In a nod to both its deep French roots and its burgeoning film culture, the Champs-Élysées Film Festival has named New Orleans it’s city of honor.
Kicking off today in Paris, the festival will dedicate special programming to the city—nicknamed “Hollywood South”—including movie screenings, a roundtable discussion and an art exhibition done in partnership with the Slow Galerie.
On its website, the festival attributes their selection to New Orleans’ success in reestablishing itself, not only as a city, but also as a center for filmmaking in the years after Hurricane Katrina. Over the past decade, New Orleans has served as the cradle for films such as Academy Award-winners “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and “12 Years a Slave.” Other recent cities of honor have included Chicago and Detroit.
Festivalgoers will have the opportunity to watch 10 different films set in in New Orleans, including “A Streetcar Named Desire,” “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans,” “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and the documentary “Tchoupitoulas.” The festival selected these films to offer a broad view of the city.
“It was … necessary to offer various visions from the past and present and to question the future of the biggest city of Louisiana, birthplace of jazz, Cajun cuisine, witchcraft and voodoo, by showing historical, social and architectural transformations of the last two centuries,” the event said on its website..
The festival will screen over 80 independent French and American films, alongside the New Orleans-based features, from June 15-22.