[Pietro Jeng, Pexels]

27th Annual New Orleans French Film Festival Arrives in Late February

07:00 January 30, 2024
By: David Vicari

Witness the French Language in NOLA

The 27th annual New Orleans French Film Festival, presented by the New Orleans Film Society (NOFS), will be held at the historic Prytania Theatre from February 22-28, as well as streaming virtual February 22 to March 3, 2024.

This year the festival will spotlight special screenings of two newly restored films from Louisiana filmmaker Glen Pitre. Entirely in Cajun French, the films are $8.50 a Barrel (Huit Piastres et Demie!) and Yellow Fever (La Fievre Jaune). Following their release in the late 1970s, film critic Roger Ebert described Pitre as "a legendary American regional director, a shrimper's son who graduated from Harvard and went back home to Louisiana to make movies. His early films were shot in the Cajun dialect. [He is] arguably the world's only Cajun-language filmmaker."

Both films look at historical events in Louisiana's history: the shrimp war of 1938 and the yellow fever epidemic in the state in 1897. The new 4K restoration of these films was led by IndieCollect and created with the support of the Golden Globe Foundation. Pitre will take part in conversations following screenings of each of the two restored films.

[Courtesy of the New Orleans Film Society]

Additionally, the festival will host the world premiere of Louisiana-based directors Chasah West and Charliese West's short film Heritage, made with support from the Nous Foundation. Alums of the New Orleans Film Society's Emerging Voices Directors Lab, the West sisters wrote and directed this story of a teenager, disinterested in her Louisiana Creole heritage, who finds herself rethinking her own heritage after an encounter with a French-speaking visitor.

The festival will also include a showcase of the work of Johanna Makabi, a filmmaker of Senegalese and Congolese heritage who is an artist-in-residence at Villa Albertine in Louisiana, a program created by the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, and supported by the French Ministry of Culture. The festival will host a screening of four of Makabi's films and a conversation with her regarding her work and cinematic approach.

The festival brings together 14 features alongside 10 short films all prominently featuring francophone communities from around the world, in French with English subtitles. The films were produced in Belgium, Canada, Democratic Republic of Congo, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, South Africa, Switzerland, and the USA. Clint Bowie, artistic director of the New Orleans Film Society, said, "Now in its 27th year, the French Film Festival continues to grow and evolve, and this year's program fully encapsulates the diversity of French-language cinema from around the globe, including films made right here in Louisiana. It includes work from industry veterans like Claire Simon and François Ozon, while also introducing audiences to new voices from directors like Baraka Rahmani and Chasah and Charliese West."

The schedule will go live and individual tickets go on sale to NOFS members on February 8 at 12 p.m. CST, and individual tickets go on sale to the public on February 15 at 12 p.m. CST.

Visit neworleansfilmsociety.org/french-film-festival to see the full lineup and to purchase festival passes. All pass types (All Access Pass, Virtual Pass, and Student + Teacher Pass) are now available to purchase!

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