Treme might only be three episodes in, but if you need a bigger New Orleans fix, the New Orleans Film Festival has a great recipe of films running now through Thursday, October 18. The festival is hosted by the New Orleans Film Society and is now in its twenty-third year (that's quite a long time in festival years); screenings will be held in various theaters around town. This year the festival is focused on highlighting the evolving landscape of New Orleans as a new frontier in filmmaking. With the number of productions rising in Louisiana every year, Hollywood isn’t the only film-production Mecca anymore.
Over one hundred and sixty directors and filmmakers are attending the festival this year. The artists behind the indie films you love will be participating in intimate Q & As, workshops, and after parties. There are plenty of films to be excited about, but none more intriguing than the opening night film, The Paperboy from Lee Daniels, starring Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaughey, John Cusack, and Zac Efron. Daniels previously directed the Sundance hit Precious, which left some people with mixed feelings. This movie is getting lots of buzz at Cannes and stories are circulating about a certain racy scene involving Kidman and Efron.
While it’s too late to catch the opening film at the festival (stay tuned at a theater near you), have no fear: The NOFF knows how to open a festival and they know how to close one. The Iceman, starring the enigmatic but highly talented Michael Shannon as cold-as-ice hit man Richard Kuklinski, is one of the most anticipated films of the year. Winona Ryder, Ray Liotta, and James Franco also star. The film is based on a true story.
Another film that is sure to get people talking is Ira Sachs’s Keep the Lights On, which plays at 8:45 p.m. on Monday, October 15. The film focuses on two men who have a one-night stand that develops into something more complicated over time. It looks fascinating and might be the non-heterosexual answer to last year’s Blue Valentine. See it at the Theaters at Canal Place in Theater 2.
Plenty of other films, panels, and parties are planned for this week so be sure to visit the New Orleans Film Festival website for tickets and passes as well as the full schedule.