New Orleans Film Festival

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New Orleans Film Festival
New Orleans Film Festival Logo.png
LocationNew Orleans, Louisiana
No. of films200+

The New Orleans Film Festival is an annual film festival organized by the nonprofit organization New Orleans Film Society, a film society founded in 1989. The festival has been held since the society's inception. The festival takes place in mid-October.[1] The festival, nicknamed "Cannes on the Mississippi", features national and international feature films and short films. The festival had one off-year when New Orleans suffered the effects of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.[2]

Now in its 29th year, the New Orleans Film Festival, October 17-25, 2018, has grown into an internationally respected annual event that attracts 20K – 25K people, 400+ filmmakers, and 240 films. It is one of the few film festivals that is Oscar-qualifying in all three Academy-accredited categories: Narrative Short, Documentary Short, and Animated Short—and it’s been recognized by MovieMaker Magazine as one of the “Top 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee” every year since 2012 (one of only two festivals to receive that recognition for six straight years).

Listed as “Top 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World” by MovieMaker Magazine in 2016 and 2017.

Attending filmmakers and cinema fans enjoy a unique camaraderie in a city that has an international reputation for knowing how to have a good time! named the New Orleans Film Festival as one of "Fifteen Fests You Should Enter" in 2012.

New Orleans Film Festival Emerging Voices Program Cohort 2015

Diversity and Discovery[edit]

Paste Magazine praised the festival for offering “a platform to voices that still fight to be heard.” We honor three vital commitments to filmmakers and to audiences hungry for fresh work with perspectives less often represented on the silver screen:

  • 90% of the 230+ films in the festival will come from submissions, ensuring New Orleans Film Festival is a place of discovery where all voices have an opportunity to be heard
  • 50% or more of the films will be helmed by women and gender non-conforming filmmakers
  • 45% or more will be helmed by filmmakers of color

Emerging Voices Program[edit]

The Emerging Voices Mentorship program, an initiative of the New Orleans Film Society, was created in 2014 and founded on the principle that to create a more diverse storytelling landscape, filmmakers of color in Louisiana need greater access to gatekeepers.

Applicants include filmmakers with narrative or documentary projects (shorts, features or web-based), experimental films and music videos in the development/pre-production stage. Once selected, during the annual New Orleans Film Festival, selected filmmakers are paired with a Film Industry leader who acts as a mentor through one-on-one meetings. Mentees also participate in short intensive meetings with other industry professionals during the NOFF Industry Exchange to pitch their projects and build further connections.

The program works to empower the local community as well as to promote the unique perspectives and cultures created in Louisiana to the rest of the country, and the world.[3]

Screenplay Competition[edit]

In an effort to expand its offerings and services to support diverse makers, the New Orleans Film Festival has launched its first Screenplay Competition to coincide with the 2018 New Orleans Film Festival. The competition is open to short, episodic and feature length screenplays. Winners of each category as well as one screenwriter from Louisiana (from any category) receives a cash prize. The winner and top three finalists in all categories receive an All-Access Pass to attend the New Orleans Film Festival. The writers are invited to all panels, roundtables, receptions, networking events, and screenings over the course of the nine-day event.[4]


  1. ^ Retz, Becky; Gaffney, James. Insiders' Guide to New Orleans (3rd ed.). Insiders' Guide. pp. 211–212. ISBN 0-7627-3456-6.
  2. ^ Odom, Brittany (October 4, 2007). "New Orleans film festival returns to city". Courtboullion. Dillard University. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  3. ^ "Emerging Voices | New Orleans Film Society". Retrieved 2018-05-30.
  4. ^ "Screenplay Competition | New Orleans Film Society". Retrieved 2018-05-30.

External links[edit]