A still from the film "Burning Cane," courtesy of the New Orleans Film Society

‘Harriet,’ ‘Burning Cane’ to anchor 30th annual New Orleans Film Festival

At this year’s New Orleans Film Festival (NOFF), which takes place October 16 through 23, the New Orleans Film Society (NOFS) will celebrate three decades of celebrating local and international cinema.

The Oscar®-qualifying NOFF turns 30 with an exciting Closing Night Film and Centerpiece Film, the details of which have now been released. The Kasi Lemmons-directed biopic Harriet, which details the life and abolitionist work of Harriet Tubman, will close out the festival at the Orpheum Theater. This year’s Centerpiece Film hits close to home; the 19-year-old NOCCA graduate Phillip Youmans’ Tribeca-winning movie Burning Cane (which stars Wendell Pierce) will screen October 18 at the Orpheum.

“We couldn’t be more excited to have Harriet and Burning Cane occupy two of the festival’s most prestigious slots,” said Bowie. “Both films have strong Louisiana ties and reflect the bold work of two truly visionary artists.”

Overall, 232 films will screen during the New Orleans Film Festival. The selected features represent 39 nationalities, with half of them made in the American South. More than a quarter, 26%, of selected films were made in Louisiana. Over half of the films are directed by women and gender non-conforming directors, while 56% of them were directed by people of color.

“The festival’s strong accent on Southern voices is a vote of confidence in the rich storytelling in this region,” said New Orleans Film Society’s Artistic Director Clint Bowie. “Our role is to help cultivate the storytellers here and shine a bright light on their work—and to continue to ensure that the New Orleans Film Festival serves as an important site of discovery for audiences and filmmakers alike.” 

Also announced are details of the feature and short film competition. The full lineup of competing entries can be seen here.

Early-bird tickets are on sale via the NOFF’s website through August 29.