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New Orleans Film Society

Panels

Pitch Perfect
Saturday, October 13
Freeport-McMoRan Theater at the Contemporary Arts Center
10:00am-11:30am: Documentary Pitch Session
11:30am-1:00pm: Narrative Pitch Session
Southern film students have five minutes to make us believe in their next dream production. In its second year, Pitch Perfect is a rare opportunity to practice the art of pitching, an indispensible skill for any filmmaker-in-training. Students will present their projects to film professionals and industry insiders, gaining constructive feedback and invaluable experience. The competition is set up in two rounds: documentary and narrative. The winners for each session will both be awarded a $500 cash prize (sponsored by Film Production Capital) to go towards production of the film they pitched, ivvn addition to an Academic version of the Movie Magic Budgeting & Scheduling software. This year, participating schools include: University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, Auburn University, University of Texas at Austin, Baylor University, Dillard University, Florida State University, Loyola University, University of New Orleans, and Tulane University.

Taking Delivery: Film Distribution in The Age of Ones and Zeros
Saturday, October 13
Rehearsal Hall at the Contemporary Arts Center (Second Floor)
11:45am – 12:45pm

Panelists:
Neal Block (Magnolia Pictures)
S. Leo Chiang (New Day Films and 2012 NOFF Filmmaker)
Michelle Satter (Sundance Institute)
Lois Vossen (Independent Lens)
Moderated by John Desplas (NOFS / NOFF)

When asked if film school was worth the money, director Todd Phillips (The Hangover), in a SXSW conversation, was quick to reply “not anymore”—technology had made access to equipment, once the raison d’etre for attending Film U, not much of a “barrier to entry.” Now, “getting butts into seats,” (to invoke an industry vulgarism), that remains Not-So-Easy. And with the relentlessly proliferating number of “platforms,” seats may or may not be in a traditional movie theatre—or at least, not right away: in addition to Magnolia Pictures and IFC Films premiering their wares VOD (video-on-demand) weeks before their theatrical release, Sony recently debuted the Kirsten Dunst ha-ha comedy, Bachelorette, exclusively as an iTunes download (Mr. Jobs smiling approvingly from the great digital beyond, no doubt) weeks before appearing on the Big Screen. It seems film (we can’t bring ourselves to say “content”) will be coming down all kinds of tubes and we will have to decide where to take delivery. Some films will still have the glitzy Hollywood premiere with the red carpet and the Kleig lights and the screaming fans; some are now premiering in the home, with the shag carpet and the track lights and the screaming kids; and some continue to reach us through the multiplex with the stained carpet and the tivoli lights and, yes, the screaming kids. Our distinguished panel, privy to the inner workings of the hydra-headed digital film distribution network, will reveal all.

From Princess to Pixels: Animation in the Modern Age

Saturday, October 13
Rehearsal Hall at the Contemporary Arts Center (Second Floor)
2:00pm – 3:30pm

Presented in partnership with NOVAC
Panelists:
David Burton (Pixomondo)
John Durbin (Moonbot Studios)
Ray McIntyre, Jr. (Pixel Magic)
Joey Shanks, Director of “Wiggle Room” (2012
NOFF selection) Huck Wirtz (Bayou FX)
Moderated by Henry Griffin (UNO)

John Lasseter (Pixar/Disney) said, “The art challenges the technology, and the technology inspires the art.” As image-based technology continues to shift and moviegoers are witness to animation’s transition from cell-animated cartoons to the 3D animation of Pixar and the animated visual effects utilized in live action motion pictures, opinions about the future of animation continue to stir. And when “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” took home the Academy Award last February, the animation industry suddenly took centerstage here in Louisiana. Join the New Orleans Film Festival and NOVAC (New Orleans Video Access Center) to learn more about trends and shifts in animation and about working in the animation genre, both in Louisiana and beyond.

Case Study: Beasts of the Southern Wild
Saturday, October 13
Rehearsal Hall at the Contemporary Arts Center (Second Floor)
3:45pm – 4:45pm

Benh Zeitlin’s Beasts of the Southern Wild sprung from the hearts and minds of a largely New Orleans-based collective “of madcap artists and animators of junk that seek to tell huge stories out of small parts” (AKA Court 13). A huge story indeed. Beasts became an instant sensation at Sundance, inspiring a fierce bid- ding war at the A-list festival and subsequent speculation about how the ultimate victor, Fox Searchlight, would market a film so outside the trappings of both indie and Hollywood conventions. Fast forward six months later to find Oprah interviewing Benh, along with Beasts stars Quvenzhané Wallis and Dwight Henry for an episode of “Super Soul Sunday.” How did the film get on Oprah’s radar? President Obama told her to watch it, of course. Cast with mostly non-actors and fueled by the zeal of a committed band of twenty-something storytell- ers, Beasts of the Southern Wild has grossed three times its budget at the box office. Come learn about the team’s inspiration, process, and strategy from Producer Josh Penn, during this case study facilitated by Michelle Satter of the Sundance Institute.

