The Patois Film Festival — formally known as the Patois New Orleans International Human Rights Festival (PATOIS) — announced its new co-directors, Zandashé Brown and Zaferhan Yumru, along with dates for its 16th edition of the festival which takes place March 25-30 at the Broad Theater. Additionally, on March 25, an opening event for the festival will be held at the Neighborhood Story Project.
The Patois 2020 festival will be led by New Orleans-based filmmakers and spotlight co-directors Zandashé Brown and Zaferhan Yumru. Brown is an award-winning filmmaker who combines her passion for narrative filmmaking with social justice and advocacy. Her last film, BLOOD RUNS DOWN, brought attention to the generational trauma of Black women and was featured at nearly 20 festivals around the world, garnering several awards. Yumru, originally from Istanbul, Turkey, immigrated to New Orleans after a decade of working in the film industry in Turkey. He now works as the Director of Marketing and Communications at the New Orleans Film Society and is currently working on his first narrative short, Bush. Both directors joined the Patois Collective in Spring 2019 along with members Jordan Flaherty, Jason R.A. Foster, jazz franklin, Zac Manuel, Kristina Kay Robinson, and Shana M. Griffin.
New Orleans is a place of significance for the festival. As explained by Brown, “New Orleans has a rich history of resistance, which makes this a special place for a human rights festival. We aim to showcase work spanning the range of concerns in today’s cultural and political climate.” The festival gives space for engaging and informative discussion within the community. “We will create a safe space for people to meet, share knowledge, and initiate collaborations on their own future projects, whether it’s a film or organizing a campaign” says Yumru.
Festival attendees will experience five days of film screenings, speaker panels, community discussions, intensive workshops, and participatory events focused on important, necessary dialogue. The festival will showcase feature-length and narrative films as well as documentary shorts from both locally-based and foreign filmmakers. The complete festival lineup and schedule will be released in late February.
More information on the Patois Film Festival, passes, and merchandise can be found at patoisfilmfest.org.