The Louisiana Int. Film Festival launched in 2013 with the music documentary 20 Feet from Stardom. Later that year, the film went on to win the Oscar for best documentary. A number of the films that the festival has showcased in recent years, including Boyhood, Brooklyn, and Revenant, have also gone on to receive accolades. LIFF’s film selections are certainly noteworthy and sometimes prescient of what will connect with the international film community.
This year the festival takes place on April 13-17 in Perkins Rowe, Baton Rouge. Chesley Heymsfield, the festival’s executive director, came on The nsavides Podcast to discuss this year’s lineup.
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In addition to this year’s LIFF lineup, we also discuss
- the origins of Cannes and Tribeca film festivals
- Chesley’s experience working for the special-effects visionary, Stan Winston. (As a quick refresher: Stan Winston worked on some of the big special effects in films like Aliens, Edward Scissorhands, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, and Jurassic Park.)
- how to make a big impression at Sundance
- ways to bring sponsors onboard for creative projects
- finding resilience in the midst of difficult times
- how to approach filmmakers, actors, and celebrities at film festivals
Some of the notable films at the festival
- Breaking the Bank – a comedy starring Kelsey Grammer set amidst the volatile backdrop of international banking
- Lo and Behold – a new film from Werner Herzog about the internet’s sociological impact
- Miss Sharon Jones! – a portrait of the singer from two-time Academy Award-winning director Barbara Kopple
- No Greater Love – a documentary that follows Chaplain Justin Roberts into the frontlines of battle at the Kunar Province of Afghanistan and back at home where veterans battle PTSD, depression, and loneliness.
- Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You – a warm look at the TV producer behind acclaimed shows like All in the Family, Maud, and The Jeffersons.
- Raiders! – the true story of three kids who set out to recreate Raiders of the Lost Ark scene by scene on Super 8mm film
Some of the notable events at the festival
- Wednesday, April 13
- Gala Reception with supermodel and founder of the Every Mother Counts nonprofit, Christy Turlington Burns. Christy is also the executive producer of Every Mother Counts, one of the films screening at the festival.
- Thursday, April 14
- Friday, April 15
- Cosplay themed afterparty
- More special events can be found at www.lifilmfest.org/special-events-lineup
Special shout outs
With My Soul – a short film set in the Civil War that explores the effects of war and human trafficking. The film co-stars Jency Griffin Hogan, who also produced, co-directed, co-wrote and co-produced the short. Jency is one of the actors who submitted to the #KnowMonologues Challenge I did with Django Unchained‘s Laura Cayouette.
With My Soul was also written by Kay Landon, who is a fellow co-organizer of the Screenwriters Down South, our script-writing support group in Baton Rouge.
The film screens on Saturday, April 16 at 10:00 AM. It’s one of the shorts in the Official Louisiana Live-Action Short block at Perkins Rowe.
- More details about films and festival events can be found at http://www.lifilmfest.org.
- I share my experiences and notable moments at LIFF 2016 in this podcast episode.
- Some of the people and groups involved in LIFF’s Mardi Gras Masquerade at Sundance 2016 include
- The nsavides Podcast came about after I sat in on a hair-and-makeup workshop at LIFF put on by Dana Boisseau, a hair stylist who has worked on films like Django Unchained, The Butler, and Ray. I connected with Dana, and so we did a video and an interview together, and the podcast grew from there.
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