummer; Sally Young – host of Traditional Jazz on WWOZ in New Orleans – starts at 2:06 min. They discuss their involvement with the music doc One Note at a Time, a look at the post-Katrina music scene in New Orleans and how the Musicians’ Clinic helps to cover the medical needs of NOLA musicians.
- Andrew Vogel, Operations Director of LIFF and a California-based actor and producer – starts at 14:01 min.
- Alexander Jeffery, a filmmaker who worked on three of the films that screened at the festival: Memoir, The Verses, and Last Light – starts at 25:11 min.
- Jason Allen, Production Director of LIFF and a 1st AD who is a member of the Directors Guild of America and has lived and worked in Los Angeles for 20 years – starts at 32:36 min.
- Chesley Heymsfield, Executive Director of LIFF and film producer – starts at 49:00 min.
- My comments start at 1:13:13 hr.
Film Festival Discussion Topics
- What should filmmakers keep in mind when submitting films to a festival for screening
- The roles of various film festival staff members and when to approach them
- How LIFF works to nurture connections to Sundance and why that matters
- The artist as a tragic figure or public servant
- Strategies for bringing celebrities to your special events
- Using film festival events to create opportunities
- What the logistics of a film festival involves
- The power of love! (Well … maybe)
Listen to the Episode
- Louisiana International Film Festival
- LIFF on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
- One Note at a Time
- New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic
- Traditional Jazz with Sally Young on WWOZ
- Last Light, winner of the 2017 Louisiana Short Film award
- My LA Film Prize interview with Alexander Jeffery about Memoir
- My discussion of Patti Cake$ and other highlights from SXSW 2017
- More on what Jerry Maguire and other Cameron Crowe films have meant to me. (Would probably write that post a little differently today, but it’s a testament to how I saw things at the time.)
Films & Shows Discussed
- Backtrack Vodka
- The Book of Clarence
- Cézanne and I
- Ella Brennan: Commanding the Table
- The Hero
- Kills on Wheels
- Last Light
- Memorial Drive
- One Note at a Time
- Patti Cake$
- The Red Pill
- The Ryan Francis Story
- The Verses
- The Whole Wide World