Louisiana-shot Mudbound to screen as Centerpiece of the most diverse lineup of films in the festival’s history.
New Orleans, La. (August 22, 2017)–– The New Orleans Film Society (NOFS) announced today its Centerpiece Film for the 28th annual Academy-accredited New Orleans Film Festival (NOFF): the Louisiana-shot Mudbound, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year and was acquired by Netflix. The festival also announced the competition lineup for the festival, which will take place October 11th–October 19th in venues across the city. With 53 percent of films by female directors and 45 percent by directors of color, 2017 boasts the most diverse line-up in the festival’s history.
Directed and co-written by Dee Rees, whose previous directorial projects include Pariah and Bessie, Mudbound is an adaptation of the prize-winning novel from Hillary Jordan about racial tension in the 1940s American South. It stars Carey Mulligan, Jason Clarke, Mary J. Blige, Garrett Hedlund, and New Orleans native Jason Mitchell. In addition to being directed by a woman, Mudbound also features women in the lead roles of producer, writer, cinematographer, editor, sound mixer, and head of makeup.
“Mudbound is an epic film that feels like an instant American classic: timeless and yet strikingly relevant to issues our country is facing today,” said NOFS Artistic Director Clint Bowie of the festival’s Centerpiece Film.
“It is also a testament to the strength and vitality of the Louisiana film production landscape,” added Fallon Young, NOFS Executive Director. “Not only was the film shot in and around New Orleans, it also relied on local resources like FotoKem, and featured local talent like Kerry Cahill and Lucy Faust in strong supporting roles.”
Synopsis: Set in the rural American South during World War II, Dee Rees’ Mudbound is an epic story of two families pitted against one another by a ruthless social hierarchy, yet bound together by the shared farmland of the Mississippi Delta. Mudbound follows the McAllan family, newly transplanted from the quiet civility of Memphis and unprepared for the harsh demands of farming. Despite the grandiose dreams of Henry (Jason Clarke), his wife Laura (Carey Mulligan) struggles to keep the faith in her husband’s losing venture. Meanwhile, Hap and Florence Jackson (Rob Morgan, Mary J. Blige)—sharecroppers who have worked the land for generations—struggle bravely to build a small dream of their own despite the rigidly enforced social barriers they face. The war upends both families’ plans as their returning loved ones, Jamie McAllan (Garrett Hedlund) and Ronsel Jackson (Jason Mitchell), forge a fast but uneasy friendship that challenges the brutal realities of the Jim Crow South in which they live.
After receiving a record number of nearly 5000 entries for the 2017 competition lineup—an increase of over 20 percent from 2016—the festival’s seasoned team of programmers carefully curated a slate of original, affecting, and provocative films. Entries came from 109 different countries. Overall, directors of selected films represent 44 different nationalities. This year, Louisiana-made films represent 29 percent of the lineup.
The feature competition lineup, including ten narrative feature films, ten documentary feature films, and ten feature films made in Louisiana, are listed below. Short films can be found at www.neworleansfilmfestival.org. Additional festival announcements, including films screening out of competition, as well as Opening Night, Closing Night, Spotlight Films, Virtual Reality experiences, panels, special guests, and the full list of festival venues will be released in the weeks to come.
To see the first wave of selections in this year’s lineup, click here.
To download full Press Release, click here.