Still from "The Organizer." Photo courtesy of New Orleans Film Festival

Social Activism Focus Added To 2017 NOLA Film Festival

Now in its 28th year, the New Orleans Film Festival has announced a new programming effort focused on elevating the voices of social activism and advocacy. Called “Change Makers,” the series will include nine feature-length documentary films and ten documentary short films that speak to a pulsing awareness of social issues and the responses among everyday citizens, shared by creative voices who endeavor to affect change. From farm workers’ union activists in the 60s, to the front lines of AIDS activism in the 80s, and recent protests against Confederate monuments, the New Orleans Film Festival’s most diverse line-up in the festival’s history gives voice to issues that are at once deeply personal and political.

New Orleans Film Society’s Artistic Director Clint Bowie said of the addition “We certainly see ‘Change Makers’ as being hand-in-hand with our commitment to showcasing
underrepresented voices in film. These issue-driven documentaries often speak to the struggles of marginalized communities and give voice to individuals and groups who are often unheard.” Executive Director Fallon Young echoes the sentiment, saying ““Culturally relevant and responsive programming is always at the heart of the New Orleans Film Festival, but this year our programming team put forward ‘Change Makers’ as a formal way to recognize the power of great storytelling to leave a lasting impact on audiences, spark significant dialog and shape the
world we live in.”

Other notable inclusions in this year’s festival are the return of Caribbean Cinema, comprised of five feature films and ten short films recognizing the historical and cultural ties between the Caribbean and New Orleans, oftentimes called the northernmost Caribbean city. Furthermore, of the films in this year’s Festival lineup, 53 percent are from female directors and 45 percent are from directors of color. There are 20 US premieres in the festival (five of which are feature films) and 55 world premieres (eight of which are feature films).

The 28th annual New Orleans Film Festival – the full lineup for which can be seen here – takes place October 11-17. Ticket prices range from $125 to $320. Check out photos of last year’s festival kickoff, which included a second line!