New Frontiers in Post- Production: Louisiana + Beyond
Sunday, October 14
Rehearsal Hall at the Contemporary Arts Center (Second Floor)
1:30pm – 2:30pm

Panelists:
Bradley Greer (Cineworks)
Greg Milneck (Digital FX)
Tom Vice (Fotokem)
Peter Cioni (Light Iron)
Sergio Lopez (Storyville Post)
Moderated by Chris Stelly (Louisiana Entertainment)

The movie industry is undeniably visible in Louisiana—on city streets, in small towns, on country roads, film crews set up shop and cap- ture Louisiana landscapes for the big screen. The less visible and potentially more permanent side to the industry is also booming in Louisiana: post-production. Join post veterans and newcomers alike for a conversation about trends and opportunities in this industry. How much of the term “post-production” is anachronistic given new workflows and on-site systems that allow post-production to begin the second the director yells “Cut!”? Will big budget pictures put down roots and stay in Louisiana for their post- production? And will a growing post-production business in the state create sustainable jobs for Louisiana residents?

From Script to Screen: Funding Your Indie Project
Sunday, October 14
Rehearsal Hall at the Contemporary Arts Center (Second Floor)
3:00pm – 4:00pm

Sponsored by: The City of New Orleans
Panelists:
Will French (Film Production Capital)
Andrew Larimer (“The Drink Show” web series) Glen Pitre (Independent Filmmaker)
Jay Thames (Producer, The Tell Tale Heart, The Power of One)
Lisa Valencia-Svensson (Producer, Herman’s House)
Moderated by Carroll Morton (Entertainment Industry Development, City of New Orleans)

It’s the thing that every independent filmmaker wants to know – How do I get my project funded? Join us for a lively conversation with a panel of independent filmmakers, producers and financiers who will share their insight and answer your questions. Whether your goal is to produce a feature film, short or webisode, come join the conversation.

People Say Project
Monday, October 15
Old U.S. Mint
400 Esplanade Avenue
Reception at 5:30pm
Conversation begins at 6:00pm

Presented by: The People Say Project, Louisiana State Museum, NolaFugees
For the second year, the festival partners with The People Say Project for a conversation on music in film. This year’s event takes place on Monday, October 15, at 6:00pm, at the Old U.S. Mint. New Orleans singer/songwriter Meschiya Lake, subject of the 2012 NOFF documentary selection True Family, will join Louis Michot, lead singer and fiddler for Lost Bayou Ramblers, whose songs filled the smash hit Beasts of the Southern Wild. Hosted by Brian Boyles and produced by Jarret Lofstead for NolaFugees Press/Productions, the People Say Project is an ongoing talk show focused on the intersections of money and culture in Louisiana. Visit www.thepeoplesayproject.org to learn more.

Queer Film Lecture
Saturday, October 13
Freeport-McMoRan Theater at the Contemporary Arts Center
Lecture at 7:45pm
Film program begins at 8:00pm
(Note: there is no charge for the lecture, but the film screening is ticketed.)

The word “queer” has been used since the 1990s to describe the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender identity and experience, and also defining a form of sexuality that was fluid and subversive of traditional understandings of sexuality. Film professor, activist, and filmmaker Jonathan Pope Evans offers a brief introduction to queer film, before the screening of the shorts program “American Dreams, American Nightmares: A Queer Perspective,” a highly charged and eclectic collection of short works. Evans will contextualize the queer films shown by discussing the artists that inspired him—Todd Haynes, Greg Araki, and Rose Troche, among others.

Gather ‘Round Conversation Series

Get to Know the Sundance Institute with Michelle Satter
(founding director of the Sundance Institute’s Feature Film Program)
Friday, October 12
Contemporary Arts Center’s SPUN Cafe
3:30 – 4:30pm

Take time out to learn more about the Sundance Institute and all they have to offer filmmakers—from championing the role of the independent producer in their producing labs to offering top-notch exposure at a Festival known the world over, from helping to facilitate director-composer collaborations to nurturing fiercely talented storytellers in their screenwriting labs. Haven’t made a January pilgrimage to snowy Park City lately? Well, don’t miss this opportunity to ask questions of Sundance veteran and visionary Michelle Satter.

Transmedia 101
with Nancy Schwartzman and Opeyemi Olukemi
Saturday, October 13
Contemporary Arts Center’s SPUN Cafe
1:00 – 2:00pm

What the hell is transmedia and why all the fuss? Join director/producer Nancy Schwartzman and Tribeca Film Institute’s Opeyemi Olukemi as they delve into the world of all things new media. Do filmmakers need to use Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Youtube, Podcasts, and Storify? What platform is right for you and your audience? Find out how and why the film landscape is changing, how you have the power to harness your audience and create conversation, and how you can join the ever-increasing numbers of transmedia makers.

Insider / Outsider Filmmaking
moderated by Angela Tucker
Saturday, October 13
Contemporary Arts Center’s SPUN Cafe
2:30 – 3:30pm

Many filmmakers struggle to figure out the best stories to tell. But how do you tell a story about a community that you are not a part of? Is it easier to tell a story if you are part of a community whose images are seen less on the screen? Or does the pressure of being sensitive to the kinds of images brought into the world make these issues difficult? Race, class and gender—all play roles in this complicated and candid discussion with filmmakers who have grappled with these very questions.