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Dozens of movies screen in Mid-City at the New Orleans Film Festival

The 33rd New Orleans Film Festival (NOFF) will have two theater screens and one outdoor venue in Mid-City this year to present a wide variety of films, many of which cannot be seen any other way.

The festival will showcase dozens of feature-length films and short films programs, at the Broad Theater, 636 North Broad St., and next door at the Broadside, 600 N. Broad St.

The festival opens Thursday (Nov. 3) and closes on Tuesday (Nov. 8). In between are a great number and diversity of films to enjoy. They also will be shown virtually Nov. 3-13 through NOFF Virtual Cinema available globally.

The festival has divided its Broad Theater showings into Broad Theater No. 1 and Broad No. 4 presented by Gilead Sciences.

The Broad Theater No. 1 will be screening eight feature length films and nine programs of short films. One of the feature films shown will be The Time of the Fireflies (El Tiempo de las luciérnagas), directed by Matteo Robert Morales and Mattis Appelqvist Dalton, on Friday (Nov. 4) at 3:15 p.m. It is a documentary about the immigrant experience in the United States.

Its focus is Miguel, who left his family behind in Mexico 13 years ago. Now, trapped between his memories and his determination to provide, he struggles to forge a path in New York.

One of the short programs, entitled Doc Shorts: Wild Longings will screen on Nov. 5 at 8 p.m. Our fraught relationship with nature comes into focus with these shorts from around the world, highlighting our impulses to tame and control, as well as to connect and heal. The films span disparate locations in the U.S., Nepal, Greece, Finland and Canada. 

The Broad Theater No. 4 presented by Gilead Sciences will present 14 feature films and five short film programs. Me Little Me, a narrative feature directed by Elizabeth Ayiku (And Scene, Edit This) follows the journey of Mya, who finds herself alone while recovering from an eating disorder. Balancing her mental health and relationships is made more difficult when she’s promoted in her male-dominant industry with demanding expectations and delinquent co-workers. This screens on Friday at 6 p.m..

On Nov. 7 at 8 p.m., the Broad Theater No. 4 presented by Gilead Sciences will be showing You Resemble Me, directed by Dina Amer. Her debut film delves into cultural and intergenerational trauma that erupts in this story about two sisters living in the outskirts of Paris. 

Screenshot from Mardi Gras scene in “Roots of Fire.”

Playing at the Broadside are three programs of short films as well as the first showing of the documentary feature, Roots of Fire, directed by Abby Berendt Lavoi and Jeremey Lavoi.

This film will screen on Nov. 6 at 8 p.m., and it portrays a community of young, Grammy-winning musicians work to keep a dying culture alive in South Louisiana. It explores the past, present and especially the future of Cajun music, and is one of the few films that will be shown twice. It will be screened again on at the Broad Theater No. 4 on Nov. 8 at 2:45 p.m.

One of the shorts program is The Bottom of the Boot: Southern Louisiana Shorts, screening on Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. From the streets of New Orleans to the bayous of coastal communities, these stories uplift the convergence of cultures that make Southern Louisiana so unique. Another showing of this program will take place at the New Orleans Jazz Market on Friday at 7 p.m. 

A selection of more than 140 films from the film competition brings together narrative feature films, documentaries and shorts from 10 countries, representing a wealth of perspectives. Louisiana-made films represent 22% of the lineup, and the directors of selected films represent 35 different nationalities. Additionally, the schedule boasts 24 world premieres and seven U.S. premieres.

“Half of the lineup is made up of Southern films, and we are proud to shine a light on filmmakers from the region and around the world who are shifting mainstream narratives and pushing artistic boundaries.” said Kiyoko McCrae, director of documentary programming and filmmaker labs at NOFS.

“In considering films for this year’s lineup,” said Clint Bowie, artistic director of the New Orleans Film Society, “our programming team sought to interrogate the totality of individual films. While what is on screen is obviously important to us, we’re also interested in what went into a film’s making: how the filmmakers built their production teams and how they approached issues of working with the communities in their films.”

Recipients of the Jury Award for Narrative Shorts, Documentary Shorts, and Animated Shorts competitions will be eligible for consideration in the respective categories of the Academy Awards without the standard theatrical run, provided the film otherwise complies with the Academy rules.

The New Orleans Film Festival is one of 14 in the country that has an “Oscar Qualification.” That means that any short film or documentary that wins an audience award can be considered in the upcoming year for an Academy Award.

The film festival screening schedule and film guide are now available at neworleansfilmfestival.org. Tickets and passes for the film festival can be purchased online. Click here for more information, including prices. 

Festival-goers can purchase an All Access Pass, good for admission and priority entry to in-person screenings and the NOFF Virtual Cinema, parties and receptions, panels, and events or purchase individual tickets for each screening.

Film lovers can also buy a Virtual Pass For One or a Virtual Household Pass for at-home access to all films in the lineup throughout the festival; a Six Film Pass to watch any six films virtually or in-person; or buy individual tickets for each virtual screening. Discounted student and teacher passes are also available.

New Orleans Film Society members receive $50 off All Access passes, $3 off in-person screening tickets, and $2 off NOFF Virtual Cinema tickets. To join the New Orleans Film Society, sign up here. 

All festival transactions will be contactless; cash or check payments will not be accepted. Acceptable forms of payment include credit and debit cards, and Apple and Google Pay. 

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