Denise Jans, Unsplash

Louisiana Film Prize 2021 Announces Top 20 Films & Filmmakers

13:00 August 23, 2021
By: Jordana Comiter

Every year, the Louisiana Film Prize invites filmmakers across the country to create a short film, shot in Louisiana, between 5 and 15 minutes to compete for the largest short film cash prize offered in the world. The top 20 finalists, who will compete for the $25,000 grand prize, have recently been announced. The winner is determined by both audience voting and judges made up of film and industry veterans, tastemakers, and celebrities.

You can attend Prize Fest September 30 through October 2, or attend virtually with viewing and voting online open to an international audience. Following the eventful weekend, the grand prize winner will be announced on October 3.

Finalists come from all over Louisiana and all around the country—including California, Washington D.C., North Carolina, and Arkansas—to film and compete for the grand prize. According to founder and executive director of the Prize Foundation Gregory Kallenberg, these talented filmmakers are "across the board, the best we've ever had." Kallenberg is looking forward to seeing the final products of the independent filmmakers.

Film Prize has always been a time to highlight a range of talents, and they have continuously brought female filmmakers to the forefront. Once again, this year's lineup continues to showcase the talents of women with seven women directors in the mix. Abigail Kruger (Amber the Acrobat), Jaya McSharma (Nana Ki Dum, directed with husband Jacob), Virginia Tucker (Touched), Jency Hogan (Bamboo), Kari Kennon (Hard Up), Vernae Thompson (I'll Follow You) and Melissa Moore (MOMento) are all set to feature their films.

"The Film Prize has always been an endeavor that gives opportunity and access to everyone and anyone who wants to communicate their voice, vision, and ideas through film," Kallenberg said. "Because of this access, we have always prided ourselves in our ability to naturally create a diverse community of creators."

After bringing in over $20 million in economic impact for the area, it is clear that this event has given back to the community, as well as made a significant impact on filmmaking in Northwest Louisiana. The event encourages filmmakers across the globe to make the trip down to Shreveport for both filming and the festival/competition.

There are many opportunities for recognition throughout the competition. While there can only be one grand prize winner, the top five do still bring home accolades. They receive distribution through Shorts International on iTunes and will also screen at various festivals around the country. In addition, Louisiana Film Prize distributes filmmaking grants and $500 "Best Actor" and "Best Actress" accolades. Up until now, the Film Prize Foundation has awarded over $500,000 in cash to independent filmmakers.

This year's Louisiana Film Prize 2021 Top 20 Films and Filmmakers are the following:

The Adventures of Cheeto and One-Eyed Booger

Directed by Drew Wheeler

Amber the Acrobat

Directed by Abigail Kruger


Directed by Jency Hogan


Directed by Benjamin Donnellon

Hard Up

Directed by Kari Kennon


Directed by Blayne Weaver


Directed by Alexander Jeffery

I'll Follow You

Directed by Vernae Thompson


Directed by Matthew Carona

Last Day

Directed by Rich Hansil


Directed by Melissa Moore

Moonlight Dancer

Directed by Gray Fagan

Nana Ki Dum

Directed by Jaya and Jacob McSharma

Pictures of the Sky

Directed by Reece Roark

Promises of Snow

Directed by Matthew Ramsaur

Shreveport Son

Directed by Mark Bonner

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Directed by Ian MacFadyen


Directed by Josh Munds


Directed by Virginia Tucker

We've Got Your Six

Directed by Danny Zanelotti

For more information or to purchase passes to the eventful weekend, visit

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